Dr. Amin has shared his passion for quality improvement and curriculum development with all of hospital medicine. As chair of SHM’s education committee, he pushed for the first education summit in 2001, securing support to form a core-curriculum task force. Four years later, Dr. Amin and a small group of industry leaders published “Core Competencies in Hospital Medicine” in the Journal of Hospital Medicine (www.hospitalmedicine.org/corecomp).
“Dr. Amin has really set the trend [for improved hospital performance], not only here for the hospitalist program, but nationwide,” says David N. Bailey, MD, dean and vice chancellor for UC Irvine Health Affairs.
Hospitalists have been advancing into leadership positions in the private sector for many years. It’s been a slower ascent in the academic medical center setting.
“Until recently, it would not have been possible to ascend to the level of chair at most academic centers unless your background was in biomedical and basic science research,” says Robert Wachter, MD, professor and chief of the division of HM at the University of California San Francisco, a former SHM president and author of the blog Wachter’s World (www.wachtersworld .com). “Quality, patient safety, and systems improvement were not considered to be legitimate enough academic work to garner the necessary credibility. I think that’s changing.”
Jeffrey Wiese, MD, FACP, professor of medicine and associate dean for graduate medical education at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and an SHM board member, believes Dr. Amin’s interim appointment “speaks in broad strokes to the new skill set—that is, financial and organizational abilities—that are increasingly becoming valued by academic medicine.” Agendas of patient safety, quality, and delivery of efficient, cost-effective, and safe healthcare are gaining parity, Dr. Wiese says, with academic research agendas. “For one to supercede the other is not a good thing, but for the two to be in balance, I think, is a very good thing,” he says.
Dr. Bailey appointed Dr. Amin to what he describes as a “long-term” interim post last June. To make his decision, Dr. Bailey consulted with 11 division chiefs, and Dr. Amin emerged as the leading candidate. “Alpesh does it all, from clinical research to leading a department to running an outstanding hospitalist service,” Dr. Bailey says. “He’s really a renaissance physician.”
The promotion coincides with another of Dr. Amin’s recent accomplishments: He received the Laureate Award for the California Southern Region 2 of the American College of Physicians.
Ever energetic, Dr. Amin is not resting on his laurels. “I’m looking forward to helping the department continue to be a flagship within the UC Irvine School of Medicine,” he says. “This is a challenging and positive opportunity to balance systems-based practice, the business of medicine, and the science of medicine.”
Dr. Amin thinks his appointment signifies the new opportunities open to the growing number of U.S. hospitalists—now more than 28,000 strong and growing every day. “This [appointment] shows that hospitalists can move in the direction of being both academic leaders and healthcare administrative leaders.” TH