Robert M. Wachter

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Robert M. Wachter is a prominent academic physician on the faculty of UCSF. He is generally regarded as the academic leader of the hospitalist movement, the most rapidly growing field in modern medical history. Hospitalists are internists and other physicians who specialize in the care of hospitalized patients. He and his colleague, Lee Goldman, are known for coining the term "hospitalist" in a 1996 New England Journal of Medicine article.[1] In 1999-2000, he served as president of the Society of Hospital Medicine, the professional society representing hospitalists.

He is also a noted expert in the field of medical errors and patient safety. He edits the U.S. government's two leading patient safety websites, AHRQ WebM&M and AHRQ Patient Safety Network; together these sites receive nearly one million visits each year. He has also written two books on safety, Internal Bleeding and Understanding Patient Safety. In 2004, he won the John M. Eisenberg award, the nation's top honor in patient safety.

He is the immediate past-chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine. In 2011, he studied at Imperial College London on a US-UK Fulbright Award. He has been ranked as one of the 50 most powerful physician-executives in the United States by Modern Healthcare magazine each year from 2008-2014, the only academic faculty physician to achieve that distinction. In 2014, the same magazine named him one of the 100 most powerful people in healthcare.

His new book, "The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age," will be published by McGraw-Hill in April, 2015.


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  1. ^ Wachter R, Goldman L (1996). "The emerging role of "hospitalists" in the American health care system". N Engl J Med 335 (7): 514–7. doi:10.1056/NEJM199608153350713. PMID 8672160.