Always searching for new ways to enhance the value of SHM membership, the SHM Membership Committee has created several task forces to work on special projects.
Designed to build upon the success of the Annual Meeting’s Mentorship Breakfast (a one-time opportunity for SHM members to meet with experienced hospitalist clinicians and leaders), the Mentorship Task Force was convened to study opportunities to expand the use of mentoring programs for SHM members. The task force has suggested mechanisms on how to assist SHM local chapter leaders, suggestions that have resulted in the creation of recurrent conference calls between members of the Midwest Region Council and local chapter leaders in the Midwest. The Task Force has also studied creating a yearlong longitudinal mentoring program on leadership skills and continues to work on this project.
The Industry Support of Local Chapters Task Force is critically looking at the role of industry sponsorship of local chapter activities. This task force (comprising participants from the SHM Ethics and Membership Committees, Regional Councils, and local chapters) is studying two issues:
- How to assist local leaders in finding and securing sponsorship for chapter functions, and
- How to create a process to review industry sponsored grants to support local chapter meetings.
Preliminary recommendations from this task force include additions and revisions to the SHM Local Chapter Handbook about strategies and techniques to employ when negotiating with industry representatives.
Finally, the Family Practice Task Force was recently convened to study how family practice hospitalists differ from their internal-medicine-trained colleagues. Initial efforts will focus on gathering data about family-practice-trained hospitalists, defining the unique skill set that family practice has to offer hospital medicine, and reviewing the post-graduate medical training needs of family practitioner hospital medicine physicians.
In addition to these task forces, the Membership Committee will launch a new research initiative. During 2006 SHM members will be invited to share their opinions on a variety of topics via electronic surveys. Data from each survey will be regularly shared with SHM leadership for review and use in future planning.
Your support of SHM has played a vital role in helping the society to assume the leadership position that it currently holds in the hospital medicine community. Your continued support will enable us to continue to grow and provide each member with the tools they need to best serve their patients and grow their practices in the process.
Ethics Policies Revised
Real and potential conflicts addressed in revisions
By Tom Baudendistel, MD, FACP, chair, SHM Ethics Committee
Conflicts of interest have been the major theme of the SHM Ethics Committee this past year. As SHM has grown into a major force shaping healthcare policy, the need for transparency in all of the organization’s endeavors has never been greater. Rather than being reactive to individual issues that arise, the ethics committee has adopted a proactive stance in identifying potential areas of tension. Building on the general guidelines of the 2003 SHM “Principles for Organizational Relationships,” this year’s ethics committee has refined SHM policies to address the latest real and potential conflicts of interest in several areas: the Annual Meeting Abstract competitions, the Journal of Hospital Medicine, and the SHM Board.