Internal Medicine FAQs
Inpatient Hospital Care FAQs
View outpatient Medical Care FAQs...
Why is a Hospitalist team caring for me?
Our hospitalists, rather than your primary care physician, will care for you while you are in the hospital. This arrangement is beneficial in that you are taken care of by a doctor who focuses exclusively on your care in the hospital. This allows your primary physician to devote his/her time to the office practice, making medical care more effective and efficient.
How will the Hospitalist learn about me?
Hospitalists communicate with primary physicians as needed to ensure optimal care. At the time of admission, records from your doctor will often be requested and your condition discussed to supplement the information we obtain from you. Your primary care physician will be informed about your care at discharge as well, and will receive a copy of your records. If you do not have a primary care physician, we will assist you in obtaining appropriate outpatient follow up and care. Our hospital utilizes a state-of-the-art sign-out system which allows all physicians involved in your care to effectively pass important information about your care to their colleagues during times your primary hospitalist team is not in the hospital.
What are the advantages of hospitalist care?
Hospitalists are able to closely monitor your progress and condition 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Dedicated house staff work in close cooperation with the hospitalists to take care of all your needs during your visit. Because hospitalists work solely in the hospital and are present throughout the day, the physician can see you more than once a day if needed. We know every specialist and department in the hospital and check on your tests periodically to make adjustments in treatment throughout the day.
When do I see my doctor?
You will generally see your doctor after discharge for a follow-up appointment. If you do not have a doctor, we will help you find one and prescribe the necessary medications. Follow up can be arranged on the Westchester campus at our outpatient clinic or at the office of your choice. Discharge instructions and other documents such as a discharge summary will generally be sent to your doctor within 1 to 2 business days.
Will I have the same doctor each day?
We make every effort to have the same Hospitalist see you every day. Because we work as a group, you may see a different Hospitalist or other member of the medicine faculty on the weekends.
Who else will care for me besides my hospitalist?
The attending physician is the hospitalist who is responsible for your care. Attendings are members of the Westchester Medical Center staff and the New York Medical College School of Medicine faculty and have an important role of teaching the other members of the team. Residents and interns are physicians who have completed medical school and are currently training as specialists in internal medicine. Residents are often the first physicians you meet upon being admitted to the hospital and the physicians you will see most frequently. The residents also take an active role in teaching the medical students on the team.
The Medical Students are generally in their third and fourth years of medical school. They are learning to manage complex health issues and also how to interview and examine patients and to document their findings. For these reasons, they may visit you separately to discuss an aspect of your care in more depth.
What are rounds?
Typically occurring in the mornings, this is a structured time when the entire Hospitalist team gathers and visits their patients -- this explains why you may see a large group of white-coated individuals in your room! During rounds, the team discusses diagnostic strategies and management plans for each patient. This is also very important teaching and learning time for the entire team. If you have any questions or concerns about your care, this is a good time to bring them up. However, please be aware that the members of your Hospitalist team are available throughout the day and can be contacted, at any time, by the nurse caring for you in the hospital.