Efren Manjarrez, MD, SFHM, exudes excitement for HM15.
As the chair of SHM’s Annual Meeting Committee and course director for the four-day assembly (March 29-April 1) at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., he just can’t help but sound like a proud papa.
“There’s no greater source of information about our profession, period,” Dr. Manjarrez boasts. “This annual meeting is chock full of the best speakers, the most up-to-date information—and let’s not forget that this is just the greatest opportunity for networking that we have annually as a profession.”
This year’s meeting is on pace to draw at least 2,500 attendees, a tally that tops even the 2014 meeting in Las Vegas. Dr. Manjarrez says there’s plenty to keep a few thousand of his colleagues busy. Highlights this year will include:
- Seven pre-courses on March 29, all of which can be applied toward CME credits. A new offering this year, “Enhancing Communication Skills to Improve the Patient and Provider Experience,” aims to give participants hands-on lessons.
- A new “Young Hospitalists” educational track on March 30 features sessions on “Career Pathways in Hospital Medicine” and “Making the Most of Your Mentoring Relationships.”
- The largest Research, Innovation, and Clinical Vignette (RIV) poster competition in history, with nearly 1,300 abstracts submitted for judging.
- Plenary sessions from patient safety guru Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, FCCM; hospital medicine pioneer Robert Wachter, MD, MHM; and Maureen Bisognano, president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
With all of that to choose from, Dr. Manjarrez chatted with The Hospitalist about what he thinks of the annual meeting.
Question: How important is it to bring new people into the meeting, not just attendees, but also those who are driving and shaping the content of the meeting?
Answer: We want to make sure that we’ve got a diversity of faculty that is representative of the SHM membership. There are well-established people within SHM who have performed very well at the annual meeting. At the same time, we have to make sure that we’re opening the pipeline for new talent to come through; just as SHM rotates people in and out of the board, as well as all of the committees, it does the same thing with the annual meeting.
Q: Engaging the next generation of hospitalists seems to be a recent focus, as well as an important one. How do you view that?
A: The person who lit my fire on this was [SHM President] Eric Howell. So, as the annual meeting committee was doing its due diligence, we saw that other specialty societies like the ACP [American College of Physicians] and the American College of Emergency Physicians also had course content in the main meeting to pull in the next generation of general internists and emergency physicians. We thought that the time was right for SHM to do the exact same thing. And, of course, we were meeting our past president’s mission in doing this.
Q: How much do you enjoy the RIV competition? Why is the RIV such an important piece of the meeting?
A: The research and innovation piece allows [interaction for] every single grade of hospitalist, whether you’re an established superstar like a Sanjay Saint, or whether you’re a medical student or resident who’s just getting your feet wet and you have a passion for hospital medicine. It sort of levels the playing field, because when you have that competition and you’ve got that poster session, everybody’s on a first-name basis. That’s where you’re able to network and create more research and innovation within our field. I myself submitted three abstracts, two of which were with my learners.
Q: Congratulations on that.
A: Thanks, and I expect to take at least one learner with me to the annual meeting. To piggyback on that, we’re asking every single clinician educator coming to the meeting to bring at least one learner with you, one medical student or resident with you, to feel the passion for HM15, and hopefully to present a poster.
Q: Why do you want them to bring someone?
A: We view the society as pulling in the next generation of hospitalists, not hoping that the next generation finds us. This is our way to actively increase our membership and pull people into our great profession.
Q: How important is it to have healthcare leaders as keynote addresses, as opposed to just HM leaders?
A: Having somebody like these individuals who are at the forefront of patient safety and quality improvement, No. 1, speaking to us, but No. 2, they have the opportunity to see our passion as well when they come to our sessions, when they come to our posters, and they’re going to see that this profession is on fire. They’re going to get to see that firsthand. So I think it’s a two-way street: We get to see them, but they get to see us, and I wouldn’t discount that second point one bit.
Richard Quinn is a freelance writer in New Jersey.