To many hospitalists, career development doesn’t stop at the hospital door. SHM has provided a national platform for great ideas that improve the specialty and advance careers at the same time.
Dr. Feldman saw the need to provide more education to hospitalists involved in the comanagement of surgical patients and led the effort to create SHMConsults.com, a new online consultative and perioperative curriculum. The ability to collaborate with SHM on the project gave his concept additional reach and authority throughout the specialty.
“Clearly, having the backing of the society of our educational materials gives it that much more prominence and, hopefully, will entice more hospitalists to use it,” he says. “I’m very hopeful that it will continue to grow and be an important part of the society’s education.”
Though he joined seven years ago, Dr. Feldman still considers himself one of the new members.
“I see all the folks who have been involved with SHM much longer and am amazed by their involvement,” he adds. “It’s a testament to the agility of an organization like this that it’s not so large that newer members can still have an impact.”
Dr. DeLue, who has been a member for more than 10 years, tells the same thing to future SHM members.
“I hire hospitalists all the time and I say, ‘Look, this is the one society that reflects what you’re doing,’ ” he says, “ ‘and if you have any interest in being heard on things that you think are important, this is the place for you.’ I can’t imagine becoming a hospitalist and not becoming a member.”
Connections Improve the Specialty
As change leaders in hospitals, hospitalists thrive on information from other hospitals and the connections that transfer that information. For hospitalist Sabrena Tangri, MD, and HM executive Kim Dickinson, one of SHM’s greatest resources is the connection to other hospitalists.
Dr. Tangri, an academic hospitalist at Inova Fairfax Hospital in northern Virginia, is actively developing a new SHM chapter for the Washington, D.C., area. Even before completing residency in 2009, she had interest in the big-picture issues of patient satisfaction and providing efficient, effective care to inpatients.
In addition to building a support structure for hospitalists working near the nation’s capital, she uses SHM as a connection to relevant information in other hospitals—and to offer up her own experiences to other hospitalists throughout the country. “It’s a joint partnership between the physician and the organization,” she says.
Dickinson, chief operating officer of hospital medicine at Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Physician Services, has been an SHM member for long enough that she doesn’t remember the year she joined. What she does remember is the feeling of excitement that permeated her first annual meeting more than a decade ago: “There were a couple hundred people there in a hotel basement and I remember thinking, ‘This is something,’ ” she says.
Back then, Dickinson’s membership in SHM was equal parts credibility and commitment to the specialty. “As the society was growing, it felt like an obligation to stand beside colleagues and say, ‘This is important.’ In the beginning, it felt important to stand up and be counted,” she says.
That commitment still resonates with her today. It’s something that she has communicated to others over the years.
“I always told people, ‘If you can’t wake up excited about being the future of medicine, then you shouldn’t work here.’ It’s an absolute privilege to work in hospital medicine,” Dickinson says. “We’re at a very privileged place in history.”
Today, she uses that passion and the connections she has developed through SHM to improve HCA Physician Services and the entire specialty.