Having grown up in the shadows of the Windy City, I always wanted to work in the Sears Tower, jog along Lake Shore Drive, catch a comedy show at the Chicago Theater, and—just like every other 11-year-old boy—hop the subway to Wrigley Field for Chicago Cubs’ day games. It’s been nearly two decades since I left Chicago’s suburbs, yet I still refer to the Windy City as my home.
It’s safe to say I’m a little excited about attending my first annual meeting in my favorite U.S. city. An expanded HM09 runs May 14-17 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. The 2,000-room base hotel is the perfect location for learning and leisure. It’s just a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan, Navy Pier, museums, great restaurants, and shopping. If you weren’t able to make it to HM05 in Chicago—or aren’t familiar with the stretch of Michigan Avenue known as the Magnificent Mile—it has something for everyone, and it’s easily accessible on foot or by taxi, subway, or horse-drawn carriage.
I know times are tough, but if you can, plan to spend an extra day or two and soak up all that Chicago has to offer. May is a great time to visit Chicago: The temperature should be in the 70s, and thousands of tulips will be in full bloom. The Art Institute of Chicago is opening a new wing and admission will be free May 16-22; the 11th annual Great Chicago Places & Spaces festival is May 16 and offers hundreds of free architectural tours; and Lincoln Park Zoo (a 15-minute cab ride from downtown) is celebrating Bear Awareness Week. For you green thumbs, the Chicago Farmers Market, which offers fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers, is right around the corner from the Hyatt at Daley Plaza. Feeling ambitious? You can embark on a tour of President Obama’s Chicago; just follow the user-friendly map at www.chicagotribune.com/travel/chi-obama-chicago-htmlstory,0,506256.htmlstory.
Chicago’s nightlife offers something for every taste—beer gardens, IMAX theaters, comedy shows, and live music of all genres. If you’re a sports fan, the Cubs will be in town, and the resurgent Blackhawks could be in the NHL playoffs. If you are looking for a sports bar to watch your favorite team, look no further than Houlihan’s (right next door to the hotel) and Mother Hubbard’s (two blocks north of the hotel).
Dare I forget to mention the main reason HM09 attracts thousands of the nation’s top hospitalists—a world-class continuing medical education lineup, first-rate faculty, and endless networking opportunities? The addition of a fourth meeting day dedicated solely to clinical and practice management precourses not only allows for a less-hectic meeting schedule, but it also cements HM09 as a forward-thinking, education-focused annual conference.
In addition to a pair of powerhouse keynote speakers and the annual Awards of Excellence, SHM will induct its first class of Fellows in Hospital Medicine at HM09. Built using SHM’s Core Competencies, the FHM designation recognizes individuals who have chosen HM as a career and have the credentials to represent the emerging specialty. SHM received more than 600 applications for the FHM designation, and more than 400 hospitalists will be inducted in the first class.
It hardly seems possible, but HM09 is right around the corner. The editorial team here at The Hospitalist has a few aces up our sleeves, too. More on those in the May issue! Also, don’t forget to stop by The Hospitalist booth (listed in the program as the Wiley-Blackwell booth) to introduce yourself, exchange business cards, sign up for a cool prize, and share your ideas on the future of HM. TH
Jason Carris is editor of The Hospitalist.