At MedStar St. Mary's Hospital, medical professionals called hospitalists have been dedicated to caring for patients in the hospital since 2004. Hospitalists are highly qualified physicians specializing in Internal Medicine. They have dedicated their experience and expertise to hospital medicine, which places them in a unique position to care for acutely-ill hospitalized patients. They are responsible for your care for the duration of your stay in the hospital—this can include identifying and communicating with other specialists to ensure you get the care you need.

Hospitalists can also help you and your family better understand your illness, treatment options, and recovery. A member of the hospitalist team is available 24 hours, seven days a week to address any acute medical issues in the hospital. Above that, their daily duties are to perform patient rounds, monitor progress, review test results, and address treatment changes as necessary.

Your hospitalist will serve as a liaison between you and your primary care physician, and depending on your condition, your hospitalist and primary care physician may stay in contact to determine your treatment and progress while you are hospitalized. Our hospitalists are experienced in coordinating a patient's plan of care while in the hospital with family and all other physicians and clinicians who may have referred or treated the patient. They meet with family members, follow-up on test results, answer nurses' questions, and assure a patient's care is going according to plan. Hospitalists are experienced in overseeing every aspect of care, including physician follow-ups regarding a patient's hospital stay and discharge instructions that prepare patients to continue to heal after they leave the hospital.

As the name suggests, hospitalists only work with you while you are hospitalized. After hospital discharge, you will return to the care of your primary care physician who would be informed about clinical details about your hospital stay. The aim is to decrease an interruption in your recovery.

Know Your Hospitalist

In order to better connect patients with their hospital doctor, hospitalists may offer a quick reference card to patients or family members at the hospital. These small cards contain information about the hospitalist and how to contact a doctor during and after a hospital visit. They offer a convenient way for patients to get to know their hospitalist and also learn how to access medical results from their hospital stay.


Hired in 2004, Mehrdad Akhlaghi, MD, Internal Medicine, is one of our first hospitalists.
Mehrdad Akhlaghi, MD, Internal Medicine