This April, at Hospital Medicine 2008, SHM announced plans to introduce the Fellow in Hospital Medicine (FHM) designation. SHM’s first class of “fellows” will be inducted at Hospital Medicine 2009 in Chicago.
As the fall rollout of the program approaches, and as the electronic and print promotions begin, we wanted to continue to share more of the behind-the-scenes details as preparations enter the home stretch. A good deal of research, deliberation, and hard work has gone into the crafting of this program. It’s important to us to publicly thank those involved, and offer you our perspective on why we’re convinced the FHM program will be positively received throughout the hospital medicine community.
Getting to April’s public announcement was the result of hard work by many, especially SHM’s Membership Committee. This group of volunteer members worked diligently the past year to create a structure the society’s Board of Directors unanimously approved.
Prior to significant deliberations, the committee spent a good deal of time scrutinizing similar programs in comparable medical organizations. This included analyzing applications and other collateral materials. Discussions were held regarding which elements easily could transfer to hospital medicine and which didn’t fit our organizational DNA.
From there, the committee began bimonthly discussions on the best form for a fellows program.
Early in this process, it was decided that criteria should closely dovetail with SHM’s Core Competencies in Hospital Medicine as a method of ensuring the program’s credibility throughout all corners of the hospital medicine community.
With the core competencies as the foundation, the next important decision was reached: that the fellows program should be inclusive within our specialty. This concept led to a core goal publicly identifying those who decided to make hospital medicine their career and to note their continued growth in the specialty through higher levels of recognition. As a result, the “Senior Fellow” and “Masters” designations were added to the mix.
Once a draft set of criteria was created, the committee conducted a pilot program tested on a cross section of members. This, along with feedback from SHM’s Board of Directors, gave the committee additional information with which to fine-tune the program and led to its approval at the January board meeting.