Even though hospital medicine and SHM are still relatively young, we can be very proud of what our specialty already has brought to changing our nation’s health care for the better. Many of these accomplishments, from winning the prestigious Eisenberg Award to our change leadership by SHM’s Center for Healthcare Innovation and Improvement at more 300 hospitals to the extraordinary growth of our specialty, have been well chronicled in The Hospitalist and elsewhere the last few years.
I wanted to use this month’s column to highlight the unique career directions of a few SHM members to shine a bright light on the influence hospitalists are making nationwide. Certainly, there are many more hospitalists beyond this group of five that I have selected, but this small cadre should serve as an example of the talent and reach of our specialty—with only more and greater things ahead to come in the future.
Chief Medical Officer of CMS
Pat Conway, MD, SFHM, is a pediatric hospitalist and the former chair of SHM’s Public Policy Committee. He left his pediatric academic practice to become a White House fellow, then returned to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to serve as chief medical officer (CMO). When Don Berwick was in charge of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), he reached out to Pat and asked him to come to Washington to be part of Medicare’s senior team as the CMO for CMS. In this role, Pat has been a nationally recognized leader in performance improvement and patient safety, and he has been instrumental in bringing about evolutionary changes to the largest healthcare program in the world. Pat will be sharing his perspectives as a keynote speaker at HM13 (check out our 10-page HM13 preview starting on p. 45).
Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
Scott Gottlieb, MD, is a practicing hospitalist in New York City, but he is better known as a leading expert in healthcare policy, most recently acting as an advisor to presidential candidate Mitt Romney. From 2005 to 2007, Scott was a deputy commissioner at the FDA. He has worked as a senior advisor to the administrator at CMS, where he played an instrumental role in the implementation of the Medicare Drug Benefit in 2004.
Scott is best known for his frequent contributions to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, and Forbes. He has held editorial positions at the British Medical Journal and the Journal of the American Medical Association, regularly appears as a guest commentator on CNBC, and is a frequent contributor to Politico.
At SHM, Scott has brought his national viewpoint to the Public Policy Committee. He proudly touts his experience as a practicing hospitalist as bringing a front-line reality to his national recognition and much-sought-after critical thinking about healthcare policy.
Chairman of the American Board of Internal Medicine
Bob Wachter, MD, MHM, was a thought leader in HM before our specialty even had a name, writing the initial peer-reviewed articles and coining the term “hospitalist.” Bob has built a pre-eminent hospitalist program at the University of California at San Francisco and helped influence and populate much of academic HM. His Wachter’s World blog (www.wachtersworld.com) is one of the most widely read medical blogs, reaching an audience well beyond our specialty.