Hospitalist Mentoring Lacking, Survey Shows


Academic HM group leaders are concerned about the lack of mentorship their physicians receive and often feel viewed as a clinical service, not a pedagogical program, according to a report in this month's Journal of Hospital Medicine.

The cross-sectional e-mail survey of 57 leaders found that respondents agree a lack of mentorship is a worry for both clinician-educator faculty (75%) and research faculty (58%). Six in 10 of those surveyed say their departments of medicine view them through more of a clinical lens, with that number rising to nearly 8 in 10 when the perceived views of other departments are taken into account.

"The division chiefs, the section chiefs have to pay attention to mentoring; they have to pay attention to faculty development, they have to really understand the needs of their people," says study coauthor Rebecca Harrison, MD, FACP, a hospitalist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Ore.

The report is based on a 2007 survey. Dr. Harrison says that as budgets became "more dire" during the economic downturn, academic HM leaders likely grew more frustrated by a perceived lack of resources committed to them.

She suggests that academic leaders look more to the negotiating tactics of their private-physician counterparts, who seek to leverage their involvement in quality programs and their return on investment when pushing for more support, respect, or resources.

Dr. Harrison adds that given that recruitment costs can range up to $400,000 for clinician-educator faculty, hospital executives "need to see the big picture. Hospital medicine is here to say. It's to their advantage; it behooves them not to avoid investing in sustainability."

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