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5 Must-Do’s for Hospitalists in 2010


For the ambitious hospitalist, 2010 will be an eventful year. The next 12 months will be filled with new and exciting opportunities to establish credentials in the specialty and to find venues for continuing education.

But the time to start is now.

The new Recognition of Focused Practice (RFP) in Hospital Medicine application process begins this month and, if last year is any indicator, SHM’s annual conference in April will sell out well in advance.

Begin the RFP Application Process

Don’t wait for HM10 to begin applying for the RFP in HM designation. American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM)-certified diplomates don’t have to wait for their maintenance of certification (MOC) to expire in order to apply. Instead, typical hospitalists can begin the process if they:

  • Have completed training in internal medicine;
  • Are certified in internal medicine; and
  • Have engaged for at least three years in a practice that focuses primarily on HM.

Award-winning HOSPITAL CEO is Featured SPEAKER at HM10

For Paul Levy, addressing hospitalists as a featured presenter at HM10 in Washington, D.C., makes perfect sense. As president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, he sees firsthand the value hospitalists bring to patients and the 621-bed academic hospital.

“We place a heavy emphasis on eliminating harm, and hospitalists are key in that effort,” Levy says. “They have constant contact with the systems and patients on the floor, and they’re people we count on to come up with solutions.”

Though the conference is months away, Levy already knows the general focus of his presentation: eliminating preventable harm. He plans to talk about the medical center’s progress in reducing preventable harm, ideas for the future, the role of transparency, and different approaches to process improvement.

Given that Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center was one of three AHA-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize honorees in 2009, he will be speaking from a position of authority. “It’s really nice to be recognized for what we’re doing, but we’re only taking baby steps in elimination of harm and process improvement,” he says. “We take those awards as encouragement to do even better.”

For 2010, Levy predicts an increased role for hospitalists in new programs at Beth Israel Deaconess. In particular, Project GRACE, a “geriatric bundle” of care for elderly patients that pairs the medical center’s gerontologists with hospitalists, was in pilot stage in 2009 and will be rolled out in full this year.

Paul Levy’s blog, Running a Hospital, is available at

Hospitalists who satisfy those requirements can begin the process this month by developing and submitting attestations that demonstrate their focus on HM and their commitment to the specialty. The certification process requires that the hospitalist and a senior executive at his or her hospital each submit an attestation.

Once the attestations are submitted and accepted, ABIM will provide more information on the exam, which is scheduled for October. Registration for the exam will begin in May. Detailed information about the application process will be presented at the ABIM pre-course at HM10. For more information, visit

Register for HM10

With an agenda packed with networking events, eight pre-courses and more than 90 educational sessions, Hospital Medicine 2010 in Washington, D.C., promises to be the event for hospitalists of all stripes. The conference begins with pre-courses on Thursday, April 8, and runs through Sunday, April 11.

This year’s pre-courses will cover a range of topics, from critical care to practice management and quality improvement (QI). New hospitalists can receive an introduction to the specialty at “Early Career Hospitalist: Skills for Success,” while physicians certified by ABIM can participate in the interactive MOC learning sessions. The ABIM session will include information about the inaugural MOC through the RFP in HM.

SHM’s annual meeting kicks off on Friday, April 9, with featured speaker Paul Levy, president and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. His presentation will focus on the role hospitalists will play in the hospital of the future.

On Sunday, HM thought-leader Robert Wachter, MD, FHM, chief of the hospital medicine division, professor, and associate chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, a former SHM president, and author of the blog Wachter’s World, will share his thoughts about how healthcare reform will change HM, and vice versa.

Sandwiched in between will be sessions on every area of hospital medicine, including:

  • Quality improvement;
  • Hospitalist practice management;
  • New research in HM;
  • Clinical practice; and
  • Pediatric HM.

For more information, visit the HM10 section of

Apply for FHM, SFHM

The deadline for SHM Fellow applications is Jan. 15. This year, in addition to new fellows, the first class of senior fellows (SFHM) will be inducted at HM10.

More than 500 hospitalists were a part of the inaugural class of fellows introduced at HM09. Since then, the letters have begun to pop up everywhere. Hospitalists across the country are attaching “FHM” to their name and credentials for additional prestige and credibility among their peers.

