‘Heart of the hospital’: Get to know UK HealthCare’s hospitalists

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 7, 2024) — When Mohammad Baseem Shaikh, M.D., meets a patient, they’re often at their sickest.  

Watching their health improve during their hospital stay is rewarding, Shaikh said. He is a hospitalist – one of several UK HealthCare providers who offer frontline care to patients throughout their hospital visit.  

“I’ve never had a patient who has not felt gratitude toward all the care that they received,” Shaikh said. “And I find that gratitude to be very rewarding.” 

March 7 is National Hospitalist Day, a day to honor those doctors and providers who offer care from admittance to discharge and coordinate with nurses, surgeons and specialists to make sure patients get the best outcome possible.  

“We’re kind of the heart of the hospital, in that we are heavily involved in the care of a large volume of patients,” said Deena Shewekah, D.N.P.  

Most patient admissions go through the Division of Hospital Medicine, said Shewekah, an advanced practice registered nurse whose job includes managing patients once they’ve been admitted.  

From admission to discharge, we round daily on patients to provide the care that they need,” Shewekah said. “This includes ordering labs, diagnostic tests, and medications in order to deliver patient treatment.” 

Shaikh enjoys triaging patients when they get to the hospital.  

“When a patient gets to the hospital is usually when they’re at their sickest,” Shaikh said. “Decisions made at that time can reflect in what the patient’s outcome is going to be. You have to do a deep chart dive, getting to know the patient in the short time that you have so that you make the best decisions for them.” 

Building positive relationships with patients is an important part of the job. Often a hospitalized patient might see dozens of different health care workers during their stay.  

“It’s very easy for them to lose sense of who to talk to,” Shaikh said. “For the hospitalists that sees them day in and day out, they tend to form a bond and feel like this is my quarterback, my go-to person.” 

Shewekah loves getting to know patients on a “genuine level.” Getting to know someone’s story, personality, and their family can help create a real connection that may improve a patient’s regimen of care.  

A recent patient shed tears at the end of her hospital stay as she shared, she was going to miss the connections she made with her nursing staff and health care provider team, according to Shewekah.  

It’s incredibly meaningful to develop genuine connections with our patients, as patients are here at a vulnerable time in their life. Our role is to not only help our patients improve medically, but to provide a safe, healing space. I am proud to be a part of this team,” Shewekah said. 

According to the Society of Hospital Medicine, the focus for Hospitalist Day 2024 is on “celebrating the human in hospitalist.” 

Originally from Pakistan, Shaikh came to Kentucky after three years of residency training in Chicago. He was attracted to Lexington specifically because of the excellent rock climbing opportunities in the nearby Red River Gorge. He’s stayed for the patients and their southern hospitality.  

“You get that every day when you’re interacting with the patients here,” Shaikh said. 

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