Posts by Vineet Arora

The Nation’s Top Doctor: A Hospitalist

Last month, Dr. Vivek Murthy was confirmed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for the nation’s top post as a physician – Surgeon General. The full Senate will now ultimately schedule a vote on his nomination. It is noteworthy in a number of ways, such as being the youngest Surgeon General or the first South Asian to be nominated for this office. However, there is another way in which his nomination is noteworthy – he is also a hospitalist.  In fact, while practicing as a hospitalist at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Murthy was able lead advocacy and community organizing initiatives through Doctors for America, which was a major vehicle to help doctors advocate for expanding insurance for all through the Affordable Care Act. While his advocacy to promote better health and access to care through Doctors for America has been seen by Republicans as “too…

Keeping Academic Hospitalists Academic

I recently visited the Montefiore hospitalist program under the direction of Dr. Will Southern and met a great group of junior hospitalists in academia who are beginning to build their academic careers in medical education.  Later that afternoon, I joined SHM’s Physicians in Training Committee for a lively discussion on early career hospitalists.  While hospitalists are now an ever-present and growing fixture in academic teaching hospitals, they are often viewed as “clinical workhorses” and could get easily overlooked for positions in medical education.  It is clear that now is the right time to get hospitalists to the right place, specifically the nexus of current forces at play in medical education and hospital care that make hospitalists natural allies to medical school deans and residency program directors.  So for any early career hospitalists looking to “break in” to medical education, here are a few tips on getting to the “right place”.…

Hospitalists as Hotspotters: There’s No Place Like Home

One morning before rounds, my resident sheepishly admitted their disbelief that one of the patients we recently discharged had been readmitted.  Our residents keep patients on their “epic list” and can easily see if they reappeared in the ED or the hospital.  Certainly, this was a far cry from a study that suggested that if a patient is readmitted the hospital team did not even know! Using the patient’s readmission as a safety teaching opportunity, we did our own mini M&M on what we could have done differently.  Interestingly, we could not come up with anything!  Even the PCP was shocked the patient was readmitted and thought what else could we have done.  The patient, who suffered from complex chronic illnesses, felt well when they went home, but was readmitted a week alter with a different problem unrelated to their index admission.  While this was just one patient, it’s not…