Most of the care of hospitalized patients at Hamad Medical Corporation used to be the job of “specialists”, which contain a heterogeneous population of physicians, in term of skill and experience. Generally, decisions by hospitalists require endorsement by a “consultant”. A few years ago, Hamad Medical Corporation made a decision to gradually replace the “specialists” with fellows on training or with consultant.
Currently the care of hospitalized patients in the internal medicine service is the duty of the expert “consultants” from the division of general medicine. The general medicine consultants, organized into teams, admit, treat and discharge the patients. They also integrate the care provided by medical subspecialty consultants or other specialty consultants. The consultants in general medicine work from 7 AM to 3 PM and provide coverage after hours and during the weekends and holidays. The general medicine consultants are also the main “teaching” faculty for the internal medicine residency program.
Thus during the regular working hours the hospital staffing is at its maximum, however, after 3 PM and during weekend and holidays, the consultant number is reduced to a minimum that can take care of “urgencies or emergencies” occurring on the floor or those being admitted from the emergency room. It is to be noted that the peak of patient admission to the hospital occur between 3 PM and midnight, and that admission to the hospital during weekends and holidays is the same as during regular days.