Outgoing SHM President Joe Li, MD, SFHM, summarized the Ernest Hemingway history of the “six-word story.” as a metaphor for the future of HM. Hemingway was famous for his short stories; his six-word stories are etched in literary folk lore.
Similarly, the future of hospital medicine will depend on how we are perceived by our six-word stories, Dr. Li said at HM12 in San Diego. Here are a few worrisome outcomes:
1. “Less continuity, more readmissions, billions lost;” or
2. “Hospitalization, inadequate communications, ready for readmission.”
What we need to work toward are six-word stories that will serve our profession and our patients well, such as “high quality, low cost, high value,” or “hospitalists, high-value, patient-focused care.”
- Our six-word stories are vital to the perception and reality of hospital medicine;
- We are all responsible for the future of the six word stories of hospital medicine.
Dr. Scheurer is physician editor of The Hospitalist.