It’s not too early to get ready for HM20


Hospitalist Benji K. Mathews, MD, SFHM, CLHM, will bring a unique commitment to medical education to HM20, which will be held next year on April 16-18 in San Diego.

Dr. Mathews enjoys receiving technological gadgets periodically at his home. Just ask his elementary school–age children: They’ve learned how to use handheld ultrasound devices on each other.

Dr. Benji K. Mathews, professor of Medicine, University of Minnesota

Dr. Benji K. Mathews

“They’re able to find their siblings’ kidneys and hearts,” said Dr. Mathews, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and a hospitalist with HealthPartners in Saint Paul, Minn. “I often show an image of this to encourage hospitalists that, if children can pick it up, highly educated providers can do the same and more!”

Society of Hospital Medicine members and nonmembers who would like to submit proposals for workshops and didactic sessions at HM20 must move quickly. “The open call for content opened in January 2019, providing enough time to prepare and submit,” Dr. Mathews said. “The HM20 call for content will stay open for 2 weeks after HM19 is wrapped up.”

Dr. Mathews expects HM20 will build upon the successes of this year’s conference and support SHM’s commitment to diversity in voices and programming. More than 4,000 attendees are expected.

“HM20 is a team effort with a diverse group serving on the annual meeting planning committee,” he said. “In conjunction with the submissions we receive from the open call, the Annual Conference Committee really builds on the momentum and feedback from attendees from the previous year’s annual meeting. We will identify popular sessions and topics and also review the data we receive from attendees about how they rated sessions and speakers. The chair and committee members will review all of these metrics and use them to plan HM20.”

Dr. Mathews said several topics will get special emphasis in 2020. “We would like to have more content for nurse practitioners and physician assistants and continued representation from the broad range of hospitalists throughout the nation in academic and community settings,” he said.

“We’re also hoping to provide more credit offerings in addition to those we now offer via the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Osteopathic Association. Next year, we’re hoping to offer pharmacology credit.”

In addition, he said, “we hope to have focused content on diversity issues such as women in hospital medicine and gender and racial bias. We also plan to provide a continued focus on integration of work and life and topics in technology such as bedside ultrasound and telemedicine.”

Technology will be more than a topic at HM20. SHM plans to embrace it in the conference itself to a greater extent than ever before. “We hope to build an online interactive schedule so that attendees may search tracks by day and credit type and schedule their sessions ahead of time,” Dr. Mathews said. “There will still be a PDF schedule, but we hope to push a more interactive, paperless version. We also hope to have e-posters for the first time at HM20.”

The emphasis on technology is a perfect fit for Dr. Mathews, who’s a pioneer in the use of bedside ultrasound. “I was fortunate to be a part of a great residency program at the University of Minnesota Medical School, which started a hospital medicine pathway that had several nationally recognized hospital medicine leaders as mentors. I was lucky to work with several of them through the HealthPartners organization in Saint Paul, and that developed in me a further desire to practice hospital medicine,” he said. “The group and mentors provided opportunities to develop further niches in my practice. I took an interest in the field of improving diagnosis and combined it with the 21st-century innovative tool of bedside ultrasound. Now, I continue to teach clinicians, educators, and learners.”

Dr. Mathews has no relevant disclosures.

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