'Laborists' handle hospital deliveries

The hospitalist model must be successful--because it's spanned at least one new subspecialty. Increasingly, with OB/GYNs in short supply, hospitals are working with a new reed of physicians dubbed "laborists" or OB hospitalists. With laborists on board, hospitals no longer need to worry about convincing skittish community OB/GYNs to go on call, or fight for their attention when they do take call.

Unlike with traditional OB/GYNs, who arrive to see their patient when they become available, laborists are present to see patients immediately when they're admitted. Another difference between standard OB/GYN practice and hospital-based care is that laborists work defined shifts rather than being on-call, which some observers say could lead to less lost sleep and fewer mistakes.

While the business model is still emerging, it appears that hospitals are paying laborist physicians $125 to $150 an hour for their service, as well as covering malpractice insurance premiums that can hit $100,000 a year in some cases.

To learn more about this new specialty:
- read this article in The Boston Globe

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