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Hospitalist Bob Wachter Tops Modern Healthcare’s Physician Leadership List


For the first time, a hospitalist tops Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders list.

The who’s who of standout physicians starts with HM pioneer Robert Wachter, MD, MHM, chief of the division of hospital medicine at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, who's recognized for nearly two decades spent tackling topics that "challenge the status quo," writes Modern Healthcare.

The list features three hospitalists in total, including:

  • Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, MHM, pediatric hospitalist, CMO for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and CMS' acting deputy principal administrator for innovation and quality, ranked 11; and
  • Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, newly appointed U.S. Surgeon General and practicing hospitalist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, ranked 16.

"Having three people on that list speaks volumes to our ability to identify those things that are issues in our healthcare system and impact them," says SHM President Robert Harrington Jr., MD, SFHM, chief medical officer at Reliant Post-Acute Care Solutions in Atlanta.

Dr. Harrington says that placing three hospitalists in the top 16 of a list like this one shows that while HM is a young specialty, it is at the nexus of dynamic change in care delivery.

"We've placed our bets in the right places when it comes to healthcare," he says. "[It] really is all about our patients, patient safety, quality, value."

Although Dr. Harrington likes the adulation the list can bring the specialty, he says if people move on and off of it, that's fine, too.

"As long as we continue to get a seat at the table in terms of healthcare policy formation and quality improvement organizations and patient safety organizations, and we continue to be respected in those arenas, for me, that’s what it’s about," he adds. "The list is nice, but the results are more important to us."

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