Home Career A look at hospitalists who teach

A look at hospitalists who teach

September 2012

Published in the September 2012 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

HOSPITALISTS ARE TRADITIONALLY PORTRAYED as playing a big role in the education of physicians in training, but how many actually teach? According to data from the 2011 Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey, just under half of hospitalists work at teaching hospitals, and most of those work in a community-based, not university-based, facility. Here’s a closer look at the data.

Who works at teaching hospitals?
While 42% of hospitalists report working at teaching hospitals, those numbers vary by specialty and by gender. Fewer adult hospitalists (40%) work at teaching hospitals than pediatric hospitalists (57%), and women are slightly more likely to work in teaching hospitals than men (45% vs. 41%).

It’s not a big surprise that more hospitalists in the Northeast (58%) report working in a teaching hospital, given the number of academic centers in that part of the country. Hospitalists in the Mountain region, by comparison, are the least likely to work in a teaching facility (27%).

About one-half of hospitalists employed by hospitals and hospital corporations work at teaching hospitals. By comparison, one-quarter to one-third of hospitalists in private groups work in teaching facilities.

Teaching in the community
While hospitalists are involved in teaching, most don’t work at academic hospitals. Nearly two-thirds (65.8%) of all respondents who teach work in community-based facilities, with pediatric hospitalists slightly less likely to work in a community-based facility (60.9%) than adult hospitalists (66.9%).

On average, residency programs at the hospitals where hospitalists work have 50 trainees. The largest training programs tend to be not in the Northeast, but in the Southwest, where the average size is 64 residents. Training programs tend to be smallest in the Mountain region, where training programs average 31 residents.

How much teaching time?
Hospitalists in teaching hospitals spend about 22% of their time on teaching duties. That number is slightly lower for adult hospitalists (21.1%) and slightly higher for pediatric hospitalists (26.5%).
Teaching hospitalists who work at national hospitalist management companies spend the least amount of time teaching (10%). But even hospitalists who work at universities/medical schools spend only 35.9% of their time on teaching duties.

Finally, there are differences in the amount of time spent teaching by region. Hospitalists in the Northeast spend the most time on teaching duties (28.6%), compared to hospitalists in the Mountain region (15.9%) and the South (18.1%).