Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 10 issues in hospital medicine for 2009, issue 2: hospitalist job descriptions and career satisfaction

Get rid of the nurses' caps and replace the PA system with pagers and this video could almost pass as a documentary on the life of a hospitalist.

These hospitalists were overworked and, being at the beck and call of administration, constantly interrupted. Although the administrator was a physician he didn't seem very sympathetic to their professional needs.

Building an excellent hospitalist program requires hiring and retaining excellent (career) hospitalists. To attract and retain excellent hospitalists a program must offer professional satisfaction. Professional satisfaction depends on the job description. Therein lies the problem. The increasingly amorphous description of the hospitalist job is badly in need of definition as hospitalists are increasingly viewed as utility players and business solutions responsible for an increasing array of non clinical tasks.

The Society of Hospital Medicine urgently needs to address this problem. So far, unfortunately, they have taken little initiative in doing so, at least from what I've been able to observe.

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