When you stay in a Ballad Health hospital in East Tennessee or Southwest Virginia, you may get care from a hospitalist – a special type of doctor who tends to only hospital patients.

Because these physicians don’t have outside offices, unlike your primary care provider, they can spend all their time helping people in the hospital get well.

What will my hospitalist do?

A hospitalist oversees your inpatient care and helps make sure doctors, nurses, therapists, and other staff stay updated on your health. He or she can:

  • Diagnose your condition
  • Prescribe tests and treatment 
  • Answer your and your family’s questions
  • Help plan your post-hospital treatment

Timely care

Because hospitalists are always at the hospital while working, they can respond to your needs in a timely way. You may return home sooner than if you received care from your primary care provider, who works mostly outside the hospital.

Working with primary care providers

If you have a primary care provider, the hospitalist will work with him or her to understand your medical history and make the best care plan for you during and after your hospital stay. 

How many hospitalists will I see?

We want you to have consistent care, so the same hospitalist will see you as long as possible. But when a different hospitalist needs to take over, he or she will talk closely with your current hospitalist to get all the information needed about you.

Depending on your diagnosis, you may also be seen by specialists, who are board certified and trained to treat different conditions.


At some Ballad Health hospitals, you may see a specialized neurohospitalist if you have a brain or spine condition, such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, dementia or epilepsy.