Q: Any other techniques?
A: Positive feedback always translates well. We use examples from patients who say they generally had a great experience. In many cases, it amounts to a patient saying, “The doctor was able to explain things to me in a simpler language than anyone has been able to do before, or even attempted to do.” That positive reinforcement resonates well with the doctors. We also share patient scenarios where there were opportunities for improvement.
Q: Considering the demands of your leadership roles at Preferred Health Partners and Good Samaritan Hospital, why is it still a priority for you to provide inpatient clinical care?
A: The old adage is, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Because clinical care is so broad and diverse, and because it is changing so rapidly, it behooves one to stay abreast of it. Also, when you are leading members of a group, I think it’s important to walk in the trenches with them.
Q: You joined SHM’s Young Physician Task Force and served as chairman for two years. What prompted you to participate?
A: When I joined, I had already begun my leadership role as medical director and I was an early-career hospitalist, so I felt it made sense for my professional growth. I wanted an opportunity to collaborate with leading young hospitalists in the country and help shape some of the programs the (group) was working on.
Q: What issues has the group addressed?
A: Initially, the task force was focused on getting information out to early-career hospitalists and providing resources they could utilize. It redefined its section of the SHM website (www.hospitalmedicine .org/youngphysician), which now serves as a portal with information about everything from careers in hospital medicine to how to approach residency. It also introduced the Resident’s Corner (a quarterly column in The Hospitalist, see p. 25), which caters to residents and helps them make a smooth transition to a possible career in hospital medicine. The group has developed programs for early-career hospitalists at the annual SHM meetings.
Q: What major issues are on the agenda now?
A: The group is working on developing a mentorship program for early-career hospitalists, which would be a really valuable resource. The group also is working on projects to reach medical students and residents. The goal is to get them more engaged, and help them realize the diversity and rewards that accompany a career in hospital medicine.
Q: What do you see as the benefit of the mentor program?
A: The beauty of hospital medicine is there is a lot of diversity. If you have an interest in academia, quality initiatives, or research, that’s available. If you have a leadership interest, that can definitely be attained. …
But when you have someone who has had some experience in hospital medicine and can share that experience, and you can get their insights and hear about the challenges they faced and how they faced them, it can make the transition much easier. This will provide young hospitalists with pearls of wisdom and information they may not have been able to access elsewhere.
Q: So it comes back to the idea that there’s still a lot to learn, even after medical school and residency.
A: That’s exactly right. The scope of questions that can be posed or issues that can be addressed is infinite. Beyond that, someone who has already walked that pathway can help establish the fact that hospital medicine should be looked upon as a career with many opportunities, as opposed to a transition point to an alternative career. TH