Hospitalists can buck the tide of physician dissatisfaction in this era of reimbursement uncertainties, productivity pressures, and regulatory burdens.
Here’s fresh evidence: One of the larger HM groups in the U.S.—IPC: The Hospitalist Company Inc.—recently was named one of the “Best Places to Work in Healthcare” by Modern Healthcare. The 2009 rankings were based on employee perceptions of work environment, role satisfaction, leadership and planning, culture and communications, pay and benefits, and other variables.
“Infrastructure support is key to our physicians’ satisfaction,” says IPC founder, chairman, and CEO Adam Singer, MD. A virtual office enables IPC physicians to consult with more than 1,000 colleagues serving close to 500 facilities in 19 states. Extensive business training also helps IPC physicians become proficient in coding and billing, leading meetings, speaking the language of hospital administration, and other business-savvy topics, Dr. Singer says.
Professional respect and autonomy are other chief drivers of satisfaction, according to Douglas W. Carlson, MD, FHM, SHM Career Satisfaction Task Force member. “While compensation is certainly a factor, more important is the recognition hospitalists now receive from colleagues in other specialties who see them as real go-to leaders and experts in hospital-based care,” says Dr. Carlson, who is director of the division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Also key, he adds, is the move to shift schedules with more balanced workloads that allow hospitalists to stay intellectually stimulated.