Dr. Howell’s Quest

By  |  March 11, 2014 | 

Who remembers this? That is 3rd year medical student Lesley Sutherland from the University of Maryland on stage at HM13 last May in Washington, DC being inducted into SHM by Eric Howell, SHM President (and Lesley’s brother).  If you recall, just prior to calling Lesley to the stage, Dr Howell told us what he wanted to see in the next year of his presidency more efforts at attracting students and residents to the rolls of SHM.  His goal was to try and reach 1000 total learner members by HM 2014 in Las Vegas, effectively doubling the current representation. His goal was even more audacious because HM 14 was only 10 months away! I was curious as to how his quest was going, so I called him up and here is what I learned.

Well to start off the numbers are looking good.  With 9 months since the challenge, we are up to 887 new learners.

SHM’s Physicians In Training Committee, led by Vineet Arora and Darlene Tad-y , has worked closely with Howell and helped lay out an ambitious plan for attracting these new members.  The committee and SHM staff developed a traveling roadshow of Young Physician Events (YPEs). The first was held at Jefferson Medical College and attracted 150 students.  Dr Howell presided over this first event giving a lecture and answering questions about life as a hospitalist.  Dozens of new members joined for this one event.  The next one occurred in Baltimore sponsored by the Baltimore Chapter of SHM.  Because it also was such a success, more events are being planned for New York in the spring and Chicago in October, and we will be adding other venues soon.

In addition to these YPEs, the Physician’s in Training Committee is reaching out directly to program directors across the country and also overseeing the development of an online video series on why key leaders and big shots in hospital medicine find the field so rewarding.

You may also remember in Howell’s speech that he was willing to spend SHM’s money to spur the membership into action.  He announced that whichever SHM member could sign up the most trainees or students would get 5 years of free SHM membership!  As of this writing the leading recruiter has signed up 25 new members.  We’ll reveal the winner at HM14.  But 25 doesn’t seem like it ought to be enough to take home the prize.  Surely, someone out there knows a gaggle of students or residents who would like to get free membership to the society (along with free copies of JHM and The Hospitalist each month).  Just link to www.joinshm.org or send an email to [email protected] and have them reference you.

Before I got off the phone, I asked Eric why he felt so strongly about getting these learners signed up.
He said, ” Students and housestaff are the future and we need to invest in them now so that their home is hospital medicine.” Amen, brother!

Lesley was the first of many new inductees under Dr. Howell’s term as President.  Regardless of whether he hits that target of 1,000, it’s clear that his quest has spurred the organization to look hard at how we attract and retain young hospitalists-to-be.

Join me in Las Vegas at HM14 to see Eric announce the winner of the recruiting challenge and teach us more about the importance of the new trainee pipeline in his farewell address as SHM President !

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About the Author: Burke Kealey

Burke Kealey
Burke Kealey, MD, SFHM is the Senior Medical Director for Hospital Specialties at HealthPartners Medical Group in Bloomington, Minnesota. Dr. Kealey began his career as a hospitalist in 1995 and has worked in medical leadership since 2000. In 2003 he was awarded SHM’s Award for Clinical Excellence. He has Chaired SHM’s Practice Analysis Committee and helped produce several of SHM’s Compensation and Productivity surveys. Dr. Kealey is a past president of SHM’s board of directors and has served as secretary and treasurer in past terms. Dr. Kealey has a strong interest in ensuring that hospital medicine practices are effectively managed with a strong focus on the triple aim of affordability, great experience, and best health for our patients. Raised in Texas, Dr. Kealey received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University, his medical degree from the University of Texas at Houston, and then moved north for Internal Medicine training at the University of Minnesota Hospitals and Clinics. While in chief residency he met his lovely wife Samantha, a Minnesota native and current Emergency Medicine physician. Together, they have 4 children.


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