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D. Evaluating A New Medical Specialty

Narrator: This is Science Today. Would a hospitalized patient receive better care if treated by a hospital-based doctor? Jonathan Showstack, a professor of medicine and health policy at the University of California, San Francisco says that's a tough question which deserves a tough evaluation.

Showstack: The real issue is to evaluate this model as it's being implemented to make sure that we understand what the positive and the negative aspects are.

Narrator: A number of hospitals nationwide are using in-house doctors called hospitalists, since it's been suggested this system will improve quality of care and save money. But some feel it may compromise physician continuity.

Showstack: What we have been urging these hospitals to do and have been working with some of them on is to set up evaluations to see what actually is happening to patients. How care is changing, what are the benefits of the model and what are some of the possible down sides or risks to the model.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.