The hospitalist model emerged in the mid-1990s as an alternative to primary care physicians managing their own patients both in and out of the hospital. Driven by a variety of forces, including increasing pressure to improve quality and safety, limits on house staff duty hours, generally positive outcome data, and increasing support of the model by primary care physicians and specialists, the number of hospitalists has increased substantially. Today, more than 30 000 hospitalists staff approximately 70% of US hospitals.1
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