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When the groundhog pops out of the ground and sees his shadow, what does it mean again? Snow, rain, global warming? Better check Google.

One thing I don’t need a search engine to find out is that readers of The Hospitalist want more pediatric HM coverage. In fact, more than 40% of respondents to our recent reader survey specifically asked for it. More than 500 readers responded, which leads me to think the numbers are pretty accurate.

In response to the overwhelming demand, I’m pleased to announce a new addition to The Hospitalist’s editorial staff. Beginning this month, Mark Shen, MD, medical director of hospital medicine at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas, will become pediatric editor for The Hospitalist. A leading authority on pediatric issues in hospital medicine, Dr. Shen has practiced as a pediatric hospitalist in the seven years since he completed his medical training and pediatric residency at the University of Texas’ Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. With Dr. Shen serving as our guide, the editorial team will expand coverage of pediatric HM with:

  • A monthly, pediatric-focused “In the Literature” review;
  • More features focusing on trends in pediatric HM; and
  • Dr. Shen’s semiannual column, in which he’ll concentrate on pediatric issues relevant to the entire HM community.

We’re glad to have Dr. Shen join us.

Digital Fever

What do a football star shooting himself in the leg, excessive and erroneous asthma diagnoses, and a respected hospitalist admitting to “being a slow learner” have in common? Each has been a lead story in eWire, our weekly e-newsletter that launched in October and appears in your inbox every Tuesday.

In “Taking the Pulse of Hospital Medicine,” we keep you apprised of the latest news and trends in HM in quick news “pieces,” providing you with useful tools, facts, and links to make your day a little easier. In response to your demand for more brief clinical updates, we recently added exclusive “In the Literature” reviews of clinical research and an HM blogosphere roundup. Keep a lookout online and on your phone, as more digital products are in the works.

HM 2009

Yes, SHM’s annual meeting is right around the corner. Early registration ends April 5, which might seem a long way off, but it really isn’t. For the record, I’m totally stoked. Not only will it be my first HM convention, but it will be a homecoming of sorts. I was raised outside of Chicago, in the long shadow of the Sears Tower, and have suffered as a diehard Cubs baseball fan. Sigh. The Cubbies will be in town that week, and I invite convention-goers to visit the hallowed brick house known as Wrigley Field (it’s 15 minutes from the HM09 hotel base).

But back to work. Our editorial staff is conjuring up some exciting HM09 coverage plans. In addition to previews of the big event, we’re planning special daily—yes, daily—news, features, and multimedia offerings from Chicago. Stay tuned.

And, for the record, Google directed me to a Web site that explained everything you need to know about woodchucks—er, groundhogs. When Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of winter. Let’s hope it doesn’t. TH

Jason Carris is editor of The Hospitalist.

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