The Blog Rounds


2008-09 apparently was a good time to find a job in HM. The Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog cites a new report from Merritt Hawkins & Associates (download PDF) that shows from April 2008 to March 2009, 85% of searches offered signing bonuses averaging $24,850. That’s in contrast to 46% of searches in 2005-2006, when the average bonus was $14,030.

The report also included average salaries for HM, which was the third-most-requested search assignment following family medicine and general internal medicine. The average salary for HM during that time period, excluding benefits or productivity bonuses, was $201,000, according to the report. It represents a 14.8% increase since 2005-2006, when the annual average annual salary for a hospitalist was $175,000, according to the report.

Fun & Games

On his blog, Running a Hospital, Paul Levy, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, offers physicians a game to help them better understand the value of standardized medicine. Interestingly, the game involves drawing a pig. For instructions, visit

Work-Life Balance

In her Well blog, New York Times writer Tara Parker Pope cites a recent article from Times columnist Pauline Chen, MD, in which Dr. Chen recalls the toll her intense medical training took on her temperament and personal relationships.

Doctors responded to the post with a variety of viewpoints. Here’s what one old-timer had to say:

“I am from the era of 120-hour weeks, every second or third night on call. No ‘cap’ on the numbers of patients we admitted or carried on our service. I remember still being in the hospital at 10 p.m. after a night on call (40 hours straight). I learned how to manage the sickest patients through the entire course of their hospitalization. My residency and fellowship after medical school was seven years in duration, and I loved it. The ONLY regret I have after all these years is reading the NYT comments and blogs about all the doctor-haters and disgruntled patients who think that medicine is an easy path to riches.”

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