How has the committee worked to ensure the course content is refreshed and current?
The reason the Annual Conference Committee is large is to ensure that there is a diversity of voices and talents from all over the country. There are both academic and community hospitalists on the committee; its members represent internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, and subspecialists, as well as administrators and hospitalist leaders. The annual meetings are planned over 3-4 months via weekly calls. In between calls, committee members are encouraged to discuss topics with their colleagues at home for opinions and advice.
The best ideas from the committee come from the group discussion and brainstorming. Someone mentions a topic, which leads someone else to add to it, and so on. Within the hour, we have some fantastic suggestions that the committee can run with. We also rely on input from SHM members: For example, many of the workshops’ topics are chosen from hundreds of submissions from members; speaker and content suggestions are submitted by hospitalist leaders from around the country and thereby provide insight into current topics. Combined, these offer a richness of ideas, which allows the committee to stay up to date and refresh old ideas.
What advice can you offer to early career hospitalists looking to get involved with the Annual Conference Committee or other conference planning roles?
My advice for early career hospitalists is to start locally. Join your local SHM chapter, or start one. In trying to plan local conferences, you begin to figure out which content areas interest hospitalists and how they can best be delivered. You might offer to give a talk at your local chapter or at your hospital and develop presentation skills. Developing a network of fellow hospitalists through your local chapter is important. The more local hospitalists you connect with, the more likely it is that they will think of you when they are planning a conference. At the national level, consider submitting a workshop or submitting an idea for content. Workshops are a great way to get recognized at the national level.