Medicolegal Issues

Renewal Made Easy


Effective April 1, SHM migrated from the fiscal-year renewal process that exists in many medical societies. Now, all members who wish to continue their membership must renew 12 months from the time they joined or last renewed.

As members will recall, SHM’s previous fiscal-year (or calendar-year) renewal process meant dues paid between July 1 and June 30 applied to the current membership year, regardless of the date of joining or renewal. Because full payment could be made in January or February and required again a few months later, this did not sit well with SHM or—more importantly—its members.

Why make the change? Two reasons:

  • Fairness. Each membership payment should equal 12 months of member benefits; and
  • Simplicity. It will be easier for members to plan for renewal and budget accordingly.

Chapter Summary

Western Massachusetts

The Western Massachusetts Chapter of SHM met Aug. 28 in Springfield. The presenter for the evening, William McGee, MD, gave a presentation on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia. Dr. McGee is assistant professor of medicine and surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, and chairman, Nutrition Committee, Baystate Medical Center, Springfield. The event was attended by representatives of five local hospital medicine groups.


Interested in being a part of an SHM committee or task force? Now’s your chance. Nominations are open for SHM’s committees and task forces. This is your opportunity to help shape the future of SHM and the hospital medicine movement.

To nominate yourself, visit the SHM Web site,­, and click on “About SHM,” then click “Committees.” Here, you will see a full listing of committees, as well as task forces and their current members.

For each committee you would like to serve on, please submit your name and a one-to-two paragraph statement about why you are qualified or interested. E-mail this information to Joi Seabrooks at by Dec. 7. Appointments will be made by early February, take effect in April 2008, and last one year.

In the short term, this change means little for current members as long as they renew within the grace period. In the long term, members will receive an expiration date with their payment so they know they’re getting a full year’s worth of benefits.

It’s never too late to join or renew. Whether your membership has lapsed in the past year, two years, or five, renewing is as easy as a phone call or access to the Internet. SHM membership representatives can be reached by calling toll free (800) 843-3360, or by visiting If you’re not sure of your membership status, have questions about membership or the new renewal process, or general feedback as an SHM member, please e-mail

Lessons for Leaders

SHM hosted another sold-out Leadership Academy at the Marriott Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 5-8. The meeting attracted more than 170 hospital medicine leaders for the Level I and Level II courses.

The Leadership Academy Level I was designed to provide leaders in hospital medicine the skills and resources to lead and manage programs. Small group sessions gave attendees a chance to interact with faculty and share personal experiences from their own institutions.

Jack Silversin, DMD, DrPh, president of the consulting firm Amicus in Cambridge, Mass., presented his well-known “broken squares” demonstration to teach the group to work together to learn effective communication. This course allowed attendees to evaluate personal leadership strengths and weaknesses and apply them to everyday leadership and management challenges.

The Level II course focused on discussions about culture change, negotiation skills, and finance. Level II faculty member Leonard Marcus, PhD, described how “meta-leadership” in hospital medicine links individuals through their leader’s vision to create enthusiastic followers. Dr. Marcus is founding director of the Program for Health Care Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at the Harvard School of Public Health. Mike Guthrie, MD, MBA, focused his presentation on finance and taught participants concepts and tools for mastering the case for quality improvement and performance management. Dr. Guthrie is executive-in-residence at the University of Colorado Denver School of Business.

Hospital Medicine Fast Facts click for large version

click for large version

This course is a must-have for those who want to expand upon leadership skills learned in Level I or for those who have an MBA and want to improve their leadership in clinical care.

The skills discussed in this session are essential to developing and implementing quality improvement programs, patient safety initiatives, and other programs to make system changes that improve patient care. Don’t miss out on the next opportunity to attend Level II.

Leadership Academy Level I and II were jam-packed with relevant materials and tools applicable to business and the real world.

This is an outstanding opportunity for those beginning their leadership journey or those wanting to take their skills to the next level.

Don’t miss the next opportunity to become a leader in hospital medicine. The next meeting will take place Feb. 5-8, 2008, at the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort in Las Vegas. Visit or call (800) 843-3360 for more information.

Participate in SHM’s 2008 HM survey

SHM’s “Bi-Annual Survey on the State of the Hospital Medicine Movement” is regularly cited by in academic studies, media articles, and in negotiations between hospital medicine groups and institutions where they work. The findings from the survey are one of the most ordered publications year after year.

In early October, SHM invited hospital medicine group leaders to participate in the latest edition of the survey. Deadline for leaders to return their completed survey is Dec. 31. Results will be released during “Hospital Medicine 2008,” SHM’s annual meeting scheduled for April 3-5 in San Diego.

The survey provides a thorough snapshot of hospital medicine practice in key areas including scheduling, compensation, and levels of institutional support.

By participating in the survey or encouraging your group leader to do so, you will help ensure the final results are as representative of the true state of the hospital medicine movement as possible.

Complete data benefits not only individual practices, but the hospital medicine specialty as a whole. Individual physicians and groups will be able to benchmark their activity against peers, and SHM will be able to more effectively speak for the hospital medicine movement within the halls of government as well as with other medical organizations.

If you are a group leader and did not a receive a survey invitation, you can still participate. Individual hospitalists can also play a role by encouraging their group leader to complete the survey.

To request a copy of the survey or find out if your group was included in the original invitation mailing, please contact Christine Litwa at or by calling (800) 843-3360.


The SHM team seeks your feedback at fall conferences

By Todd Von Deak

During my years in association management, I have seen time and time again how easy it is—and how dangerous it can be—to lose touch with your membership. If you truly want to deliver a high-quality product to all who belong to your organization, it is not enough to just read letters or listen to your most active members who serve on committees.

SHM places high value on maintaining a strong connection to all members. To that end, we employ a variety of feedback mechanisms that range from ensuring that all staff have the opportunity to interact with members on the phone, to fielding regular surveys that solicit feedback on a variety of topics.

Each fall, we do something that can easily go unnoticed. But it’s crucial to maintaining a strong connection to the community we serve. Over a four-month span, our staff and volunteer leaders will participate in 10 to 12 hospital medicine conferences ranging from Vancouver, Canada, to Savannah, Ga.

At these conferences, you are likely to find us in the exhibit hall staffing an SHM display. Other times, a physician making a presentation about some facet of hospital medicine will represent us and include a couple of slides about the latest news from within SHM.

No matter our role at a conference, our goal is the same. Whether we’re at an event for one or four days, we want to talk with as many people as possible about everything going on within hospital medicine.

We’re also anxious to hear the latest from the “front lines” and learn new ways we can improve our products and services to better serve your needs. To that end, we keep detailed statistics about the issues you raise and questions you ask when you visit our booth. These metrics are shared with executive management so they have the benefit of direct feedback.

Sure, these events are about signing up new members, selling copies of popular publications, and encouraging registrations for upcoming events. If we didn’t do these things, our dues would be higher.

These events are just as much about making sure we don’t lose touch with the very reason that we all come to work each day: You. You can’t replace the opportunity to look people in the eye, thank them for their support, and hear firsthand how you can make a difference for them personally and professionally.

Next time you’re attending a conference, please take a moment to see if SHM is an exhibitor. If we are, I hope you’ll visit our booth and let us know what’s on your mind and how SHM can continue to improve what we offer.

If you know of an event where hospital medicine is a hot topic and you think we’d benefit from attending, I’d love to hear from you. My e-mail is TH

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