Step 2: Once you’re hired, set short- and long-term performance goals. Understand what you want to be recognized for, and outline what you want to accomplish—whether it’s a research project, a leadership role on a committee, or simply a standard of patient care you set for yourself.
Step 3: Participate in SHM chapter meetings. Network with physicians from other hospital medicine groups, get involved, and make a name for yourself.
How Your Rewards Stack up
Whether you’re questioning the compensation package at your long-term hospitalist position or weighing a decision on taking a new job, you’ll turn to available benchmark data on hospital medicine.
“There are a lot ways that benchmarks help and hurt,” warns Dr. Bennett. “Some of it isn’t very good because it’s based on very small numbers. If you’re dealing with an employer that relies on data [for compensation levels], it’s important to know what data they’re using. A reliable employer should share that information. Even the SHM benchmark data—which is probably the best we have, since it’s based on several thousand practicing hospitalists in a variety of settings—can’t always tell you how your job compares.”
Many variations within groups and individual jobs make it hard to compare positions side by side. Differentiating factors include salary and other compensation factors, patient load, shifts and schedule (including nights and weekends), and job responsibilities.
“Sometimes you can use the number of work [relative value units] RVUs to compare workloads,” Dr. Bennett suggests.
As with all the pillars of career satisfaction, the rewards and recognitions that come with your job must be measured against what other hospitalist positions offer—but more importantly against your values and priorities. TH
Jane Jerrard has written for The Hospitalist since 2005.