To make the most of hospital-based medicine:
* Don't allow a lack of familiarity to prevent you from getting your questions answered. If it's on your mind, it's not a stupid question -- so go ahead and ask.
* Regardless of who's caring for you, have a friend or family member act as an advocate for you while you're in the hospital. An advocate speaks out on your behalf when necessary, ensuring that procedures and processes are done in a timely manner and asking important questions that might have been overlooked.
* Call your primary care doctor if you feel the need to talk to him or her while you're in the hospital. Simply because your regular physician isn't heading up your care doesn't mean he or she can't participate in it.