Australasian Society of Career Medical Officers

"Hospitalists" .. another Role for CMOs/SMOs
 updated June 2006

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The "Hospitalist" is a new type of specialist that has appeared in overseas hospitals in America and Europe

The "Hospitalist"

- Cares for patients with complex acute illness
- Specialises in acute-care hospital medicine
- Makes a career wholly within the hospital system
- Has advanced resuscitation and procedural skills
- Knows the medical morbidities of surgical patients and the interactive effects of organ systems in stress and failure
- Coordinates care for patients across departments, from doctor to doctor
- Ensures continuity of care for patients and through these skills and action
- Prevents hospital systems failure

          From "The Changing Role of Acute-Care Hospitals",
          Ken Hillman (MJA 1999; 170: 325-328)

    Some CMOs feel that they perform some or most of these roles, especially in regional centres. Recent articles and debate has occurred within the Medical Journal of Australia. Copyright prevents us from repeating them here, but you can view and print these articles directly through the following links.

    ASCMO's Committee members have not been idle. We have co-authored an article titled "The Hospitalist: a third alternative" which has been published in the April 2000 issue of the Medical Journal of Australia.
                (The Hospitalist: a third alternative: John M Egan et al. MJA 2000; 172: 335-338)


1. The original Australian article discussing which medical group was best suited to fill the role of "hospitalists" was published in the 5th April 1999 issue of the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA)

The Changing Role of Acute-Care Hospitals
Ken Hillman (MJA 1999; 170: 325-328)

2. The MJA also had an editorial comment about this article titled:

Research and the acute-care hospital of the future

3. An earlier American Article called:

The Emerging Role of "Hospitalists" in the American Health Care System

4. There has been subsequent comment from the physicians in the 20 Sept '99 issue of MJA, suggesting that: "General Physicians are better qualified than Intensive Care and Emergency Physicians to take on the role of 'Hospitalist' "

"Hospitals and hospitalists: an alternative view"

Ian A Scott and Paddy A Phillips,
for the Internal Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand

(As this article is not on the net, you will need to obtain: MJA 1999; 171: 312-314)

5. The following letter was written to the MJA supporting Ward CMOs as hospitalists in non-teaching hospitals.
(The MJA declined to publish this letter, citing lack of space)

" Hospitalist: Collaboration not Competition"

David S Mah
Emergency Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine,
Sutherland Hospital, Caringbah, NSW

6. Interested CMOs are encouraged to make their own comments

You are invited to read or make comments on this article in our "Open Forum/Guestbook".

- email letters, etc to David Brock, CMOA Website Co-ordinator, for publishing on this website

- email comments to John Egan (Past President of CMOA, as the CMOA plans to forward an article to MJA).

- send your own response to the MJA

- or ALL of the ABOVE

Other Links for "HOSPITALISTS"

This page is designed for the sole use of medical practitioners
The information contained within has been provided in good faith.
However, it may contain opinions and errors in fact. Therefore all information is not to be relied upon by any party.
It is presented to stimulate debate amongst the medical profession only

page maintained by David Brock for ASCMO