If you've been in the hospital recently, you may have been faced with a new reality -- your own doctor doesn't come see you; instead, a hospitalist from his or her practice manages your care when inpatient. A doctor you've never met before, who doesn't know your history, who makes all kinds of treatment decisions, and whom you'll never see again unless you're back in the hospital.
The NY Times explains the trend here. I personally hate it. Jennife