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Hospitalist FAQ

What exactly is a hospitalist?

A hospitalist is a specialist in the field of internal medicine who cares only for hospitalized patients. While your Legacy hospitalist is caring for you, they have no outside clinic obligations and devote their full attention to your hospital care. Hospitalists communicate regularly with your primary care doctor about your condition. All Legacy hospitalists maintain American Board of Medical Specialties certification to practice internal medicine.

What should I expect from my hospitalists?

You can expect the very best medical care, delivered with kindness and compassion. Your hospitalist will see you at least once a day, and will also coordinate any care recommended by specialists. Your hospitalist will keep you and your family informed about test results and your overall progress. If you have a large family, we ask that one family member act as the contact person.

Who are all of the doctors that I'm seeing in the hospital? Which one is in charge?

  • To receive the best care while you are in the hospital, you may see several doctors. The hospitalist is your "attending physician" and in charge of your care. Because there are several hospitalists working at each hospital, you may see a different face depending on the day or shift, but your care will be consistent.
  • Other doctors may be part of your care team as well. Sometimes specialists consult on certain conditions or run tests. In addition, your care may involve a team of physicians-in-training (residents) led by the hospitalist. At times, the team may also include a medical student.
  • If you are unsure who your attending physician is (the doctor in charge of your overall care), don't hesitate to ask your nurse or any doctor who comes to see you.

What if I have a question for my doctor about my hospital care?

Ask the doctor when he or she visits you. If you would like to ask sooner, you can ask the nurse to contact one of the doctors on your care team. They can arrange a meeting or have the hospitalist come as soon as possible.

How will my primary care doctor know that I'm in the hospital?

  • Your primary doctor will be notified when you are admitted to the hospital and if there is any significant change in your condition. When you go home from the hospital, your primary doctor will receive a summary of your diagnoses, test results and medications.
  • If you don't have a primary care doctor, call Legacy Referral Service at 503-335-3500 (Oregon) or 360-487-3500 (Washington) to find a doctor who is right for you.

How do I pay for services from hospitalists? Can I talk to them after I'm discharged?

  • Since all your hospitalists work for Legacy, you will receive a bill for their services from Legacy.
  • Your hospitalist will be available to you, your family and your primary doctor during business hours to answer any questions about your care. Call 503-413-8407 to be put in touch with the right person to help you. 
  • A hospitalist will be available at all times in case of emergency.