So where do we lead? What direction should we be taking our groups?

Rob Chang writes…

Most of my colleagues on this leadership blog have been involved with leadership on the national level, whether via the Society of Hospital Medicine or through leadership of a multi-state hospitalist organization.  I have not.  I am a local hospitalist leader in an academic center, dealing with the daily mundane tasks of our group’s administration (I do make schedules with my secretary), the future concerns and opportunities for our group (what’s the next big thing we are facing), and contributing to our group’s identity as an academic success (publishing on the things that we do every day as hospitalists).

My world consists of Ann Arbor, a remarkably blue city in a sea of red, a beautiful mix of great restaurants, college-city entertainment and lots of green space, trees and fields.  I have a new house I’m struggling to fill with furniture, one piece at a time (much less one room at a time).  I wake up to work with a fantastic group of physicians who I can rely upon and trust; to a hospital that is flawed, generous, self-important and yet seeking to improve itself; and to a job that emphasizes improving the workplace for our physicians and patients, teaching residents and transforming what we do into something that can be passed along to others.  Perhaps that sounds familiar?

For me, the national stage is one I can turn my back on without trouble.  I am terribly glad that we have people who are willing and interested in performing on that level…and I am highly invested in making sure that those are the right people.

But that does not mean I do not lead.  And in all likelihood, if you are reading this blog, you will also not operate on the national level.
But that also does not mean that you do not lead.

So where do we lead?  What direction should we be taking our groups?

I was reading through some of the posts in recent months and I’ll start with one core goal: investment in the hospital that you work in, as in this post by John Nelson.  This type of investment does reduce burnout by hospitalists but I think it does so by allowing physicians to help shape how their workplace looks.  While that benefits the hospitalists, I believe we bring something to the table that many academic (and non-academic) hospitals have often lacked – a strong, persistent physician voice that highlights issues that are often overlooked or dropped due to insufficient time or avenues of improvement.

More on local leadership next time.

1 Comment

  1. Jairy Hunter on November 5, 2009 at 10:29 am

    This is an excellent point, Robert. I think with the meteoric rise of hospitalists into the administrative realm, we local leaders grapple with the question of “what’s next?” We feel the urgency sometimes to move on to “bigger and better things,” when we have a monumental task(s) right in front of us. I guess for some of us, making an impact on a smaller scale is gratification enough.

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