Robert M. Wachter

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Robert M. Wachter is a prominent academic physician on the faculty of UCSF, where he is interim chairman of the Department of Medicine and chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine. In 2015, Modern Healthcare magazine named him the most influential physician-executive in the United States.

He is generally regarded as the academic leader of the hospitalist movement, the fastest 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] He is past-president of the Society of Hospital Medicine and past-chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

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.

His new book, The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age, was published by McGraw-Hill in April, 2015. It reached the New York Times science bestseller list in May, 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.