“It was one of my goals—while chairing the Education Committee—for our society to put together the core competencies for hospital medicine,” says Dr. Amin. “I felt that if we had core competencies, this would be the next step to move us toward defining the field of hospital medicine.”
Accordingly, Dr. Amin was instrumental during the first and second SHM Education Summits in securing both committee and SHM Board of Directors’ buy-in of such a project.
For Daniel D. Dressler, MD, MSc, director of hospital medicine at Emory University Hospital and assistant professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, involvement with SHM’s (and formerly NAIP’s) Education Committee was a natural extension of his own interests in medical education. At Emory University Hospital, Dr. Dressler conducts a hospital medicine elective for house staff, “to give them a better understanding of what hospital medicine is and what we do, both in the community setting and in the academic setting.”
“I thought that [development of core competencies] was something that hospitalists as a group needed to do in order to a) become recognized and b) to clarify our own understanding and expectations of hospitalist physicians around the country,” he says.
We originally thought the document would be ready in early 2005. I think we were under the misimpression that the chapters would come back, that we’d read through them in a month or two, and it would be done. It turns out that just the sheer logistics of editing four or five versions of 70 chapters was quite a process.
—Tina Budnitz, MPH
Like her colleagues on the editorial board, Sylvia C.W. McKean, MD, FACP, medical director, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Faulkner Hospitalist (BWF) Service (Boston), attended the 2002 SHM Education Summit and subsequently joined the Core Competencies Task Force. She is also co-chair of the society’s Career Satisfaction Task Force and views this role as linked to the missions of core competencies and education because education is a key component of professional advancement and engagement in the field. The Career Satisfaction Task Force, she notes, examines what components contribute to a long and satisfying career in hospital medicine.
Dr. McKean’s personal motivation for participation on the Core Competencies Task Force relates directly to her love of teaching. Having developed two hospitalist programs (one with physicians Andy Halpert, former chief of medicine for Harvard Vanguard Associations and subsequently the BWF program in 1998) she has seen firsthand that “people right out of residency do not have all the skills that they need in order to be effective hospitalists.”
As medical director of the BWF Hospitalist Service, Dr. McKean developed a weekly Harvard Medical School CME conference Update in Hospital Medicine for members of the hospitalist service, as well a medical consultation syllabus for the newest members of the hospitalist service to distribute to residents.
“I identified what the newest members of our service right out of residency didn’t learn during their residency training and tried to make sure that we would have people come in and teach them about hospital medicine,” she explains.
As the hospitalist service matured, hospitalists developed significant expertise in these topics and frequently participate in this didactic series of lectures.
“Initially,” recounts Dr. McKean, “I was the only senior physician with experience in hospital medicine, but now my job is much easier, as I continue to learn from other hospitalists in our program.”
—Sylvia C.W. McKean, MD, FACP