Hospitalists work in and help lead such complex organizations. SHM is led by physicians in practice. Events like Hospitalists on the Hill [at SHM’s annual meeting] encourage us to be more involved in legislative advocacy.
Q: As an administrator, at least part time, why is it important for you to continue seeing patients?
A: Clinical skills directly affect ability to understand the “day to day” and target the areas that need change. It also allows you to be an effective leader when you continue to do the same work your colleagues do. You are legitimate in their eyes!
Q: As a hospitalist, seeing most of your patients for the very first time, what aspect of patient care is most challenging for you?
A: Establishing trust and confidence by first impressions.
Q: What aspect of patient care is most rewarding?
A: Patient/family appreciation.
Q: As an assistant professor, what aspect of teaching in the 21st century do you find most difficult? And, what is most enjoyable?
A: Less focus on protected/dedicated teaching time, because money drivers take precedence (i.e., length of stay, dispo, utilization, billing and documentation). The new label is “system-based practice.” This has led to decreased bedside teaching.
Most enjoyable is working with eager learners.
Q: You call your biggest professional challenge taking credit for your ideas. Why is that difficult? Do you think that’s an issue for a lot of hospitalists, particularly given the specialty focus on the multidisciplinary team?
A: Hospital medicine focuses on teamwork. Hospitalists have figured out how to step out of their silos and reach across the aisle to accomplish some daunting tasks. Clinical competence is obviously important, but the ability to work together, check egos at the door, and make individual sacrifices when necessary is the only way a team succeeds. The unintentional consequence is that they don’t take credit because it’s the collective effort that counts.
Richard Quinn is a freelance writer in New Jersey.