If you’re a community-based hospitalist who hasn’t conducted research since your residency or medical school, you may want to consider undertaking a research project to broaden your career and your skill set.
Why Add Research to Your Workload?
If you’re a non-researcher, why would you want to add this new component to an already busy workload?
“I think there are a number of reasons why a hospitalist might want to get involved in doing research,” says Peter Lindenauer, MD, MSc, FACP, medical director, Clinical and Quality Informatics, Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass., and assistant professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. You may decide to undertake research because you’re curious about a specific area and want to make some new discoveries—and expand the general body of knowledge in that area. Or you may undertake a research project, says Dr. Lindenauer, because of “a desire to help your patients more specifically—to provide better care based on your own research findings.”
But some non-academic hospitalists may decide to lead a research project for more personal reasons. “I’m someone whose career has benefited from doing research,” admits Dr. Lindenauer, pointing out that a published research study brings recognition to the study author. “It can help you establish a professional niche. By doing research, you can become a highly visible member of our professional society.”
And a more basic reason, says Dr. Lindenauer, is that “research is something that can provide diversification to your work life, and it can bring professional satisfaction. It spices up one’s career.”
QI: The Perfect Fit
A full-time hospitalist who is a novice or an inexperienced researcher obviously isn’t in a position to lead a multi-center, randomized trial or conduct extensive lab work. There is another type of research, however, that seems the perfect fit for a community-based hospitalist.