For an early-career hospitalist like Michele DeKorte, MD, HM10 offers a plethora of opportunities for practical knowledge and bushels of take-home points. “This is my first time, and I’m excited to be here,” Dr. DeKorte said moments after registering for HM10 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just outside Washington, D.C.
Dr. DeKorte, who has worked as a hospitalist at the University of California at San Diego since 2008, is one of a record 2,500 hospitalists registered for SHM’s annual meeting. She and hundreds of other hospitalists were taking part in Thursday’s lineup of pre-courses.
“I’m doing the procedures pre-course [Essential Procedures for the Hospitalist A Hands-on Experience] in the afternoon. I like procedures, so I think it will be fun,” she said, noting she will focus on the clinical track throughout the four-day event, which features more than 90 educational sessions. “It’s more interesting to me at this stage of the game. I want to have a better idea of how people are practicing HM around the country.”
Catherine Fitzgerald, DO, has worked as a hospitalist since 2005 and is attending her first annual meeting. For two years, she worked in an administrative role with CPMG at St. Joseph’s Memorial Hospital in Denver, and she plans to attend a smattering of practice-management sessions. “I also sit on our heart-failure committee at St. Joseph’s, so I have signed up for the session ‘How to Prevent Heart Failure Readmissions.’” she explained. “The meeting sessions are good reviews of things you already know, and interspersed in the discussions usually are these little pearls of new knowledge for your practice.”
In addition to aiming to improve her HM practice, Dr. Fitzgerald is excited to be in the nation’s capital with loved ones. Dr. Fitzgerald’s mother and 6-year-old son are scheduled to visit the White House.
“I’ll be at the conference all day, but that’s OK,” she said, with a hint of jealousy. “It was snowing in Denver, and we had to de-ice the plane last night. It’s 80 and sunny here, so this is beautiful.”
One of Dr. DeKorte’s colleagues at UCSD, Diana Childers, MD, was filling up the tank of knowledge in the “Documentation and Coding for Hospitalists” pre-course. Dr. Childers is one of the UCSD group’s billing experts, and Dr. DeKorte was looking forward to picking her brain.
“It’s still overwhelming to me,” Dr. DeKorte says. “I’m hoping she’ll pass along the nuggets, the gems of billing and coding.”