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Hospitalist Service


What is a hospitalist?

The hospitalists at Mercy - Dubuque are physicians who have completed an Internal Medicine or Family Medicine Residency, are Board Certified in Internal Medicine or Family Medicine and have Intensive Care experience. In addition, our hospitalist staff includes an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) who is Board Certified in Family Nursing.

What does the hospitalist do?

The hospitalist assumes the role of your primary care physician during your hospitalization from admission to discharge and is familiar with your short-term and long-term issues.  They work as partners with your physician to provide you with the highest standard of care during your hospital stay. 

Why is this better?

Hospitalists are on site at the hospital seven days a week to provide ongoing and immediate care.  They are available to read test results immediately, order different tests if necessary, and may prevent an unnecessary stay overnight.

How does it work?

If your physician or specialist believes that you need to be hospitalized, he or she will coordinate your admission with our hospitalist group.  If you are admitted through the Emergency Department, your physician will be notified.  Once admitted, the hospitalist group will be in charge of your care and see you daily.  Throughout your stay, they will work together with your physician to ensure you obtain the best possible care. 


Patrick Gordon, MD Alexander Jones, DO
Michael Kuennen, MD Gregory Paulsen, MD
Hendrik Schultz, MD Christine Burds, ARNP

Pictured above are Mercy's full-time hospitalists. 
Top row from left: Patrick Gordon, MD & Alexander Jones, DO.    
Middle row from left: Michael Kuennen, MD & Gregory Paulsen, MD. Bottom row from left: Hendrik Schultz, MD & Christine Burds, ARNP.

Additional physicians in the Mercy Hospitalist Service include:
Jared Freiburger, DO, Thomas Schreiber, MD, & Ryan Stille, MD.

Hospitalist with patient

The physician will:

  • Assess and treat your medical condition, working closely with the team of caregivers to ensure communication and continuity of care.

  • Order tests and procedures, follow up on results, and expedite adjustments to your care.

  • Manage your pre-operative evaluation and peri-operative care, if you are hospitalized for elective procedures.

  • Coordinate your care with specialists, should the need arise.
    (For example, your hospitalist would consult a cardiologist for a newly identified heart problem.)

Who will talk to my family while I am in the hospital?

With your permission, the hospitalist will contact your family and will be available throughout the day to answer questions you or your family may have. You may also call your physician, who will have current information on your condition.

Will my physician know what happens during my hospitalization?

The hospitalist will be in frequent contact with your physician, relaying the details of your care. Your physician will also be notified if anything unexpected happens during your stay. The hospitalist will work with your primary care physician to develop a plan and facilitate the transition of your care back to your primary care physician after you are discharged from the hospital. 

What happens on weekends?

A hospitalist is on duty seven days a week

What will happen when I am discharged?

The hospitalist will discuss your discharge medications and other instructions with you. Your first post-discharge office visit with your physician will be scheduled, and your physician will receive a summary of your stay, including discharge diagnoses, medications that have been ordered or provided, and recommended follow up visits or treatments.

What are the benefits to me?

  • First and foremost, high quality care by highly trained physician specialists is available to you seven days a week.

  • You can see the hospitalist as often as needed.

  • The hospitalist is able to constantly assess your condition and modify the plan of care to meet your changing needs.

  • The hospitalist, a nurse and a clinical pharmacist will spend time with you and your family discussing your plan of care
    and following up on results as soon as they are received.

  • The hospitalist will meet with your entire team of caregivers to ensure that everyone is well informed of your treatment plan
    and is working together with you to make the hospital experience as positive as it can be.

  • This helps prevent medical complications, reduce hospital stays and lower costs.

 For more information about the Mercy - Dubuque Hospitalist Service, please call (563) 589-8000.

©  2014 

|  250 Mercy Drive Dubuque, IA 52001  |  563-589-8000

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