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 Paul Grant, MD, SFHM, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor. Dr. Grant is the chair of SHM’s Membership Committee and an active member of SHM’s Michigan Chapter.
Why did you choose a career in hospital medicine, and how did you become an SHM member?
During my internal medicine residency, I tried hard to find a subspecialty I could see myself doing for the rest of my career. But I couldn’t. What I loved about general medicine was the variety of patients I saw on a daily basis. My next decision was whether to do hospital medicine or ambulatory medicine. This was a tough choice for me, but choosing hospital medicine was one of the best career decisions I’ve ever made.
After residency, I completed a hospital medicine fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. During my fellowship, I joined SHM. At that time, I knew nothing about the society, but that soon changed. My fellowship required me to attend the annual meeting and submit an abstract in the RIV competition, which was an extremely valuable experience for me. Not only was I blown away by the meeting, but my poster won the clinical vignette competition, as well! Needless to say, I’ve been an SHM member ever since.
What prompted you to join the Membership Committee? Can you discuss some of the projects the committee is currently working on?
Because SHM has done so much for my career as a hospitalist, I’ve tried to give back by volunteering on committees. After spending several years on the Early Career Hospitalist Committee, I felt the transition to the Membership Committee was a natural fit. Because SHM membership had been growing every year, our committee felt some pressure to keep this trend going. Thankfully, we have continued to see growth each year in every membership category.
Our committee has been working on several projects. One of the key demographics we have been targeting is the resident member. Residents play a significant role in the future of hospital medicine, as well as SHM membership. We are developing ways to reach out to residency program directors – particularly those running a hospital medicine track – to find ways they can benefit from SHM’s educational offerings. Additionally, our committee has been discussing ways to attract international members to SHM. Because hospital medicine is quite developed in the United States, we believe we have much to offer to hospitalists around the world.
Tell TH about your involvement with SHM’s Michigan Chapter. What does a typical chapter meeting entail?
A few years ago, at the end of SHM’s annual meeting, several of my hospital medicine colleagues in southeast Michigan happened to be on the same flight home. At the departure gate in the airport, we all agreed we should start an SHM chapter. After drawing straws, it was decided that I would be chapter president for our inaugural year. In a few short years, our chapter has grown into one of the largest in the country.
As for a typical meeting, each starts with a cocktail hour to encourage our members to network. We have a guest speaker, who presents on a hospital medicine topic, and then, we end the evening with a business meeting. We encourage students and residents to attend. More recently, we’ve been using interactive technology to broadcast our meetings to large hospital medicine groups in the western and northern parts of the state. Our chapter was thrilled to learn that we’d won the Outstanding Chapter award this year!
What value do you find in connecting with hospital medicine professionals at the local level?
Whether it’s a hospitalist working at a large, tertiary care center or one working in a small rural setting, it seems we all face similar challenges.
As a chapter, we can pull together our resources to address these issues. Furthermore, we have the ability to reach out to more trainees and show them what hospital medicine is all about. Our chapter has been able to partially fund both medical students and residents so they could attend SHM’s annual meeting. I’m always amazed at what I can learn from other hospitalists – in the state of Michigan and beyond.