The term hospitalist is a relatively new one, only being coined in 1996. However, they are in demand. A hospitalist is a doctor who specializes in the care of hospitalized patients. They typically are centered in a single hospital and become very familiar with the facility, helping to expedite care for their patients. Some studies have shown that hospitalists reduce the length of a patient's stay and the likelihood of readmission [source: Gittell].
A large majority of hospitalists (about 78 percent) had their training in general internal medicine. If you have enough experience in inpatient medicine, you could make an excellent candidate for a high paying position.
This option can offer fewer bureaucratic and administrative hassles than other typical physician jobs, as well as the possibility for more flexible hours. Doctors coming out of retirement should also consider locum tenens work as a hospitalist. Be prepared, however, for the possibility of working off-hours like nighttime and weekend shifts.