Even if a hospitalist isn’t fulfilled in their job, they might not say so. It can be a challenge to get them to open up and tell you what is on their mind. Hospitalist group leaders say most hospitalists are unwilling to talk about their work environment or intellectual pursuits, but the best group leaders are skilled at doing so.
“There is that hesitation to be looked upon as weak,” Dr. Bowman says. “Before, it was, ‘I’m the strongest guy; I can take on anything.’ As a leader, you’ve got to be in tune to that.”
Dr. Bowman says it takes a lot of courage for a hospitalist to express dissatisfaction to their supervisor. When a hospitalist says they need a moment to talk in private, “they’ve thought about it for weeks, if not months.”
Often, it’s the leader who has to bring up the topic of job satisfaction, says Dr. Scarpinato. “I don’t think [leaders] are that open, actually. I think they need to be educated,” he says. “I think that’s why leadership is so important. We have to be sensitive as leaders to be aware of the fact that this might be on the table.”
Meaningful discussions during group meetings and annual performance evaluations are vital; they help group leaders can pick up on signs of dissatisfaction. Common examples are hospitalists who say they want to pursue another degree or complain about the job.
—Len Scarpinato, DO, MS, SFHM. The chief medical officer of clinical development for Brentwood, Tenn.-based Cogent-HMG
“During this session,” he says, “I can usually tell.”
Tom Collins is a freelance writer based in South Florida.