Three Join Ranks of Masters in Hospital Medicine


LAS VEGAS—For three hospitalists at SHM's annual meeting at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, today will be a masterful day. Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, FAAP, MHM, Steven Pantilat, MD, MHM, and Jack Percelay, MD, MPH, MHM, will be designated Masters in Hospital Medicine (MHM), the growing cadre of hospitalists who have attained SHM’s highest rank. Sixteen hospitalists have attained the MHM designation. The 2014 designees will be honored on stage today during ceremonies that include the announcement of all of SHM’s new fellows and SHM’s Annual Awards of Excellence.

"If you look at the previous MHM recipients, you see the pantheon of hospital medicine—an incredible group of individuals committed to improving the healthcare system and the care of patients," Dr. Pantilat wrote in an email to The Hospitalist eWire. "This designation recognizes that there are people who have made tremendous contributions to the field, and to changing the way we care for patients."

Dr. Pantilat, who was also a member of the inaugural class of Senior Fellows in Hospital Medicine (SFHM), is a professor of medicine in the department of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). He’s the founding director of the UCSF Palliative Care Program and serves as director of its Leadership Center, which trains hospitalists nationwide about how to establish palliative-care services. He is also a former SHM board member and the first recipient of the SHM Excellence in Teaching Award.

"I've never been a master of anything and despite my increasing age, somehow still feel too young to be a master," Dr. Pantilat adds. "Being bestowed with this highest honor in hospital medicine definitely ranks at the top."

Dr. Conway is used to being honored, but he says he still is humbled by the designation. As a former chairman of SHM's Public Policy Committee and the current chief medical officer for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and its deputy administrator for innovation and quality, Dr. Conway is well known—and lauded—for giving HM a voice in Washington, D.C. He views his MHM as the latest sign that his specialty continues to grow and spur positive change in health-care delivery.

"I think the designation demonstrates that hospital medicine is a maturing specialty with strong leaders," he wrote in an email. "In addition, when you look at the current and former masters…it is a stellar group of leaders who are not only advancing hospital medicine, but also changing the face of health care across our nation and improving our health system."

Dr. Percelay is so humbled that he brought his wife, daughter, and mother with him to celebrate the moment. He’s also particularly honored that he and Dr. Conway represent the field of pediatric HM, which he believes has grown tremendously in reputation over the course of his career.

"We've been able to build upon the successes of adult hospital medicine and nurture the inherent 'playing nice in the sandbox' attitude of pediatrics to grow the discipline and work force to the point it's at now where pediatric hospitalists are seen as the experts and innovators for high value pediatric inpatient care," he wrote in an email.

Dr. Percelay is a hospitalist in the pediatric ICU at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J., and teaches in the department of physician studies at Pace University of College of Health Professions in New York. He was the founding chairman for the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Hospital Medicine, an SHM board member from 2005 to 2012, and an associate editor of the Journal of Hospital Medicine. He says attaining the rank of master ranks just behind “being my daughter's father" on his list of personal accomplishments.

"I've received scholarships in high school, college, and medical school, but those acknowledged at most four years of work," he writes. "This award recognizes 20-plus years of work practicing as a pediatric hospitalist in community settings, caring for children and their families, and contributing to the field as a whole."

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