NATIONAL HARBOR, MD–New SHM president Eric Howell, MD, SFHM, set a concrete goal for his one-year term he began yesterday at HM13: double the society's number of student and housestaff members from 500 to 1,000.
He then immediately recruited the first member of the 2014 class: his younger sister.
Lesley Sutherland, a third-year medical student at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md., had been debating whether to go into family medicine versus internal medicine. That decision seems a moot point now, after her big brother pulled her onstage and inducted her into SHM before a packed ballroom at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.
"For our specialty to be just as powerful, and just as important, and thrive just as much in the next 16 years as it has in the past 16 years, we are going to need high-quality recruits and a lot of them," said Dr. Howell, chief of hospital medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, Md. "I know exactly where we're going to get them."
Dr. Howell said recruiting medical students and housestaff—an initiative he calls the "Challenge of 2014"—is important to the future of hospital medicine. The marketing pitch to those would-be hospitalists is as simple as touting the work-life balance that has helped to boost the specialty's ranks to some 40,000 practitioners, and imparting the sense of pride and ownership that hospitalists take in their institutions.
"If you consider the hospital the house, then we are house owners and not renters," he added. "We're not waiting for two weeks to rotate off service and go to our real research job. We’re not coming in early in the morning and leaving for our actual office. We live in that professional house and we want to make the best house we can." TH