The Hospital Medicine program began in 1978, to serve three main functions: caring for unassigned patients, supervising housestaff on the inpatient service, and providing a user-friendly service for primary care providers who were unable to follow their inpatients. Since its inception, the division has grown to 16 physicians and three fellows. The hospitalists provide inpatient care at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego (RCHSD); Palomar Medical Center, located in the northeastern part of San Diego County; and, Sharp Grossmont Hospital, located in the eastern part of San Diego County. The facilities are part of the larger Rady Children's Hospital and Health Center (RCHHC) system in San Diego and Riverside counties.

The hospitalists serve as a clinical resource for community physicians and emergency departments to determine the need for acute care admission, discuss alternatives to admission, and provide a second opinion for patients with diagnostic challenges. All are board-certified pediatricians with acquired expertise in different fields outside of traditional hospital medicine. Most have had additional post-residency training through chief residency or fellowships including child abuse pediatrics, genetics, hospice and palliative care medicine, critical care and pediatric hospital medicine. The Hospital Medicine Division has faculty in two integrated Sections: Child Abuse (Vulnerable Child Section) and Hospital Medicine.

The hospitalists work closely with hospital staff to optimize patient flow and hospital capacity and to address patient care issues across the organization. Additionally, the hospitalists coordinate transports of acutely ill pediatric patients at risk for clinical deterioration for San Diego and neighboring counties.