SHM has announced the annual Awards of Excellence to hospitalists on the leading edge of the specialty. The honors recognize accomplishments in education, research, clinical care, service, and quality improvement (QI). The praises are as varied as the recipients: They hail from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, Minnesota to North Carolina.
This year’s awards, presented at the annual President’s Luncheon at HM09 in Chicago, went to:
Award for Excellence in Teaching
Eric Howell, MD, FHM
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore
Dr. Howell is an admitted introvert, so one might assume teaching isn’t the most natural application of his medical talents. But when he became chief resident at Johns Hopkins in 1999, he was forced to lead weekly education sessions. The next year, it was weekly didactic classes as an instructor. Five years later, he made assistant professor; this year he moved up again, to associate professor.
“It’s certainly not my fund of knowledge,” Dr. Howell says. “Students and I enjoy interacting because I enjoy it and I make it fun. What little knowledge I have, I pass on well.”
Dr. Howell’s laid-back style—he asks students to call him Eric, although they rarely do—serves him well in the classroom setting. However, the other hats he wears—as Bayview Medical Center’s hospitalist division director and faculty leader at Helen B. Taussig College—limit his teaching time. In a way, it’s what helped him win the award.
“Because I have many other things to do, [teaching] stays special,” says Dr. Howell, who recently joined SHM’s Board of Directors. “It’s a nice reprieve from some of the other high-pressure things, like treating a sick patient, problem-solving for my hospital, or keeping my hospitalist group running.”
Excellence in Research Award
Samir Shah, MD, MSCE, FHM
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Most medical students don’t set out to be hailed as researchers, and Dr. Shah is no exception. Still, in order to graduate from the Yale University School of Medicine, every student has to complete a research project. The research bug bit Dr. Shah, and he stayed an extra year at Yale to pursue teaching and research interests. Now he’s a leading voice for pediatric hospitalists, an assistant professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School of Medicine, and an attending physician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.