In February we experienced a landmark in the development of the field of hospital medicine with the publication of the premiere issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine (JHM). The debut of JHM demonstrates that hospital medicine is maturing as a field and—even more importantly—that it is developing as a new field with specific issues relevant to its practice.
It is difficult to overestimate the critical role that our journal will play in the growth of our field. The content for the inaugural issue of JHM reflects the depth and breadth of hospital medicine—community acquired pneumonia, palliative care, gastrointestinal bleeding, geriatrics, and a patient’s perspective on hospital care. The many authors who submitted their manuscripts took a leap of faith that our journal would be a respected and widely read vehicle for disseminating their hard work. This leap is even greater given that JHM is not yet listed in PubMed. Nonetheless these authors believe that JHM will thrive, be well read, and influence practice and patient care.
I agree because I know the talent of hospitalists and the potential of our field. The first issue of JHM also included a supplement devoted to the core competencies in hospital medicine. These core competencies represent another milestone in the growth of our field. With the core competencies we have outlined the specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes that define who we are and what we do.
Bringing a journal from concept to reality takes a Herculean effort by many people. I especially want to thank Mark Williams, MD, editor of JHM, for his leadership and grand vision for JHM that reflects our society and field so well. I also want to thank the associate editors and editorial board for giving their time, energy, and expertise to our journal.
I want to share my gratitude and appreciation for Larry Wellikson, MD, the CEO of SHM, who took an idea and mandate presented by the SHM Board of Directors and “operationalized” it in the most effective way. Finally, I want to thank Vickie Thaw, associate publisher at John Wiley & Sons, and her publishing team who have been such great partners in this endeavor.
Growth in Research at the SHM
Papers published in JHM represent only the tip of the iceberg of research in hospital medicine. This year we had 176 abstracts submitted for presentation at our annual meeting in May. These abstracts in research, innovations, and vignettes reflect the enthusiasm, interest, and dedication of many hospitalists. I am always impressed as I read the abstracts and wander through the poster session at the amount of work and creativity represented.
What is even more impressive about these abstracts is that they reflect the breadth of hospital medicine—adult medicine and pediatrics; academic and community hospitals; clinical work and administration; internal medicine, family practice, and pediatrics; disease-specific treatments; and system approaches to care. This year for the first time we will publish the abstracts in a supplement to both The Hospitalist and JHM. All hospitalists who have an abstract accepted for the meeting will be able to cite their work. The supplement marks another advance for our society and field.
I hope that many of you who have submitted abstracts will consider turning them into manuscripts and submitting to JHM. Abstracts whet the appetite to know more, and papers provide the details to improve care.