Purpose. To evaluate the impact of academic hospitalists on third-year medical students during inpatient medicine rotations. Method. The authors conducted a retrospective quantitative assessment of medical student evaluations of hospitalist and nonhospitalist Department of Medicine faculty at Oregon Health & Science University, for the 1998-00 academic years. Using a nine-point Likert-type scale, students evaluated the faculty on the following characteristics: communication of rotation goals, establishing a favorable learning climate, use of educational time, teaching style, evaluation and feedback, contributions to the student's growth and development, and overall effectiveness as a clinical teacher. Results. A total of 138 students rotated on the university wards during the study period; 100 with hospitalists, and 38 with nonhospitalists. Of these students, 99 (71.7%) returned evaluations. The hospitalists received higher numeric evaluations for all individual attending characteristics. Significance was achieved comparing communication of goals (p = .011), effectiveness as a clinical teacher (p = .016), and for the combined analysis of all parameters (p < .001). Despite lack of achieving statistical significance, there was a trend toward hospitalists being more likely to contribute to the medical student's perception of growth and development during the period evaluated (p = .065). Conclusions. In addition to performing the responsibilities required of full-time hospital-based physicians, hospitalists were able to provide at least as positive an educational experience as did highly rated nonhospitalist teaching faculty and in some areas performed better. A hospitalist model can be an effective method of delivering inpatient education to medical students.
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