A patient recently told me he saw 16 doctors in one morning. He apologized for not remembering exactly who I was from the day before.
Imagining myself at a dinner party with 16 new faces, I'd be lucky to figure out a few names let alone professions after a few minutes.
Most of these doctors came in the form of teams rounding on patients in the morning, spending several minutes to go over the latest test results, answer any questions about recent developments, and determine a plan for the day. The primary team comes by, then groups of specialist teams, interspersed with field trips to various parts of the hospital for procedures and tests.
To add to the confusion, individual members of these teams return through the day to ask more questions or address more concerns. Not to forget, there's the blur of white coats that includes serial cadres of nurses delivering meds, social workers working out safe discharge plans, medical assistants taking regular vitals, phlebotomy and radiology technicians...
There seems to be a misconception that the attending physician is really the only "real doctor." Quite contrarily, much of the decision-making, coordination, and execution of care is carried out by the those interacting with the patient the most.
Here is a table below to help you navigate your care in the hospital!