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Katherine Dallow, MD, is attending HM09 to interact with colleagues, take a variety of CME courses, and to prepare for American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) board certification.

"I already feel smarter," says Dr. Dallow, a hospitalist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Dr. Dallow, one of more than 2,000 hospitalists attending the annual meeting, says she enjoys how SHM condenses all of its events into four days. "There is not a single period of time when there isn't a lecture you want to go to," she says.

In fact, HM09's course offerings are what motivated Gonzalo Eymin, MD, to travel to Chicago from his hometown of Santiago, Chile. Dr. Eymin, one of six internists at Clinical Hospital of the Catholic University of Chile who work primarily with inpatients, says he wants to learn how the HM model works in the U.S. The term "hospitalist" doesn't exist in Chile, he says.

"It's changing in the medical environment, but the economic people, the people who handle the money, [are who] we have to convince," he says.

Even though he's been a practicing hospitalist since 1993, J. Kevin Shustari, MD, FHM, is as confused as ever about reimbursement issues. That's why he's focusing on HM09's coding and billing sessions.

"There are things that are still nebulous," says Dr. Shustari, director of Hospital Internists of New London, an HM group based in Farmington, Conn. "One of the things that’s really gratifying to see is that everybody is struggling with the same issues across the country on a national level: billing, how to conduct a practice effectively, scheduling. We’re still an evolving specialty, so we’re all still learning."

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