This past fall, I had the honor of being invited to speak at a hospitalist physician conference in Tokyo. The conference was hosted by the Japanese Society of Hospital General Medicine (JSHGM) and was attended by over 800 hospitalists, including some from other East Asian countries.
The JSHGM is 7 years old and has 1,400 members; its growth mirroring the growth of practicing hospitalists in Japan. They wanted me to speak about the evolution of the hospitalist model in the United States and to learn more about their efforts to grow the nascent specialty in Japan. We also jointly wanted to discuss the opportunity for the JSHGM and the Society of Hospital Medicine to work together to benefit the hospitalist model in both countries.
This emerging partnership of the two societies is only the latest of a growing series of efforts on the part of SHM to support the growth of the hospitalist specialty internationally. It started with Canada in 2001, when a contingent of Canadian hospitalists requested to form their own chapter of SHM. They wanted to become the first international chapter and to join a group that has now grown to 56 state and regional chapters. Within a few years, the Canadian Chapter evolved to become its own independent and flourishing Canadian Society of Hospital Medicine.
More recently, SHM has helped develop chapters in Brazil and the Middle East, with more chapters being planned. The International Special Interest Forum at Hospital Medicine 2018 in Orlando in April expects attendees from Holland, Germany, Spain, Chile, Taiwan, China and more.