How has COVID-19 changed the practice of hospital medicine, specifically for advanced practice providers?
The pandemic has demonstrated opportunities for teamwork and utilization of NPs and PAs. The COVID pandemic forced everyone to reflect on why they originally got into medicine – to help patients. I think there will be many doors opening for NPs and PAs, and many pathways for leadership.
The hospitalist leadership at the University of Chicago truly identified that we needed to make wellness a main priority during the beginning of the pandemic. We developed a wellness work group that I have been coleading.
What’s on the horizon for NPs and PAs in hospital medicine?
We are seeing significant increases in hospitalist program utilization, so this is a time where NPs and PAs can be advocates for our profession and articulate how we can use our backgrounds and training to build better care models in order to meet the needs of our patients.
I hope we will see more NPs and PAs assuming leadership roles to ensure that our voices are heard. We should also be advocating for more collaboration and teamwork with our MD and DO colleagues.
Do you have any advice for PA students interested in hospital medicine?
I always tell my students that they should be sponges – you are not expected to know everything as a hospitalist PA, but you are expected to continue learning in order to develop into the best PA you can be. Always be open to where your career path can take you. Hospital medicine is a relatively young field within medicine, and the diversity of our field is very exciting looking forward.