Internal Medicine "Hospitalist" Residencies
As a hospitalist myself, I feel that his point is well taken. In fact, I would suggest that one of the most important qualities for a prospective hospitalist is to be as skilled at outpatient medicine as possible.
Why? Because being intimately aware of how patients actually live in the real (outpatient) world gives great insight as to how (and when) a patient can be effectively discharged. Such skill will reduce lengths of stay (and admission rates). Being skilled in outpatient medicine also gives valuable insight into creating successful discharge plans and knowing what will work and what won't. Patient satisfaction would be expected to go up as would outcomes. "Bounce-backs" (re-admissions) would be kept to a minimum.
I always counsel our IM residents who've expressed interest in becoming hospitalists to pay close attention to their ambulatory medicine rotations as well as their rotations in the ED and urgent care.
I don't necessarily believe that there needs to be specific hospitalist tracks. I do however believe that hospitalist curriculae may be of benefit in teaching the "hospitalist" way of thinking. There is a unique body of knowledge relevant to the practice of inpatient medicine. But I think this knowledge is better imparted with a lecture series and syllabus than by a formal three year training program.