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TRENDS IN HOSPITAL MEDICINE - IPC: The Hospitalist Company

TRENDS IN HOSPITAL MEDICINE - IPC: The Hospitalist Company

TRENDS IN HOSPITAL MEDICINE - IPC: The Hospitalist

TRENDS IN HOSPITAL MEDICINEFamily physicians find satisfaction as hospitalists, face challengesAlthough the vast majority of physicianswho practice hospital medicinein the United States are board certified ininternal medicine, about 3% of hospitalistshave their certification in family medicine.How do differences in training,general outlook on the practice of medicine,or other factors affect their roles ashospitalists? Do practitioners of familymedicine bring special skills to inpatientcare? Why do they choose to becomehospitalists instead of community-basedfamily doctors? Does their certification infamily practice give them a particularbond with the patient’s primary care doctorwho may also be a family practitioner?How do they fit into the hospitalistpicture, which is—at least in the U.S.—so dominated by internists?38 THE HOSPITALIST I NOVEMBER 2007To find out, we asked six hospitalistscertified in family medicine:❚ Jasen W. Gundersen, MD, divisionchief of hospital medicine,University of MassachusettsMemorial Medical Center, andassistant professor, UMass. MedicalSchool, Worcester, Mass.❚ Michael Kedansky, MD, lead hospitalistat the Kino Campus ofUniversity Physicians HealthcareHospital in Tucson, Ariz., andclinical assistant professor of familyand community medicine atthe University of Arizona Collegeof Medicine;❚ Elizabeth Chmelik, MD, directorof the Inpatient Medical Programat Scott and White UniversityMedical Campus at Texas A&MI By Joen Pritchard KinnanUniversity in Austin;❚ Echo-Marie Enns, MD, a familypractice hospitalist at the PeterLougheed Center in Calgary,Alberta, Canada.❚ Felix Aguirre, MD, vice presidentof medical affairs at IPC-theHospitalist Company, SanAntonio, Texas; and❚ Jennifer Cameron, MD, a familymedicine hospitalist with CentralTexas Hospitalist who practices atSt. David’s Hospital, RoundRock, Texas.Drs. Gundersen, Kedansky, andChmelik are members of SHM’s FamilyPractice Task Force.Training And DecisionsMost of the experts we spoke with agreetraining influenced their decision tobecome hospitalists. They cite the diversityof cases in family practice residency(adult, pediatric, and obstetric/gynecologic),which they felt they would alsofind in hospital medicine.Dr. Gundersen, chair of SHM’sFamily Practice Task Force, suspectsinternists and family physicians probablyshare one motivator for opting into hospitalmedicine: the hospital environment.“Even in residency, I liked my time in thehospital,” Dr. Gundersen says. Echoingthat sentiment, Dr. Kedansky says hemissed hospital work when he was incommunity practice.Family medicine is about peopleand relationships, says Dr. Chmelik.“You can get that same satisfaction on aninpatient basis,” she says. “I’ve alwaysILLUSTRATION TIM STANTON

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