Teaching Hospitals: At the Forefront of Medicine
Teaching hospitals deliver a higher level of care to their patients. Renowned
throughout the world for the quality of their programs, America’s
teaching hospitals are responsible for training new generations of physicians
and are the frontrunners in medical research and technology.
With leading community teaching hospitals, RWJBarnabas Health attracts
the state's top physicians who are committed to academic and medical
excellence through their role as members of the hospital’s teaching
faculty. Keeping abreast of the latest medical developments and the most
advanced technology are two benefits of our role as respected teaching
What is a Teaching Hospital?
Graduate medical education is the final phase of training for physicians
who have successfully completed medical school. Teaching hospitals are
the heart of graduate medical education. Attending physicians provide
supervised training and guidance for the medical school graduates––also
known as resident physicians––in a hospital setting.
Our teaching hospitals prepare medical graduates for practice in many accredited
programs, including Anesthesiology, General Surgery, Internal Medicine,
Obstetrics-Gynecology, Pathology, Pediatrics, Radiology, Neurological
Surgery, and Podiatric Surgery. RWJBarnabas Health is a major teaching
affiliate of the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, New York, The New York
College of Osteopathic Medicine, and St. Georges University School of
Medicine, Grenada. RWJBarnabas Health is also a clinical site for both
of New Jersey’s Physician Assistant Training Schools.
Providing ‘Round the Clock Physician Care
Resident physicians function as part of the health care team to deliver
the highest quality patient care under the supervision of practicing physician-teachers.
Upon your arrival, your resident, under the guidance of your physician,
will review the history of your current illness and past medical history.
A physical examination will be performed to substantiate previous findings
and evaluate changes. Some of the questions and procedures may seem repetitive,
particularly given the anxiety that comes from being hospitalized. Be
assured that the resident is acting in your best interest, as an essential
member of your health care team.
Your resident will be in close touch with your physician to provide updates
on your condition. Frequently, this new information on your progress will
speed your recovery. While the resident may not be able to answer all
of your questions immediately, he or she will respond as soon as possible.
Please remember that laboratory test results and consultations need to
be evaluated by your attending physician, who has the ultimate responsibility
for your care. When your attending physician cannot be in the hospital,
the resident physician will continue to act as his/her eyes and ears 24
hours a day.
The following information is designed to provide patients with an introduction
to some of the health care professionals they may meet during a stay at
the Medical Center. We hope patients find this partial list to be helpful
Attending physician: A doctor who has been educated, trained and licensed to practice the art
and science of medicine, and who is responsible for the care of patients.
Attending physicians supervise patient care performed by residents.
Resident physician: A physician serving in the hospital as part of his/her graduate medical
education. Resident physicians receive supervised clinical training under
the direction of an attending physician.
Chief resident physician: A physician in the final year of a residency program or in the year after
the residency has finished, playing an important role in guiding new residents.
Intern: Not used as often, a term referring to individuals in the first
year of residency.
Hospitalists: Licensed attending physicians who spend most of their time serving as
the physician for inpatients in the hospital. Hospitalists take over the
care of hospitalized patients, returning them to the care of their primary
care providers upon discharge.
Nurse Practitioner: A registered nurse with at least a master’s degree in nursing and
advanced education in the primary care of a particular group of patients.
Registered Nurse (R.N.): A nurse who has graduated from an accredited nursing program and has been
registered and licensed to practice by the state.
Licensed Practical Nurse (L.P.N.): A nurse who has graduated from a school of practical (vocational) nursing
and is licensed to practice by the state.
Physicians’ Assistant: A health care professional who is certified by the National Commission
on Certification of PA’s in conjunction with the National Board
of Medical Examiners. Physicians’ Assistants are licensed to practice
certain aspects of medicine care (history taking, physical examination
and diagnosis, the treatment of common medical problems) under the supervision
of a licensed physician.
Health Care Team: The Medical Center has a variety of allied health care professionals working
in a variety of fields. These specialists are trained in areas such as
drawing blood, using diagnostic scans, performing laboratory testing and
regulating dietary needs.
Students in Health Care Fields: The Medical Center provides a setting for the education of a variety of
students who are being trained in a health care field, including medical
students, those in nursing, pharmacy, and physician assistant programs.
These students continue their medical education by observing practices
in the clinical setting.