Medicolegal Issues

SHM to Debut Fellow in HM


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.

Chapter Updates



The Indiana chapter met May 1 in Indianapolis. Guest speakers included Mark Helsloot, claims specialist, who discussed the medical malpractice process, documentation, and recent case law, as well as Jon Pinnick, malpractice attorney, who discussed deposition preparation and pitfalls. The meeting was attended by 29 chapter members representing nine hospitalist groups.

Madison, Wis.

The Madison, Wis., chapter met April 24. The meeting was attended by 12 people from five hospitalist programs. As it was the first meeting for the chapter, the group discussed their mission and goals for SHM and what they wanted to get from their SHM memberships and the future chapter meetings.

Palmetto, S.C.

The newly formed Palmetto, S.C., chapter met May 15 in Conway, S.C. The meeting was attended by 10 people from three hospitalist medicine programs. Patrick Cawley, MD, president of SHM, shared a presentation on the current status and future of hospitalist medicine. The group then elected officers: Beth Cardosi, MD, hospitalist leader of McLeod Regional Medical Center, president; Lisa Tarbert, MD, hospitalist, Carolina Health Specialists, president-elect; and Ellie Novin-Baheran, MD at Conway Hospital, secretary.

Rocky Mountain


The Rocky Mountain chapter met Feb. 21 at the Denver Aquarium. Speakers included Greg Maynard, MD, MSc, division chief of hospital medicine at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. who discussed Hospital Acquired Venous Thromboembolism. The meeting was attended by 40 chapter members representing 10 hospital medicine groups.

Western Massachusetts

The Western Massachusetts chapter met May 12 in Northampton. Guest speaker Alan Fein, MD, gave a talk on “Managing Asthma in the Hospital: A Case-Based Approach.” Attendees represented three local hospitals.

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.

With approval in hand, work has transitioned to creating an application and candidate review process. Again, the committee is hard at work reviewing how others approach this piece of their programs and is deep in deliberation on the best approach for SHM. Even though it’s the summer, this process will be as thorough as all the work to date.

When you’re considering whether or not to complete that first FHM application, and apply to join our inaugural class, please know that the FHM designation:

  • Is firmly rooted in the core competencies of our specialty;
  • Represents a way to tell your colleagues, your employers, and your patients that you are a hospitalist; and
  • Came to be because of the hard work and dedication of a group of your peers.

In the coming months, we will continue to share details of the program and answer common questions.

If you have any questions about the upcoming fellowship program, please do not hesitate to contact our office by calling (800) 843-3360.

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