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A Blog of His Own


 

Dr. Wachter

Anyone who has attended the closing session of an SHM Annual Meeting or read one of his editorial pieces in The Hospitalist or other publications knows that Bob Wachter, MD, sees the world in a unique and uniquely informed way.

This fall, Dr. Wachter—professor and associate chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), co-founder of SHM, and the man who coined the term “hospitalist” (along with Lee Goldman, MD)—will regularly share his one-of-a-kind perspective via a Weblog, or blog. Tentatively titled “Wachter’s World,” the hospital medicine blog will debut at www.the-hospitalist.org in time for the “Management of the Hospitalized Patient” session Oct. 4-6 at UCSF. The in-depth course serves as the West Coast regional meeting of SHM.

Bob’s Blog Style

The blog written onsite during SHM’s Annual Meeting this May was a test-run of Dr. Wachter’s blogging style. A sample of his writing posted May 22 immediately before the conference began:

“Looking forward to seeing everybody soon. Although the size and scope of the SHM annual gathering are sure to awe everybody, it’ll be particularly amazing for those of us who remember the early confabs a decade ago—100 or so visionaries (or lunatics), joined by a few homeless people wandering in to see what the fuss was about. And the Gaylord is a trip, with rushing rivers, a nine-story oil derrick in the lobby, and a canyon. You know, just like the Holiday Inn.”—JJ

“Even an old guy like me realizes that blogs are incredibly hot,” says Dr. Wachter. “And as I read more of them and began relying on them more for information and insights, I started looking for one in our field that was lively, engaging and informative, one I’d like to read. I couldn’t find anything, so I thought I should start one.”

When Dr. Wachter approached SHM about hosting his blog, the organization’s leadership was quite interested—especially because SHM was already considering starting its own blog.

“SHM’s audience is perfect for the growing blog medium,” says Larry Wellikson, MD, the CEO of SHM. “We saw this with the enormous response to the SHM blogs at the May 2007 Annual Meeting.”

So “Wachter’s World” will be found on The Hospitalist’s Web site, where Dr. Wachter will post regular updates—he estimates typically three or four times a week.

“SHM’s partnership with Bob Wachter to launch an innovative blog, housed on the Web site for the most widely read publication in hospital medicine, SHM’s The Hospitalist, just makes sense as hospitalists need to hear new ideas and meet the challenge to be the change agents for the hospital of the future,” Dr. Wellikson says. “Wachter has proven himself a nationally sought-after thought leader who has something to say about hospital medicine, patient safety, improving quality, and the future of medicine.”

Dr. Wachter has a unique perspective on, well, everything. His years of experience working in hospital medicine as well as his high-level involvement in shaping the field—such as his position as chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Committee on Hospital Medicine Focused Recognition—allows him ground-level and big-picture views of issues and trends that affect hospitalists’ work.

He often makes unique connections and forms original opinions on those issues—whether addressing road bumps a hospitalist runs into on the job or policy points that may change that job—and he plans to share those connections and opinions in his blog.

“I want to comment on the confluence of real stuff we all see day to day and the things that influence our field,” Dr. Wachter says. And he certainly has plenty of subjects to cover.

“There are so many issues that cross my retina every day that I think are of interest to hospitalists,” he says. “I see things in context—how they develop and how they all fit together, including trends as they develop. This blog will show my point of view—not on the differences in healthcare policy between Clinton’s camp and Obama’s camp—but closer to the ground. I’ll cover what relates to all of us.” TH

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