Nidhi Goel, MD, MHS, is a Med-Peds hospitalist and assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Since August 2017, she has been the president of the Maryland chapter of SHM.
The Hospitalist recently sat down with her to discuss some of the initiatives that the large and active Maryland chapter is focused on.
Can you talk about your background and how you became interested in hospital medicine?
I grew up in the Baltimore area, and I went to medical school at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. I trained in internal medicine and pediatrics, also at the University of Maryland. Then I joined the faculty after I finished residency in 2014. I practiced as a hospitalist in internal medicine and pediatrics and was also a teaching hospitalist.
Early in my residency, I worked with teaching hospitalists. I rotated on the hospitalist teams, and I was inspired by their perspective on taking care of patients through a lens of quality and safety. I gained a greater appreciation for the risks associated with taking care of a patient in the hospital setting, and the opportunities to mitigate those risks and provide really high quality patient care. It made me realize that was what I wanted to do – and also to teach residents and students how to do the same.
So it was a philosophical attraction to the hospitalist approach?
Yes, and intellectually I’d say that I liked taking care of really complicated, very sick patients. I found that to be interesting – and rewarding when they got better.
Tell us more about what kind of research you do.
I work primarily on projects centered on quality and safety; they involve both adult internal medicine and pediatric patients. Currently on the adult medicine side, we have a project looking at improving outcomes for sepsis in the hospital setting. On the pediatric side, I’ve done a lot of work related to throughput – trying to increase the efficiency of our admissions – and especially our discharge process. Moving patients through the system efficiently has become a significant quality issue, especially during the winter months when our volumes pick up.
How long have you been involved in the Maryland SHM chapter, and what are the rewards of participation?
Early in my residency, I got involved in the chapter because some of the hospitalist faculty I worked with were chapter officers. They believed that the chapter was a good place for residents to be exposed to research and to other hospitalists for networking and camaraderie. So they began inviting us to Maryland chapter meetings, and I found those meetings to be very enlightening – from the practical and research content related to hospital medicine, and to networking with other hospitalists.
I was invited to be part of the Maryland chapter advisory board when I was still a resident, so that I might present trainee perspectives on how the chapter could continue to grow and target some of their activities for the benefit of residents. I stayed involved with the chapter after I finished residency, and when the opportunity presented itself to become an officer, and I decided to take it. I thought serving as a chapter officer would be a really interesting chance to meet more people in the field and to continue to innovate within the chapter setting.