Building a career in quality improvement


As quality continues to take on a more important role in the health care delivery system, new opportunities for employment are taking shape.

For the hospitalist, that can mean a number of different career paths. What those paths could look like is the subject of the session “Making a Career Out of Quality” at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday.

Dr. Paul W. Helgerson, associate professor of medicine and section head, division of hospital medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville

Dr. Paul W. Helgerson

“Because [quality] is a growing field and because many of the roles that are being created are often new within health systems,” the options hospitalists might have – or the highest value–added roles they might create – are not obvious, said Paul W. Helgerson, MD, SFHM, of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, a presenter at the session.

Shedding light on those opportunities is the overall objective of this session, he said.

“One objective is to display for attendees what the diversity of roles looks like in this space,” Dr. Helgerson said. “If I am interested in spending part of my time or part of my career in quality, ‘What do people do?’ The truth is there is a whole array of different things.”

The second objective addresses the training that is required for some of these career options.

“We want to be able to represent what the whole breadth of the training experience could look like, from individual mentorship at the local level to formal training for a few days or even a few months nationwide,” he said.

Dr. Read G. Pierce

Dr. Read G. Pierce

Finally, the session will provide some boots-on-the-ground insight from clinicians at various stages in this space. Dr. Helgerson wants to highlight effective strategies to develop one’s career efficiently and effectively, to align with institutional leadership to create high-impact projects, and to look outside institutions for mentors to help make the career path successful.

The panel features three different perspectives. Dr. Helgerson will talk about his role at the University of Virginia and the work he has done in faculty development and interdisciplinary team development. Read G. Pierce, MD, of the University of Colorado at Denver, Aurora, is heavily involved in leadership training, and Nazima Allaudeen, MD, of the VA Palo Alto (Calif.) Health Care System, will talk about quality outcomes improvement on an operational level.

Dr. Nazima Allaudeen

Dr. Nazima Allaudeen

“My specific section is about different training in QI and that takes a lot of different shapes,” Dr. Allaudeen said. “There is a lot out there that people may not know about, and we will help explain how to match people with the right type of training that will be of the most value.”

“A hospitalist will be able to walk out of this session with a plan,” Dr. Helgerson said.

Making a Career Out of Quality
Tuesday, 11 a.m.-Noon

Crystal Ballroom G1/A&B

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