As a hospitalist, Mahdi Ajjan, MD, MBA’17, is accustomed to solving problems. His specialty itself sprang from the need to alleviate primary care physician burnout in the early 1990s when these physicians were shuttling back and forth between practice offices and hospitals to treat admitted patients. Hospitalists began treating inpatients exclusively, dramatically reducing hospital lengths of stay. When Dr. Ajjan entered the field in 2006, the industry was still in transition and he noticed hospitalists were often misunderstood and mismanaged by hospital administration.
“Times of transition in medicine can be very chaotic because it’s not as if someone has gone ahead to work out what happens. Hospitalists suffered as practitioners, and hospitals suffered because they didn’t know what to do with us,” explained Dr. Ajjan. “It occurred to me that I could do a better job of managing hospitalists. I suggested to the hospital's CEO that we hospitalists become a private company to serve the hospital. He thought it was a great idea and helped us expand. It was an amazing journey.”