Modesty comes naturally to IPC The Hospitalist Co. executive Dave Bowman, MD. He shies from the spotlight and seeks to downplay his own accomplishments in favor of talking about the results of those he works with.
That tack got a bit more difficult last month when Dr. Bowman, based in Tucson, Ariz., received the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and American College of Medical Practice Executives' (ACMPE) "Physician Executive of the Year" award for 2011. It's the second year in a row the honor went to an HM leader; last year's winner was IPC chief executive Adam Singer, MD.
Dr. Bowman was praised both for his professional skills and the heroic role he played providing medical aid in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson that left six people dead and injured 13 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.)
Dr. Bowman tried to downplay the award until it was presented at a conference last month in Las Vegas. "When I step back and look at it from a non-physician-jaundiced view, that was a pretty neat thing. I was very humbled and grateful," he says.
He quickly adds, though, that the award means those he works with are doing their jobs just as exceptionally.
"You have to have a team to take care of people," he says. "If you're a lone wolf, you can do a good job for your 16 patients that day. But what happens when you leave? ... You have to be part of a team to ensure the good work you’re doing is continued."
Dr. Bowman, IPC's executive director in Tucson, has grown his group's practice to more than 75 physicians and non-physician providers. He notes that all of his providers with at least one year of seniority sit on at least one committee at their institution.
But his most sage advice for hospitalist leaders?
"Get involved, be out there," he says. "Take night call because you have two letters after your name that says you can do it. ... Be involved clinically, not just administratively."