Credits hospitalist pioneers with helping foster his passion for leadership
by Larry Beresford
New SHM board member Brian Harte, MD, SFHM, traces his passion for leadership in hospital medicine back to his medical residency at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center, not long after HM pioneer Robert Wachter, MD, MHM, helped coined the term "hospitalist" in a celebrated 1996 New England Journal of Medicine article.
"Scott Flanders was my chief resident and gave me advice about taking my first job," Dr. Harte says. "Andy Auerbach was one of the faculty at UCSF. I worked under Jeff Weise and Steve Pantilat," all of whom are national leaders in the field. Among others, SHM president Shaun Frost, MD, SFHM, FACP, was instrumental in Dr. Harte's career advancement, helping recruit him back to his home state of Ohio, where he was until recently the chief operating officer of Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, which is affiliated with Cleveland Clinic.
"I've been fortunate enough to be taken under the wing of a lot of giants in the field—really impressive figures whom I have looked up to as role models," Dr. Harte says.
At Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Harte has worn a number of different hats in a fairly short period of time, quickly advancing from HM department chair to the position he started in April—president of South Pointe Hospital in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, another of the nine community hospitals affiliated with Cleveland Clinic. His experience on that career path, along with a broad range of interests and perspectives, is what he hopes to bring to SHM's board.
"This is a path more hospitalists could be pursuing: physician leadership, hospital and health system leadership, program development. In some cases it means stretching our skills to their capacity and beyond," he says. "At this point, it's not clear what healthcare reform has in store for us. But all of the things we do as hospitalists—leadership, program-building, team—building, clinical care, quality improvement—are very applicable skills that will prepare us for leadership roles."
The Hospitalist newsmagazine reports on issues and trends in hospital medicine. The Hospitalist reaches more than 25,000 hospitalists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, residents, and medical administrators interested in the practice and business of hospital medicine.