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A Fond Farewell


Whatever with the past has gone, the best is always yet to come.

—Lucy Larcom, 19th century poet and writer

It is hard to believe, but this is my last column to write as president of SHM. It has been another remarkable year for hospital medicine. The field continues to grow, and that presents our growing organization with many challenges. Once again, we are rising to the challenge, and it has been a big year at SHM. Most of what we have done has had very little to do with me, but is the result of tremendous work by our many members and our staff.

Just a few highlights of the last 12 months:

  • The number of hospitalists surpassed 20,000;
  • The number of Hospital Medicine Groups (HMGs) grew to more than 2,000;
  • Registration for the SHM Annual Meeting exceeded 1,000 for the first time;
  • Almost 200 abstracts were submitted to the SHM Poster Competition;
  • The Journal of Hospital Medicine (JHM) published its first issue in 2006 and within a year took its place with established journals by being listed by the National Library of Medicine in PubMed; and
  • In a landmark decision, the ABIM Board approved Focused Recognition of Hospital Medicine as part of Internal Medicine Maintenance of Certification.
The field continues to grow, and that presents our growing organization with many challenges.

The board spent two days with our key committee chairmen and staff to examine our current projects and direction. This will lay the groundwork for continuing the dialogue about how we can best serve our members and be prepared to meet the needs of the sea change in healthcare.

  • Don Berwick invited SHM leadership to represent the only medical professional society on stage at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Annual Convention as IHI announced its latest national quality improvement campaign;
  • SHM embarked on a unique effort to use one-on-one hospitalist leader mentoring to push the implementation of quality improvement to the front lines;
  • The SHM board approved funds for a study that will examine the feasibility of a foundation to support research and education in hospital medicine;
  • SHM became a player in advocacy when almost 100 hospitalists met with their legislators in Washington, D.C.;
  • More than 400 SHM members used the Legislative Action Center to write to their legislators as SHM lobbied Congress to improve Medicare reimbursement; and
  • SHM grew into a solid organization with more than $5 million in revenues.

We continue to receive grant funding to support our efforts in quality improvement and to export our resources to the front lines of healthcare. A growing number of organizations recognize our expanding role in caring for the country’s patients. We have a reputation for moving relentlessly forward. This makes us different than many other organizations. It is a characteristic that we need to hold onto as the organization grows and ages.

My best wishes to the next slate of officers and to all of our members. Thank you for the opportunity; it’s been a privilege. There are more great things to come! TH

Dr. Gorman is the outgoing president of SHM.

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