By: Mike Hajmasy
When you think about CAMH – the largest mental health hospital in the country – it makes sense that physical health isn't necessarily the first thing that comes to mind. It is, after all, a hospital that specializes in treating illnesses of the mind.
But mental and physical health are often interconnected, and ensuring that patients are physically well enough to focus on treatment for mental illness is of the utmost importance.
And that's where CAMH's team of hospitalists comes in.
"Hospitalists are general practitioners for hospitalized inpatients," explains Dr. Renee Logan, hospitalist in CAMH's Emergency Department.
"We're here to provide physical, medical care to CAMH patients as a supplement to their psychiatric care. In the Emergency Department, for instance, I conduct basic medical assessments to determine if a new patient is medically stable enough to remain at CAMH."
Dr. Logan is part of a small but mighty team of 11 hospitalists that leads medical screening and assessment, medication management and medical counselling for inpatients across the hospital.
"It's demanding work, but we divide and conquer, with each of us covering anywhere from one to four units at a time."
"A special calling"
"We love what we do," Dr. Tania Tajirian, CAMH's lead hospitalist says plainly about her team. "All of us have worked in community medicine and made the switch over to the hospital setting. It's a special calling to work with our patients."
In the Emergency Department, Dr. Logan is often meeting people who are experiencing one of the most challenging times of their lives. "It's my goal to make patients feel safe, comfortable and cared for while they are here," she says. "If I can do that, I know I'm having a meaningful impact."