By: Heather Nye, MD, PhD, SFHM
Why is it that we go to professional conferences? CME? Cutting-edge clinical topics? Networking? Dissemination of work? Great vacations? YES! Over one’s hospitalist career, any one of these may take a front seat as activities evolve and years go by. What always remains the same, however, is the sense of inspiration and ‘togetherness’ that professional meetings can provide to energize us. At my first SHM Annual Meeting in 2004, I recall the excitement of hospitalist hoards in the hallways – making their way to talks, to freebies in the vendor area, to meet colleagues for dinner, or to chat with old friends. I’d never felt more a part of something—or proud of the field I’d chosen.
Now, some 15 years later, that pride remains—but has deepened. As a member of the Annual Meeting Committee, I’ve had a front row seat to the careful consideration taken to create an entertaining, balanced, and high-quality event for thousands of like-minded colleagues. The most inspiring thing is how hospital medicine continues to evolve to meet needs. It is a field of innovation and necessity—and puts needs of the system before any particular cherished ‘skillset’ or dogma. Hospital economics continue to create incentives to bend, not break, and our field seems to always answer the call.
Just like the specialty, SHM’s Annual Conference continues to evolve in order to provide the most relevant & highest quality content for those in the field. This year, we asked for your input, and you answered! An unprecedented general call for HM19 content and speakers helped shape our upcoming meeting. These rich and unique submissions were considered, and in many cases, incorporated into our program.
So, what do we have to look forward to for HM19? In addition to the usual line-up of key clinical topics, two new tracks are being introduced—including Clinical Mastery, featuring cannot-miss classic findings from ECGs and physical exam, and Between the Guidelines, addressing those tricky cases where available evidence for management doesn’t quite fit. This year also will feature the first Palliative Care & Pain Management Pre-Course, a product of overwhelmingly popular sessions at the general meeting last year.
The newly introduced and well-received Seasoning Your Career track will be continued. This, combined with Early Career Hospitalists, will address issues relevant to a spectrum of hospitalists at all stages of their careers. One such topic is financial planning, a clear favorite at HM18. In fact, speakers from the session were seen answering questions outside the room hours after the talk ended.
New to the conference this year? A few tips from an old-timer:
- Print a Schedule at a Glance—GOLD (especially if you are not in love with scrolling on your phone screen).
- Download the HM19 at Hand app to your phone and laptop and tag talks that you are interested in on your personal calendar. It has a map, too!
- Take note of repeated talks and consider going to the ‘second showing’ for improved chances at a seat.
- Have your phone and app ready for those sessions with audience response.
- On social media, be sure to follow and post using the hashtag, #hospmed19.
- DON’T WORRY that you can’t see all the sessions you’re interested in. It’s a little overwhelming, but any given talk will hold loads of helpful information for you to take home. Make your mini-meeting within a meeting a fruitful one by being open to ‘happy accidents.’
To meet the changing needs of the Society and the field of hospital medicine, entertain en masse and educate all at once is a daunting task indeed. But SHM continues to do so—creating novel content and bringing back old favorites year after year. So, yes, you’ll get your CME, MOC, CE, & Pharmacology credits (new this year!), your just-in-time clinical updates, and maybe you’ll make time to tour the monuments or take part in advocacy efforts on Hill Day. In any case, I hope you’ll still feel a twinge of excitement putting on that badge, knowing you’re about to convene with almost 5,000 other providers in the greatest specialty. See you there.