Multiple career options for hospitalists


A Tuesday morning session at 10:35–11:15 a.m. called “Hospitalist Careers: So Many Options” will highlight the wide range of job possibilities for young hospitalists and provide a framework for advancing your career.

“Especially early in their careers, hospitalists can sometimes be overwhelmed by the possibilities of where their career can go and how to get to the position that they want, whether it’s leadership or another ultimate goal,” said copresenter Brian Markoff, MD, FACP, SFHM, chief of the division of hospital medicine at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital in New York. “This session is designed to help young physicians figure out where they are, where they want to be, and how they might be able to get there.”

The session – aimed at medical students, residents, fellows, and new hospitalists – will review different careers in hospital medicine, including academics and clinical work; share some individual success stories of currently practicing hospitalists; discuss the importance of mentorship; and note how you can use the Society of Hospital Medicine to advance your career status. “This is to help you take a step back and think about the big picture,” said copresenter Alfred Burger, MD, FACP, SFHM, associate program director of the internal medicine residency at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York.

Hospitalist careers today are quite varied, Dr. Burger said. Some physicians have a career that is primarily clinical while others have moved into a wide variety of leadership roles. “Hospitalists have ascended to some of the highest levels of leadership, whether it’s surgeon general or a chief medical officer or chief operating officer of a government agency or hospital group,” he said.

Some hospitalists have had success moving into the business and consulting range after practicing in a hospital setting, advising organizations how to do things more efficiently, while others have taken on health services research or patient safety and quality improvement work, he added.

Young hospitalists lately have been concerned with how much job advancement depends on gaining an extra degree like an MBA, versus being a really good hospitalist and working your way up, Dr. Markoff said. “We tell them, ‘You can do both,’ ” he said. “Depending on your career choice, you may or may not need an advanced degree.” In the past, Dr. Burger added, most hospitalists started a career and then gained additional degrees as needed. Today more hospitalists are starting their careers as a dual or sometimes triple degree holder.

“Hopefully, the session will help young hospitalists reflect on their own practice and help them sort out what they are doing that will get them to their ultimate career goal,” Dr. Markoff said. “The main take-home message is ‘There’s no one right way to get the career you want, but it’s going to take some active management on your part to get on the right path.’ ”

Dr. Burger thinks that the career pathways in hospital medicine are limited only by your own imagination. “Our talk is meant to inspire you to see the wide possibilities,” he said.

Attendees of the session, now in its third year, can serve as resources to peers and others who are more junior, Dr. Burger noted. “You may be able to inspire somebody based on something you heard” or share advice learned with a friend or colleague, he said, noting that some hospitalists have attended more than once.

“Hospitalist Careers: So Many Options”Tuesday, 10:35 a.m.–11:15 a.m.

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