Your Care Team

When admitted to UC San Diego Health System, Hillcrest, Thornton Hospital or Sulpzio Cardiovascular Center in La Jolla, you are under the care of a UC San Diego hospital care team.

This team includes physicians, nurses, case managers, social workers and other health care professionals who are trained to provide you with the highest quality of care.

UC San Diego Health System is an academic medical center and teaching hospital. During your stay, you may be treated by a team of doctors including attending physicians, residents, fellows, and interns. Medical students may also assist the team.

Based on their training and function within the team, these physicians will be referred to as the following:

  • Attending Physician
    A board certified (board equivalent or board eligible) physician who is responsible for your plan of care and leads your hospital care team by overseeing the residents, and medical students.
  • Hospitalists
    A type of attending physician who works only in the hospital setting, taking care of hospital inpatients. Hospitalists at UC San Diego Health System are board certified internal medicine physicians.
  • Resident or Fellow
    Physicians in training who have received their medical degrees and have selected a medical specialty to pursue.
  • Intern
    First year resident physicians
  • Medical Students
    May be involved in your care as part of their preparation to become doctors but will only work under the supervision of the attending physician.
  • Clinical Pharmacist
    Clinical pharmacists contribute to your care by helping your physicians and nurses use medicines safely and effectively. They provide your care team with therapeutic drug monitoring (measuring amounts of certain medications in your body), intravenous nutrition support and participation in patient care rounds.

It is not unusual to see your hospital care team to rotate and have many doctors treating you. Even the attending physician may change during your stay.

As new physicians join the team, they will introduce themselves. Although the physicians may rotate, the quality of your care will not diminish because the entire hospital care team is tightly coordinated to provide you with the best care. Most patients find it reassuring to have such a large team of medical professionals attending to their care.

We also recognize the importance of providing you with as much information as possible about the care you will be receiving. Your UC San Diego Health System hospital care team is available to answer questions or concerns you or your family may have about your condition and treatment plans. During any of the team’s visits, please feel free to ask questions or seek clarification about anything you may not understand.