Based on SHM’s Core Competencies in Hospital Medicine, the FHM and SFHM designations represent a hospitalist’s commitment to excellence, systems change, and QI. In addition to demonstrated experience in teamwork, leadership, and QI (scored on a point-based system), all qualified candidates must have:

  • Five years completed as a practicing hospitalist;
  • No disciplinary action that resulted in the suspension or revocation of credentials or license within five years; and
  • Two SHM member endorsements.

Requirements for the SFHM designation are similar to that of FHM but require additional experience in leadership. In addition to using the SFHM designation, all fellows receive a personalized certificate from SHM, a listing on the SHM Web site, and a discount on SHM events and materials.

For more information, visit www.

Chapter Updates

Low Country/Southern S.C. Chapter

The Low Country/Southern S.C. chapter met Sept. 29 at Grill 225 in downtown Charleston. Guest speaker Danny Steinburg, a local interventional cardiologist at Medical University of South Carolina, gave a presentation on acute coronary syndrome and guideline therapy. The next meeting is scheduled for January.

Palmetto/Eastern South Carolina

Chapter President Beth Cardosi, MD, welcomed hospitalists, residents, and pharmacists to the chapter’s Oct. 8 meeting. Gastroenterologist Moss Mann, MD, presented a program, “Acute Pancreatitis.” Dr. Mann then answered questions.

Lake Erie/Northern Ohio

The Lake Erie/Northern Ohio chapter met Nov. 16 at the Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland. Dr. Jennifer Hanrahan talked about the emerging MRSA problem and antibiotic solutions. She also provided a “State of the Flu” address, outlining how it is playing out in local communities.

Get Involved in Advocacy

The future of healthcare delivery is being formed now. And it will change how every provider works.

Hospitalists will play a major role in healthcare reform, but it doesn’t end there. The extent of their impact will depend on their knowledge of the issues and their ability to reach out to members of Congress and others in government.

SHM’s Advocacy section at provides members all the information and resources to make a real difference, including:

  • Resources from SHM, including position papers and public letters to government officials;
  • Resources from other influential healthcare organizations;
  • Monthly updates on legislation and other government activities that affect hospital medicine; and
  • SHM’s Legislative Action Center.

For hospitalists new to public advocacy, SHM’s Legislative Action Center is a one-stop shop for learning more about the most pressing policy issues affecting HM. In less than 10 minutes, visitors can get up to speed on the issues and contact their members of Congress with a customizable e-mail or personal note. To get involved, visit www.hosp

SHM Junior Faculty Development Award

For junior hospitalist faculty at academic hospital centers, making ends meet as you apply for such research grants as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services K Awards or the Veterans Administration’s Career Development Awards can be daunting or even prohibitive.

SHM is launching a program to assist two junior academic hospitalists: the SHM Junior Faculty Development Award. Two successful applicants will be awarded $25,000 a year for two years, and will receive mentoring from senior SHM faculty and the recipients’ host institutions.

To qualify, applicants must have an MD or a DO degree, have completed or be in the final year of a two- to three-year HM fellowship (or an equivalent post-residency program), and submit a research project proposal on a topic related to HM (e.g., QI, patient safety, or critical care). Full eligibility criteria are included in the request for application (RFA).

The program has two main goals: The new award aims to not only promote promising young academic hospitalists in a critical juncture of their careers, but it also aims to generate peer-reviewed research that will help all hospitalists to better practice in the specialty.

The deadline for submissions is Feb. 15. Winners will be notified April 5.

For details about the SHM Junior Faculty Development Award, including the RFA, contact Claudia Stahl at TH

Brendon Shank is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia.

NPs, pAs to receive half-off membership discount

In an effort to invite more hospital care providers into the SHM fold, physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) joining SHM for the first time will receive a membership fee discount.

The discounted annual rate for first-time PAs and NPs is $125. The new 50%-off membership offer began late last year and will extend through 2012. The discount applies to the first year of membership; dues for subsequent years will be charged to members at the regular rate.

“Hospital medicine is a team sport, and physician assistants and nurse practitioners are an integral part of the team. We wanted to recognize that fact through this special invitation,” says Todd Von Deak, vice president of membership and marketing for SHM. “We hope that our current membership will share this offer with their colleagues.”

The new discount arrangement is exclusive to members of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). In order to qualify for the discount, applicants must provide their membership number from AAPA or AANP.

For those new to SHM, joining is just the beginning, Von Deak says. “In addition to taking advantage of this offer, we hope that they will take advantage of all of SHM’s member benefits, like networking opportunities and the annual boot camp specially designed for PAs and NPs.”

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