Editor’s note: Each month, SHM puts the spotlight on some of our most active members who are making substantial contributions to hospital medicine. Log on to www.hospitalmedicine.org/getinvolved for more information on how you can lend your expertise to help SHM improve the care of hospitalized patients.
This month, The Hospitalist spotlights Umesh Sharma, MD, MBA, FHM, chair of the division of community hospital medicine at Mayo Clinic. Umesh became a Fellow in Hospital Medicine in 2016 and has found great value in attending the annual meeting each year.
What inspired you to join SHM, and what prompted you to apply for the Fellow in Hospital Medicine designation?
I initially heard about SHM through colleagues when discussing their educational experience at SHM’s annual meetings. SHM promotes the interests of hospitalists and hospital medicine as a growing specialty, and becoming a member provided me with opportunities to connect and network with my peers both virtually and in person. For me, becoming a Fellow in Hospital Medicine was a natural progression of my membership
How did you use SHM resources to help you in your pathway to Fellowship in Hospital Medicine?
There are specific eligibility requirements for the Fellow in Hospital Medicine designation, including a minimum of 5 years as a practicing hospitalist and 3 years as an SHM member, endorsements from two active members, regular meeting attendance and more. SHM provides a checklist for Fellow applicants online and an FAQ page to make the application process as user-friendly as possible. A friend of mine, Dr. Deepak Pahuja, is a Fellow, and he mentored me throughout the process.
How else has SHM contributed to your professional growth and provided you with tools you need to lead hospitalists at Mayo Clinic?
There are many resources that SHM provides to help with professional growth both online and at in-person meetings. I referenced the Key Principles and Characteristics of an Effective Hospital Medicine Group, an online assessment guide, in my role as department chair in La Crosse, Wisc., to resurrect a hospital medicine group, secure resources, hire career hospitalists, and create a well-functioning, well-managed, efficient, effective group with zero turnover during a span of 4 years.
By focusing on the leadership track at annual meetings, I have been able to gain knowledge on proven leadership strategies and enhance my skills, which I have applied on many occasions in my practice. Being able to talk to multisite hospital medicine group colleagues in person helped me to learn best practices in how to successfully manage the integration of 14 hospital medicine community hospital sites across Mayo Midwest. I was able to get ideas on effectively understanding and managing challenges, like recruitment retention, staffing to workloads, and scope of practice, among others. SHM promotes peer-to-peer learning and has helped me share and learn best practices as it relates to the clinical and nonclinical aspect of the practice of hospital medicine.
What one piece of advice would you give fellow hospitalists during this transformational time in health care?
This is an exciting time in health care, especially for hospital medicine professionals, who are at the forefront of providing value-based care. Every change is an opportunity to improve and innovate; the best way to handle change is to embrace and lead it.
Ms. Steele is SHM’s communications coordinator.
To apply for the Fellow in Hospital Medicine designation, visit www.hospitalmedicine.org/fellows.