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Focus on Research


As hospital medicine progresses, it is important that our new specialty be seen as a true academic discipline—not just as a service specialty. Starting our own journal, the Journal of Hospital Medicine, in 2006 was an important step. While there are a growing number of hospitalist researchers around the country, it is important that SHM promote and support further development of researchers in hospital medicine.

This year, SHM’s research efforts will include the development of a wide research network, support for individual and organizational research initiatives, and a focus on strengthening the internal research organization. These efforts will necessarily be broad and will cut across and incorporate the efforts that are already underway in the areas of education and quality.

Goals for SHM Research Efforts

  1. Increase extramural research funding to SHM and its members;
  2. Contribute to the growing number of SHM members choosing the society for the career development and research opportunities it offers; and
  3. Improve visibility and credibility for SHM nationally (e.g., hospitalists in prominent academic leadership positions and on national panels).

The development of a wide research network will include the identification of researchers in the SHM membership with common research interests. A preliminary list has been generated from an e-mail sent to all SHM members in November 2006 promoting two NIH opportunities to study venous thromboembolism (VTE) and asking for a response from members interested in receiving similar information. A monthly grant opportunity bulletin is planned for release to this audience. As this Research Forum develops, a type of research dating service could match research interests and experience with those interested in funding such projects.

An important networking activity is finding ways to link academic and community sites. One possible mechanism to enable such collaboration is an Internet-based tool for abstracting information from a medical chart. The resulting data could be shared and used to validate quality measures, tailor therapies, or assess the prevalence of disease. Also, an inter-society Academic Summit is planned to investigate areas in which collaboration with other professional societies would be appropriate. Be sure to voice your opinions during the Special Interest Forum on Research at the 2007 Annual Meeting on May 24, 2007, in Dallas.

Support for individual and organizational research initiatives will take the form of identifying opportunities and showcasing more opportunities for research at national conferences and local meetings. By working closely to identify commonalities with the Hospital Quality and Patient Safety (HQPS) Committee around research, implementation, and education, this support is designed to be seamless and coordinated. Currently under consideration is the development of research pages on the SHM Web site to highlight ongoing research efforts, possibly including a searchable, online catalog or a database of research opportunities. As time allows, assistance with individual grant applications will be offered.

By focusing on strengthening the internal SHM research organization, an increasingly visible research committee will present a consistent message of support for research and will hopefully empower individual hospital researchers to access the resources of SHM in all possible ways, from using the resource rooms on the SHM Web site to reading the Journal of Hospital Medicine to attending chapter meetings. Strengthening the internal research infrastructure will extend the sphere of influence and raise the profile of SHM as hospitalists appear on national panels, co-authoring key papers, and participating in other research communities. Increased visibility will lead to more support for training, fellowships, and pilot grant programs for promising potential projects in high-priority areas such as health services, quality improvement, clinical epidemiologic studies (clinical trial, genomics, biomarkers), and educational and health technology research.

In 2007, expect to see a new emphasis on research at SHM. We’ll be busy developing funding streams to increase investment in promising researchers, particularly those whose projects may lead to grants and/or collaboration with other SHM researchers. Look for surveys designed to assess the unique academic and research needs of hospitalists and to find new opportunities to get involved in research at SHM conferences and the annual meeting. These efforts will be successful if they lead to an increase in the quality and the quantity of the dialogue around research in hospital medicine. Please contact Carolyn Brennan, director of Research Program Development, at for more information or to get involved.

Hospital Medicine Fast Facts click for large version

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February Leadership Academy

SHM hosted another sold-out Level I Leadership Academy in sunny Orlando at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center. The meeting attracted more than 130 hospital medicine leaders who gathered to learn—among many things—how to evaluate personal leadership strengths and weaknesses and how to apply this knowledge to everyday leadership and management challenges.

Nationally respected speakers Mike Guthrie, MD; David Javitch, PhD; Jack Silversin, DMD; Tim Keogh, PhD; Eric Howell, MD; Larry Wellikson, MD; and Russell Holman, MD, led the group in discussions on a variety of different leadership topics. Dr. Keogh kept attendees intrigued by tackling the wide range of personality traits in the industry and instructing attendees in how to work effectively with others by using his DiSC survey. As always, the group was enthusiastic and worked collaboratively during Dr. Silversin’s infamous broken squares activity, in which attendees are involved in an eye-opening experience on effective communication.

“This is our fifth time hosting this course and, every time, I’m amazed to see how enthusiastic attendees are about what they have learned and how they plan to go back and improve their organizations,” says Dr. Holman, SHM Leadership Academy Course Director and president-elect of SHM.

Leadership Academy Level I is a great networking opportunity designed to provide leaders in hospital medicine with the tangible skills and resources required to successfully lead and manage hospitalist programs now and in the future. The intimate setting allows for small group sessions in which attendees have a chance to interact with faculty and share real-life situations from their own institutions. In addition to Level I, SHM will host the advanced course, Leadership Academy Level II, in the fall. This course will allow attendees to expand and enhance the skills learned in Level I and features keynote speaker Leonard Marcus, PhD, who defined the term “Meta-Leadership” in hospital medicine.

Don’t miss out on your chance to become a leader in hospital medicine. Mark your calendar for our next Leadership Academy, November 12-15, 2007, in San Antonio.

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