“He immediately said, ‘How do we know how this compares to what pediatricians do?’ ” Dr. Landrigan says. “I said, ‘Well, we don’t,’ So he set out on a project and asked a random sample of pediatricians around the country.”
Dr. Conway’s work revealed greater variations of care among pediatricians than among pediatric hospitalists—a finding Dr. Conway brought all the way to publication.2
HHS and AHRQ “have been very focused on issues that are near and dear to Patrick’s heart,” Dr. Landrigan says. “I think he’s got the experience and the intelligence to really make substantial contributions there. There’s no question in my mind that he’ll end up a leader in healthcare.”
One of those contributions has been to educate high-level decision-makers on a vital question.
“I have to explain every time I meet somebody what a hospitalist is,” Dr. Conway says. “We meet with everybody, from President Bush to Cabinet secretaries, and at all those meetings I say, ‘I practice generally as a pediatric hospitalist,’ at which point they say, ‘What’s a hospitalist?’ ”
That’s not likely to remain a problem as more hospitalists get involved at high levels.
“I would fully expect that we’re going to see hospitalists play a major role in assessing patient care and quality, and I hope that Patrick’s being named a White House fellow is a harbinger of that,” Dr. Clancy says. “We’re thrilled to have him here, and I hope to see more physicians taking a very serious interest in healthcare policy.” TH
Liz Tascio is a journalist based in New York.
- Conway PH, Cnann A, Zaoutis T, et al. Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Children: Risk Factors and Association With Prophylactic Antimicrobials. JAMA. 2007 July 11;298(2):179-186.
- Conway PH, Edwards S, Stucky ER, et al. Variations in management of common inpatient pediatric illnesses: hospitalists and community pediatricians. Pediatrics. 2006 Aug;118(2):441-447.