Professional Development Program Advances Hospitalist Leadership Skills


Akin to other doctors, hospitalists seek clinical and nonclinical continuing medical education (CME) opportunities in subjects that they hope will improve their professional skill set. But Emory School of Medicine’s Division of Hospital Medicine has tried to make this training more systematic for its 110 members. Since 2005, competitively awarded grants have supported faculty development training in the areas of administrative leadership, quality improvement and research, and education and training.

According to an abstract presented at HM11, Emory’s faculty development program has helped train 36 HM physicians. The upshot of the program: Thirty-three hospitalists now fill formal leadership positions in six Emory-affiliated hospitals. Examples include hospital chief medical officers, chief quality officers, and medical directors for care coordination.

“Hospital medicine is a young field, and we had a young group of clinicians lacking experience that other physicians might get in the course of a career,” says Daniel Dressler, MD, MSc, SFHM, director of education for the hospital medicine division of the Atlanta-based group. “If we were going to be asked to do things, leadershipwise, in the hospital, we needed to build a program to help individuals get additional training for them.”

The physicians pick courses in areas where they want to better themselves, either local educational offerings or national conferences. A committee applies a structured process for reviewing their applications, with funding coming from the department. “We ask the doctors to come back and report on what they learned,” says Dr. Dressler, an SHM board member.

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