Published in the October 2013 issue of Today’s Hospitalist
Just when I think how far hospitalists have come in the last decade or so, I hear stories from physicians out there in the trenches showing that the specialty still has a long way to go in many places.
Consider this month’s cover story, which looks at hospitals that have recently started a hospitalist program for the first time. (Believe it not, that’s one hospital out of every five!) The physicians running these programs are facing many of the same challenges that hospitalists faced 10 years ago, from fierce resistance from some primary care physicians to administrators who may not understand the groups they’ve formed or who worry about too much change happening too quickly.
I thought that hospital medicine had moved beyond many of these problems, but programs just getting started are often confronted with a severe case of dÃ©jÃ vu. And while these programs have to fight battles that seem like old news to the rest of the specialty, they’re also expected to deliver decidedly up-to-date results, from lower readmission rates to stellar patient satisfaction scores.
The topic of hospital medicine’s growth has been on my mind lately because next month marks the 10th birthday of Today’s Hospitalist magazine. That anniversary is serving as a good excuse to revisit some issues we’ve covered over the years, and to reflect on the specialty’s unprecedented growth.
That perspective makes the fact that some hospitalists are fighting many of the same old battles that much more surprising.
Editor & Publisher