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AAFP-SHM Joint Statement on Family Physicians as Hospitalists
Such policy violates policies of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) -- the national medical professional society for hospitalists. Both organizations hold that the opportunity to participate as a hospitalist should be open to all interested physicians whose education, training and current competence qualify them to serve effectively in this role.
Not all hospitalists are internists. A recent SHM survey on compensation and production statistics shows that approximately 89.6% of hospitalists surveyed are trained in general internal medicine. Approximately 3.68% are trained in family medicine; about 5.51% are pediatricians and 1.21% are trained as med-peds.
Hospitalists are physicians whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Family physicians possess unique attitudes, skills and knowledge which qualify them to provide continuing and comprehensive medical care to each member of the family regardless of sex, age or type of problem. Data from a recent AAFP survey shows that 73.7% of family physicians have hospital admission privileges, 31.6% have privileges in a coronary care unit and 39.9% have privileges in an intensive care unit.
Based on the above information, we urge organizations to reconsider any policy that otherwise limits qualified family physicians from applying for positions as hospitalists.
Note: This joint statement was developed by a joint task force of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Society of Hospital Medicine.