Posts by Leslie Flores

Serious Upgrade for SHM’s 2016 State of Hospital Medicine Report

Great news! The long-anticipated 2016 State of Hospital Medicine (SoHM) Report was released last week to rave reviews. Pre-orders of the report blew away previous records, and that’s on top of the almost 600 hospital medicine groups (HMGs) that received free versions of the report as a result of participating in the survey. Again this year, the SoHM Report breaks down the latest statistics for a number of salary and workload benchmarks and a wide variety of HMG structural and operational characteristics that inform those two areas. I was privileged to be on a web conference last week in which SHM staffer extraordinaire Patrick Vulgamore, the primary writer/editor of the report, walked us through the enhanced online version. And I have to say it’s a massive upgrade to previous digital versions. Two extra-cool things about the new digital version: It is searchable. It can be accessed via a mobile app.…

Hospitalists Are Not Alone

I’ve been writing a lot about hospitalist satisfaction and career sustainability, but a just-released report from The Physicians Foundation shows just how widespread low physician morale and disenchantment with their profession really is. Every other year, The Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit group focused on supporting the work of physicians and improving healthcare quality, conducts a massive national physician survey with the help of Merritt Hawkins, a national physician search and consulting company. The survey invitation was sent out by email to every physician in the country for whom the AMA has an email address on file; 17,236 of the roughly 630,000 physicians who received the survey invitation completed the 39-question survey. I hope a good number of them were hospitalists. The report is chock full of interesting findings, and I encourage you to take a look. Among the highlights, the survey found that more than half (54%) of respondent physicians…

Hospitalist Career Sustainability in the Face of Clinical Scope Expansion

We all know that hospitalists’ scope of clinical practice has been evolving in significant ways for a number of years. At many hospitals virtually all medical subspecialists have backed away from active attending roles and serve only as consultants. Surgeons are demanding greater hospitalist participation in surgical co-management, often as admitting/attending physician. For example, I’m guessing that around 70 or 75% of non-academic hospitalist practices now serve as admitting/attending physician for all hip fracture patients – though my experience is anecdotal and I’m not aware of any hard data about this. In larger hospitalist programs we are seeing some hospitalists dedicate their full professional focus to the general medical care of oncology patients, or stroke patients, or hip fracture patients. Hard-pressed intensivists are asking hospitalists to care for more ICU or step-down patients or to provide nighttime ICU coverage. And hospital administrators increasingly see their hospitalists as the answer to…

A Perfect Storm

What’s a hospitalist leader to do when everything seems to be conspiring against your efforts to ensure a stable, successful hospital medicine practice? I talked recently with a hospitalist leader who is dealing with just such a scenario right now. When I visited his hospitalist practice at a small private health system of around 300 beds in a very attractive – but fairly rural – part of the country a couple of years ago, the hospitalist group of 21 docs and 5 NP/PAs was stable and high-functioning. They wanted help primarily with a few schedule and compensation issues, and they also wanted to be proactive in addressing some nascent angst related to a couple of recently-piloted work flow changes. Through our work together the group made several adjustments that were well received by the providers, and the last time I talked with the medical director things seemed to be going…

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

One of the best parts of my “job” as a more-or-less emeritus member of SHM’s Practice Analysis Committee is the chance to be involved up close and personal in the development, analysis, and reporting of the biannual State of Hospital Medicine (SoHM) survey. In fact, I’ve either led or been integrally involved in every SoHM survey since 2006, and that has enabled me to gain an extremely valuable perspective on how the specialty of hospital medicine has evolved over the last 10 years. During the last few weeks, I’ve been up to my eyeballs reviewing sections of the new 2016 survey report that were drafted – as was the case in 2014 – by Patrick Vulgamore, MPH, SHM staffer extraordinaire. While some of the data is still being analyzed, my excitement is growing about the new survey results. The State of Hospital Medicine Report will be available to the public…