Imagine for a minute that you’re Bob Wachter.
Last week, you introduced your book to more than 3,000 hospitalists at Hospital Medicine 2015 on a Wednesday. Then, on Saturday, your photo is on the cover of Modern Healthcare and you find yourself at the top of the list of its top 50 most influential physician executives.
His rise to thought leadership isn’t accidental. It’s the product of decades of commitment, insight and genuine compassion for hospitalized patients.
And Dr. Wachter is not unique in his rise to national influence in healthcare. Hospitalists are trained and well suited to lead national efforts to improve patient care at all levels of our healthcare system.
For the first time ever, three hospitalists – Drs. Wachter (number one), Patrick Conway (11) and Vivek Murthy (17) – were in the top 20 of the Modern Healthcare Top 50 Most Influential Physicians list.
In years past, the list has included multiple hospitalists; 2015 marks the increasing influence of those hospitalists on healthcare. Here’s what Modern Healthcare says about the members of this year’s list:
The 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders honors physicians working in the healthcare industry who are deemed by their peers and an expert panel to be the most influential in terms of demonstrating leadership and impact. These physician leaders are innovators, excel in community services, and demonstrate reputable executive authority.
When you couple that innovation, service and authority with the hospital medicine movement’s commitment to improving care for the hospitalized patient, it’s a win for hospitalists, hospitals and the patients they serve together.
On behalf of SHM and the 44,000 hospitalists nationwide, I congratulate the Drs. Wachter, Conway and Murthy for being included on Modern Healthcare’s 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders. The very qualities that put them on the top 20 of this list are the same qualities that make them exceptional hospitalists.
As I said at Hospital Medicine 2015, Dr. Wachter needs no introduction, but, ironically, he introduced hospitalists to all of healthcare less than 20 years ago in 1996. And his new book is already changing the way we look at how clinicians and computers will care for patients.
Dr. Conway, who spoke to thousands of hospitalists at our meetings in 2013 and 2014, has blazed new paths in innovation and quality at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Quality. His attention to the cost of care and quality improvement are hallmarks of his work as a hospitalist.
Finally, as U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy is a newcomer to the Modern Healthcare list, but not to the hospital medicine community. Hospitalists are often the “face” of care in the hospital and now Dr. Murthy will be the face of American healthcare to millions.
However, this is more than a time for congratulations. This list is a call to action for hospitalists and all those committed to providing the best possible care to hospitalized patients.
Last week, I met hundreds of hospitalists at Hospital Medicine 2015 – from medical students fired up about meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to new leaders in improving quality, teaching and the patient experience. After experiencing their enthusiasm for the specialty and its goals, I am convinced that the hospital medicine movement’s best, most influential, days are still ahead of us.
Like the hospitalists on the 2015 list, there are thousands of other hospitalist leaders across the country who are demonstrating leadership and truly impacting the lives of hospitalized patients for the better.
I am confident that this Modern Healthcare Top 50 list has room for at least ten members of the hospital medicine movement in the near future.
And, when they are recognized, it will only mean good things for America’s hospitals and communities.