Posts by Leslie Flores

Many Paths to a Richer Job

No, I’m not talking about a job that will make you richer – at least financially. But as I think about strategies for making “hospitalist” a sustainable job that one can do for a career, pursuing job enrichment seems high on the list. The concept of job enrichment was first articulated by psychologist Frederick Herzberg. In his 1968 Harvard Business Review article “One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?” Herzberg suggested that what really motivates employees isn’t an attractive schedule or working conditions, or even high compensation, but instead things like achievement, recognition, interesting work, responsibility, advancement, and personal growth. Job enrichment involves redesigning jobs to provide more of these motivating factors, reducing the amount of repetitive and low-value work, and thus making the work more challenging and rewarding. Hospitalist work is plenty challenging already. But too many hospitalists don’t rave about their feelings of achievement and recognition, or…

Building a Practice that People Want to be Part Of

As those of you who have followed my posts on this blog know, I’ve been spending a lot of time mulling over issues related to hospitalist job satisfaction and career sustainability. I’ve written about concrete things like re-thinking hospitalist work schedules and minimizing low-value interruptions, as well as more abstract concepts like assessing your group’s “gross happiness index.” My fascination with these issues and my concern about their potential impact on the specialty of hospital medicine eventually led John and me, as course directors, to the theme of this year’s practice management pre-course at HM17 – Practice Management Success Strategies: Building a Practice That People Want to Be Part Of. Perhaps, like me, you are interested in digging deeper into matters of career satisfaction and sustainability. Or perhaps you are simply focused on the more mundane struggle just to recruit and retain enough qualified providers for your group. In either…

We Go to the Altar Together

Last month, I wrote about onboarding and the important responsibility that everyone associated with a hospitalist program has to ensure that each new provider quickly comes to believe he or she made a terrific choice to join the group. Upon reflection, it seems important to address the other side of this equation. I’m talking about the responsibilities that each candidate has when deciding whether to apply for a job, to interview, and to accept or reject a group’s offer. The relationship between a hospitalist and the group he or she is part of is a lot like a marriage. Both parties go to the altar together, and the relationship is most likely to be successful when both enter it with their eyes open, having done their due diligence, and with an intention to align their interests and support each other. Here are some things every hospitalist should be thinking about as…

Does Your Onboarding Process Really Get Folks On Board?

Not long ago, I had a conversation with a good friend who is the hospitalist medical director for a five-hospital health system in the northeast. We were commiserating about how hard it is to recruit new hospitalists to rural and small-town settings and the high risk of rapid turnover despite all the energy invested in recruiting and onboarding them. As we discussed how new hospitalists are oriented into his organization, I learned that like most hospitalist groups, my friend’s group focuses onboarding efforts on making sure that new providers know how to find their way around the hospital and use the EHR, complete required training modules, are credentialed with payors, and are aware of applicable policies and procedures. They also see this time as a probationary period to ensure the new group member has adequate clinical skills and behavioral competencies. This conversation got me thinking about the crucial relationship between…

Equal Time for Hospital Execs

Last month, I wrote a letter to hospital executives, urging them to deliberately invest their own personal time and effort in fostering hospitalist wellbeing. I suggested several actions that leaders can take to enhance hospitalist job satisfaction and reduce the risk of burnout and turnover. Following publication of that post, I heard from several hospital executives and was pleasantly surprised that they all responded positively to my message. Several execs told me that they gained valuable new insights about their hospitalists’ challenges and needs or that they planned to take action on one or more of my suggestions that had never occurred to them before.  Especially useful to them was the idea of a hospitalist “hierarchy of needs,” in which basics such as well-designed work (including adequate staffing), belonging, and esteem must be addressed before expecting hospitalists to undertake “self-actualizing” work, such as engagement in organizational performance improvement initiatives. Their…