Perhaps more so than most other specialties, then, hospitalists demonstrate foundational leadership skills in their day-to-day practice – an ideal start to a leadership path. This is not to say or suggest that a career devoted purely to clinical practice is somehow inferior – far from it. However, as health care organizations turn to the medical community to provider leadership, hospitalists are well positioned to develop and be developed as executive leaders.
How can the Society of Hospital Medicine help? While management degrees become a common pathway for many, some health systems and professional organizations support their membership with a leadership development curriculum which may be a better place to start. In my opinion, SHM provides one of the most thorough and relevant experiences available. The SHM Leadership Academy focuses on developing a broad set of additional leadership competencies across a spectrum of experience. The format varies depending on the course, but all rely heavily upon experienced hospitalist leaders – in fact, many current and former Board members and officers volunteer their time to facilitate and teach at the Academy, including at the entry level. It’s a powerful way to learn from others who have started walking the leadership path.
Dr. Harte is a past president of SHM and president of Cleveland Clinic Akron General and Southern Region.