Effect of hospitalist attending physicians on trainee educational experiences: a systematic review

J Hosp Med. 2009 Oct;4(8):490-8. doi: 10.1002/jhm.537.


Background: Trainees receive much of their inpatient education from hospitalists.

Purpose: To characterize the effects of hospitalists on trainee education.

Data sources: MEDLINE, Database of Reviews of Effectiveness (DARE), National Health Service (NHS) Economic Evaluation Database (EED), Health Technology Assessment (HTA), and the Cochrane Collaboration Database (last searched October 2008) databases using the term "hospitalist", and meeting abstracts from the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) (2002-2007), Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) (2001-2007), and Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) (2000-2007).

Study selection: Original English language research studies meeting all of the following: involvement of hospitalists; comparison to nonhospitalist attendings; evaluation of trainee knowledge, skills, or attitudes. 711 articles were reviewed, 32 retrieved, and 6 included; 7,062 meeting abstracts were reviewed, 9 retrieved, and 2 included.

Data extraction: Two authors reviewed articles to determine study eligibility. Three authors independently reviewed included articles to abstract data elements and classify study quality.

Data synthesis: Seven studies were quasirandomized one was a noncontemporaneous comparison. All citations only measured trainee attitudes. In all studies comparing hospitalists to nonhospitalists, trainees were more satisfied with hospitalists overall, and with other aspects of their teaching, but ratings were high for both groups. One of 2 studies that distinguished nonhospitalist general internists from specialists showed that trainees preferred hospitalists, but the other did not demonstrate a hospitalist advantage over general internists.

Conclusions: Trainees are more satisfied with inpatient education from hospitalists. Whether the increased satisfaction translates to improved learning is unclear.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Female
  • Hospitalists / education
  • Hospitalists / standards
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency* / standards
  • Male
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / education*
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / standards