Home From The Editor A tough first year?

A tough first year?

March 2013

Published in the March 2013 issue of Today’s Hospitalist

DO NEW HOSPITALISTS have a harder time in their first job than their colleagues in other specialties?

According to this month’s cover story, the answer to that question may be “yes.” We asked first-time hospitalists and program directors alike how rookies do in their first jobs, and the consensus is that many new hospitalists are struggling mightily.

New hospitalists are often shocked at just how much pressure they face. For many, it’s not so much the clinical duties that are overwhelming, but “other” duties, like making sure they do well on core measures and prevent iatrogenic complications. One hospitalist we spoke to said she has never felt as tired as she did during her first year as a hospitalist.

The obvious downside of such a rough transition is that some young physicians will simply leave hospital medicine. That only exacerbates the shortage of experienced hospitalists by dumping more work on those who stick around. It also potentially creates a vicious cycle of burnout.

One way to prevent hospitalists “particularly new physicians ” from burning out is to make sure they understand what’s expected of them. Our feature provides advice on how young hospitalists can use the interview process to find a practice that will be a good fit, with the goal of avoiding burnout and attrition.

Some of the tips are designed to help young physicians present themselves in the best possible light “don’t start the interview by asking if you’ll have to work nights, for example “but others are designed to help both young hospitalists and hospitalist groups make a solid match. That’s good for not only the careers of individual physicians, but also for the specialty.

edoyleEdward Doyle
Editor & Publisher