All Content

A State-of-the-Art Report on Hospital Medicine Education


The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) is committed to improving the quality of in-patient care through the provision of educational programs, tools, and resources to its membership. In 2002, the SHM Education Committee and leadership met to develop its first strategic plan for education. Long-range and short-term goals were determined, establishing a strategic vision and direction for education for the organization. Long-range goals included defining and developing a core curriculum in hospital medicine; developing a variety of modalities to deliver education; promoting collaborative efforts with other organizations; promoting original research in hospital medicine; and establishing a recognition program for completion of the core curriculum.

To help achieve its short-term goals, the Education Committee formed three task forces: the Core Curriculum Task Force, Leadership Task Force, and Geriatrics Task Force. As a result of the work of committees, task forces, and members, an impressive array of educational programs and products has been developed for membership, and much progress has been made in reaching SHM’s long-term educational goals. SHM would like to acknowledge and thank all of the members who have contributed countless hours and tireless effort to the educational initiatives of the organization.

The Education Committee formed two Core Curriculum Task Forces, an Adult and a Pediatric task force. Each task force has been defining and developing the core curriculum, which will identify the expected proficiencies of members and establish the distinctive differences between hospital medicine and other related medical specialties. The Adult Core Curriculum Task Force executive committee includes Mike Pistoria, Alpesh Amin, Tina Budnitz, Dan Dressler, and Sylvia McKean. An Adult Core Curriculum Guide is expected to be published and released in the spring of 2005. The Guide will contain three sections, each with multiple chapters: Clinical Conditions, Systems, and Procedures. Each chapter begins with an introduction articulating its importance to the practice of hospital medicine, followed by competencies categorized into four areas: knowledge, skills, attitudes, and systems organization and improvement. The core curriculum will be the basis for all future SHM educational activities. It is anticipated that the Core Curriculum Guide will standardize efforts to educate hospitalists across the continuum of medical education. The guide will be provided to internal medicine clerkship and residency program directors and hospitalist fellowship directors. Educators responsible for developing continuing medical education activities for physicians will find the guide to be a valuable resource.

The Pediatric Core Curriculum Guide will be similar in structure to the Adult Guide and is a work in progress. The Pediatric Core Curriculum Task Force executive committee includes Tim Cornell, Dan Rauch, and Alpesh Amin.

The Society of Hospital Medicine’s annual meeting has become the premier meeting for health care professionals who specialize in hospital medicine. The annual meeting provides a wide range of opportunities for learning. Participants can select from a variety of tracks, which include adult and pediatric clinical topics, operational and organizational issues, and challenges for academic hospitalists. The diversity of the annual meeting allows for more personal and individualized learning and tremendous opportunities for networking with colleagues. Preetha Basaviah is the course director of the 2005 annual meeting, which will be held April 28-30, in Chicago, Illinois. The theme for this 8th annual meeting is, “Hospital Medicine in 2005: Strategies for Success.”

In 2004, Regional meetings were held in the Northeast, Western, and Southern regions with much success. Forty-three chapters across the country are also developing educational sessions for their local meetings. Several courses focusing on specific topics of interest to hospitalists have been developed and are offered the day prior to the annual or regional meetings. Pre-courses include Practice Management, Leadership Survival, Perioperative and Consultative Medicine, and Critical Care for the Hospitalist, offering additional opportunities for members to enhance their skills and knowledge.

The Society of Hospital Medicine continues to develop educational tools and resources for the Web site ( The first resource room, addressing the prevention of antimicrobial resistance, was created. Resource rooms provide links to guidelines and relevant CME on-line courses, reviews of pertinent literature, methods to create quality-improvement programs, fact sheets, slide sets and other important information to assist hospitalists in their daily practice. Several unrestricted educational grants have been secured through pharmaceutical companies to support the creation of additional resource rooms to be launched in the near future on topics such as DVT awareness, stroke, and geriatric inpatient care.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has extended their Cooperative Agreement with SHM for an additional year. As a part of this agreement, SHM will evaluate and revise the applied learning workshop, “Implementing Quality Improvement Programs to Reduce Antimicrobial Resistance,” by Dan Dressler. This revised workshop will be conducted at three different chapter or other local meetings. If you are interested in bringing this great workshop to your chapter meeting, contact Tina Budnitz at

SHM has also received a substantial grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation to assist in the creation of educational symposia and enduring materials related to improving outcomes in older adults. The grant also supports the development of a discharge planning tool for hospitalists, and a demonstration project at three sites to implement quality improvement programs to educate members about important issues affecting outcomes in older patients. Members interested in participating in the creation of a discharge planning tool and supporting guidelines should plan to attend the discharge planning workshop at the 2005 Annual Meeting.

An outgrowth of the Hartford grant has been the establishment of the Leadership Academy. A Leadership pre-course for 100 hospitalist leaders was successfully included in the 2004 Annual Meeting. The next intensive workshop is scheduled for January 2005 under the direction of course directors Mark Williams and Russ Holman in Arizona, with a subsequent session scheduled for September 2005 in Vail, CO. The Leadership Academy was developed to provide the skills and resources required to successfully lead and manage a hospital medicine program now and in the future. In-depth training is provided on strategic planning, conflict resolution and negotiation, understanding critical hospital performance metrics, and leading and managing change.

SHM’s vision for hospital medicine education is forwarded through the development of strategic collaboration with organizations such as the American Board of Internal Medicine, Society of General Internal Medicine, JCAHO, the American Hospital Association, and other specialty societies such as the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics. SHM continues its strong affiliation and relationship with the American College of Physicians. Relationships with these key organizations will enable SHM to refine its recognition program for members completing the core curriculum and further the recognition of hospital medicine as a distinct specialty.

In 2006, the Society of Hospital Medicine will launch its official journal, The Journal of Hospital Medicine. The journal will provide a vehicle for the dissemination of research and innovations in hospital medicine.

To further signify its commitment to education, SHM hired a Director of Education, Jane Mihelic, to establish a Division of Education in July of 2004. As the development phase of the core curriculum concludes, SHM will hold the second education summit meeting early in 2005 to develop the next phase of the strategic plan for education and establish new goals and objectives. Future plans will include implementing the core curriculum, becoming an accredited provider of continuing medical education, and developing additional interactive self-directed learning materials.

Care of the hospitalized patient necessitates mastery and continued maintenance of sophisticated knowledge, skills, attitudes, and systems organization. The Society of Hospital Medicine is poised to foster, promote, and support hospitalists in meeting their life-long learning needs.

Please feel free to contact Alpesh Amin, MD, ( Chair, SHM Education Committee, or Jane Mihelic (, SHM Director of Education, regarding thoughts or ideas on hospital medicine education.

Next Article:

   Comments ()