Julia Mangione, hospital doctor in training

At the moment, Julia is one of five hospital doctors in training to follow the new programme Hospital Medicine. “During three years, I will be trained by a multidisciplinary team to become a hospital doctor.” The goal of a hospital doctor is improving the quality of healthcare and patient safety in the nursing departments. “I’ve always wanted to work as a generalist in the hospital, in a versatile role where you have to deal with complex patients.” Julia has found this challenge in the programme, a programme that offers many opportunities for development.

Gap in the market

Just like the training for Emergency Room doctor, the programme for hospital doctor is a new one. The programme was initiated due to a need for generalists in the hospital, because of the constantly specializing healthcare. “Many medical doctors have an expertise in a specific area.” These specialists also perform surgery and consultations, in addition to tasks in clinical healthcare. They, thus, can’t constantly be present at the department for clinical patients. In situations where this occurs, often medical doctors (still in training) fill in the gaps. But, we aim to have a designated doctor present at the department all the time: the hospital doctor. Julia explains: “A hospital doctor is a gap in the market. We don’t have to divide our time and can put all our efforts into the patients at the nursing department. And because the programme is still relatively new, we have the opportunity to contribute to the contents of the hospital doctor’s tasks.”

Contents of the programme

You work at different departments throughout the educational programme. “At the LUMC, specialized training for medical doctors is very solid. I’m also well able to combine my work and private life and there’s a lot of room for my personal development.” Julia is spending her first year of training at the Department of Internal Medicine. “At the department, I get to learn a lot about conditions of the internal organs. Next, I will work at the Department of Anesthesia to learn more on surgery and painkillers. Thirdly, I will focus on aftercare after surgery and wound treatment in the Surgery department. I will also learn about the most prevalent neurological problems. Furthermore, there is a special focus on elderly care during the programme.” In short, Julia will obtain broad knowledge and learn a lot about different disciplines. “After my training, I can work at every department in the hospital.”

Attention for the patient

By bringing in hospital doctors, patients will be viewed more as a whole. “As hospital doctors, we will coordinate between multiple specialists and can use our broad view to prevent complications and recognize illness rapidly. A patient suffering from diabetes entering the hospital with a broken leg, gets placed at the Surgery department. The surgeon primarily has knowledge about surgical procedures for broken bones. I can then add value by also treating the disrupted diabetes.” Furthermore, Julia will also learn about maintaining and improving the quality of processes at the department during her training. “I get to witness how the healthcare process is arranged at different departments, where problems occur and how I can solve these or improve the situation.”

The face of the department

After finishing the programme, Julia will continue to shift between departments every six to twelve months. This way, her knowledge stays up to date and she will continue to be challenged. “As a hospital doctor, I’m the face of the department. From hospitalization until release, I’m involved with the patient. Patients and family also really appreciate our way of working. And the care Julia provides extends beyond the boundaries of the hospital. “I also think about the aftercare at home and how I can help a patient to get back on track. My work isn’t strictly medical, it’s also personal. For some patients, being hospitalized is a life changing event in a positive sense.”