GRAPEVINE, Texas – SHM’s new president has kept his first promise to the constituency: He ended his morning address to HM11 attendees here on time.
Now comes the more difficult part, as Joseph Li, MD, SFHM, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the hospital medicine division at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, leads the 10,000-member society through the next year. Dr. Li replaces outgoing president Jeff Wiese, MD, FACP, SFHM, associate professor of medicine at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.
“We’re really only at the very beginning,” Dr. Li says. “All of hospital medicine only started 10, 15 years ago. For some folks, they believe that’s a long time. But this really is the very beginning of this movement.”
Dr. Li wants the society to apply a “laser focus” on patient care, both inside the hospital and outside at such places as discharge clinics. He wants more hospitalists to take advantage of training opportunities that the society sponsors for clinical care, transitions of care and leadership skills. Lastly, Dr. Li wants to make sure that as the first generation of hospitalists approaches the end of their careers, SHM is recruiting and retaining the next cohort.
“You have to have the right people on the bus. We need to continue to get the best people out of residency classes to come into hospital medicine,” he adds. “We need to reach forward into medical schools and help them understand why they should choose hospital medicine as opposed to any other field in medicine. Take the highest-quality people and then we need to train them.”