A lot of us in the hospital sort of struggle with the exact same things. I think there’s some value in connecting, even if it’s in just short little snippets.
—Danielle Scheurer, MD, MSCR, SFHM, physician editor, The Hospitalist
There has always been a journalist dwelling in Danielle Scheurer, MD, MSCR, SFHM. As an undergrad at Emory University, she saw TV reporting in her future.
“I was on the Katie Couric kick for a decade,” she says.
Her course eventually shifted—dramatically. But since she became a hospitalist, Dr. Scheurer, now the chief quality officer at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston, has stayed involved with a long slate of editorial projects.
Her latest: She is the new physician editor of The Hospitalist. With the appointment, the magazine gains a high-energy physician with a broad spectrum of knowledge. Colleagues say she has a knack for seeing the big picture and taking a bolus of information and conveying its relevance to hospitalists and other medical professionals.
Dr. Scheurer says that one of her aims will be to make the publication’s website—www.the-hospitalist.org—more interactive, allowing for more direct participation from readers, such as with polls and forums on topics covered.
“A lot of us in the hospital sort of struggle with the exact same things,” she says. “I think there’s some value in connecting, even if it’s in just short little snippets.”
She also would like to increase the website’s use of audio files so that doctors have more options in how they get their information.
But above all, she says, she wants to keep The Hospitalist “one of the most practical publications available to hospitalists,” a publication that is specifically tailored to deliver useful messages.
“I feel like it’s a very high-yield publication for really busy hospitalists,” she says.
Career Shuffle = Diverse Experience
Dr. Scheurer brings experience from a variety of settings, such as the small community hospital Trident Medical Center in Charleston to the large, urban medical centers that are Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and MUSC.
She said some of her career moves came with some apprehension, including those that came about when her husband got a position that required her to move, too. But she says she has benefited from those experiences. Trident “gave me a window into hospital medicine that I never otherwise would have had,” she notes.
She never anticipated moving to Boston, and she admits it felt outside of her “comfort zone.” But in 2005, she found herself at Brigham. She had just earned a master’s degree in clinical research and thought she’d end up being a researcher. In Boston, she got a glimpse of what it meant to be a “hard-core, NIH-funded researcher” and decided it wasn’t for her.
While there, she took training courses in leadership and quality improvement. And QI stuck.
In 2010, she returned to MUSC and now leads QI for the whole hospital, a medium-size setting that she says is just right for promoting change.
“This is definitely my sweet spot,” she says. “If you’re going to change people’s minds, it’s a lot easer to change 200 people’s minds than 450 people’s minds.”
Chris Roy, MD, medical director of the hospitalist service at Brigham, says Dr. Scheurer was “one of the most-hard working people that I knew” and a strong leader with an “uncanny, almost photographic memory of all the hospital medicine literature.”
“Even though she was very forceful as a leader, she never irritated anyone,” he adds. “She was very skillful in managing people.”