Specialists Find Appeal in Hospitalist Roles

Cheryl Clark, December 1, 2014

Specialists in orthopedics, surgery, neurology, oncology and other areas who want to dedicate themselves to hospital-based work are finding new career opportunities.

This article first appeared in the November 2014 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

There are children alive today, beyond a doubt, who otherwise would have died during birth if it weren't for the OB-GYN hyphenated-hospitalists at PeaceHealth St. Joseph's Medical Center in Bellingham, Washington, says Nancy Steiger, CEO and chief mission officer for the organization's northwest network.

These five rotating, full-time obstetrician gynecologist-hospitalists are at the 253-bed hospital, "ready to deliver the baby quickly in a crisis" for any of the 2,200 newborns delivered there each year who may develop fetal distress, she says. There's no waiting for the community obstetrician to leave his or her practice or home, maneuver through traffic, and get to the hospital in time.

"From a care and quality perspective, I know that our patients have benefited," not to mention the organization has saved money that would have been paid in malpractice claims, Steiger says. "Even one lawsuit can take a financial and emotional toll," she says. "They've definitely made a difference."

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