Published in the July 2016 issue of Today’s Hospitalist
Whether you’re a brand new hospitalist or you’ve been practicing for 10 years, you could probably use a little help now and then. That’s something that hospitalist groups are beginning to recognize and act on.
It’s a concept on the minds of physicians at teaching hospitals this time of the year, as a fresh crop of residents arrives and a new wave of hospitalists begins practicing. Our story takes a look at a boot camp for first-year internal medicine residents.
This three-year-old program mixes physicians with nurses, respiratory therapists, and NP and pharmacy students to give them a big-picture view of how things get done in the hospital and to learn how to work well with others.
Another story examines a coaching program that aims to give new hospitalists a boost of clinical confidence by pairing them with more experienced physicians. Most of the young hospitalists say that having a chance to run challenging patients by more seasoned colleagues helps them fine-tune their diagnostic approaches.
But the benefits also apply to their senior colleagues: Nearly all the physicians serving as mentors in the program reported satisfaction with their roles. That shows that even seasoned hospitalists can use a little boost, which is the focus of our cover story. Patient satisfaction scores are a fact of life, but physicians understandably dislike the idea of promoting themselves and their facility to improve their scores.
As a result, hospitalist programs are giving their physicians some help in the form of coaching and scripts. Trainers are working with some hospitalists one on one and in small groups to make them more comfortable—and better communicators.
The immediate goal may be improving patient satisfaction scores. But groups say the payoff is also in doctors’ professional development, a marketable skill that evidence shows boosts physicians’ professional satisfaction as well.
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