On March 1, I transitioned to a new role where I will serve area patients exclusively in the hospital setting as a laborist at Fisher-Titus Medical Center.
Many people throughout the community may not be familiar with this type of service, but it is something that has been offered throughout the United States, especially in larger, metropolitan hospitals for several years. Through this column, I would like to share with the community this new service and explain the laborist concept.
What is a laborist?
Similar to a hospitalist, which is a physician who specializes in the care of patients in the hospital, a laborist, also known as an OB/GYN hospitalist, is a board certified physician who specializes in treating obstetrics and gynecological patients while they are in the hospital.
Although this concept is new to Fisher-Titus, it was first suggested nationally in 2002. In 2014, it was estimated there were more than 1,700 ob-gyn hospitalists (laborists) working at more than 243 hospitals in the United States and that number continues to grow.
By providing this service at Fisher-Titus, it will offer women a layer of safety in the event of an emergency. The benefits of having a laborist onsite is that I will have the ability to assess and treat a patient requiring immediate care. While we have a team of hospitalists on staff to treat inpatients, traditionally if it was an obstetric or gynecological issue, the OB/GYN on call was consulted. Now, I will be close by to offer my expertise when needed within the hospital and work with my colleagues to care for their patients in any case where they were unavailable.
While our obstetricians on our Fisher-Titus medical staff will continue to perform deliveries, as the laborist I am available to manage patients when their OB/GYN is not available such as vacations or during office hours. I also will be responding to obstetric and gynecologic emergencies such as post-partum complications, ectopic pregnancy, and gynecological issues such as pelvic inflammatory disease. I am excited to take on this new responsibility and believe that it will provide an important enhancement in caring for our OB patients.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sharon Dorman, DO, FACOOG is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Dorman has been a board certified OB/GYN since October 1998 and has practiced in the Milan area since 2004. She now serves as a laborist at Fisher-Titus Medical Center.