March 4, 2021, is National Hospitalist Day. Observed the first Thursday in March annually, it celebrates hospitalists' contributions to healthcare in what the Society for Hospital Medicine calls the "fastest-growing specialty in modern medicine."

The National Hospitalist Day celebration is especially needful now, given that the past year has been particularly challenging for hospital medicine (HM) providers. We want to highlight their bravery and call attention to the extraordinary ways that HM has innovated to grow the specialty and adapted to survive during this difficult time.

Hospitalist Background and History

The term "hospitalist" was first introduced in 1996 by Drs. Robert Watcher and Lee Goldman in their New England Journal of Medicine article, "The Emerging Role of 'Hospitalists' in the American Health Care System," where they presented what they thought was a better way of handling inpatient care. 

Since that time, the specialty has proliferated from fewer than 1,000...