Making The Most Of Hospital Medicine 2019

The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) Annual Conference, Hospital Medicine 2019 (HM19), is just around the corner and there are some exciting things to highlight before we all head to Washington, D.C.  The conference itself spans a massive spectrum of topics within hospital medicine, but to make it relevant and digestible to each individual, the content has been organized into different tracks to aid participants in optimizing his/her experiences.  For our new hospitalists, resident physicians, and medical students who are interested in Hospital Medicine, the Early Career Hospitalist track is tailored just for you. This track was designed by SHM’s Physicians-in-Training (PIT) Committee, which includes nationally recognized hospitalists with expertise in scholarship, career development, and medical education; this track aims to inspire future hospitalist leaders.

On Day 1 of HM19, March 25, the committee is facilitating three sessions, including: 1) A Whirlwind Tour of Famous Landmark (Articles): Must-Know Literature to Impress Your Peers and Attendings, 2) Hospitalist Billing 101, and 3) Call Night: Common Scenarios Encountered and Strategies to Make it Through the Night. Furthermore, the committee will host a luncheon and interview workshop where participants can engage national leaders in quality improvement, education, research, among other fields.

As the time nears, I wanted to point out a blueprint that many of our savvy conference goers follow in order to get the most out of their experiences. The first step includes some preparation before attending the conference.  Take a moment to scan the schedule from the SHM website ( Review the tracks, talks, and speakers, and highlight the content that appeals to you. Also pay attention to the different types of forums: plenary sessions, didactics, workshops, interest groups, poster and oral sessions.  An additional tool, the SHM conference mobile application usually becomes available a few days prior to the conference. Go ahead and download it on your phone so you can highlight all of your selected sessions to keep organized. You can even review slide decks for several of the talks to learn more.

Then take a moment to develop a short elevator pitch about yourself (max 2 minutes).  Craft a script that clearly conveys your experience, interests, and vision. Practice giving it to your colleagues/mentors/friends and ask for feedback. The more comfortable you are with this tool, the more fluid your message will be to allow for great conversation and networking.

When attending the meeting, remember to pace yourself.  Be aware of your attention span when it comes to attending, listening, and participating in such venues. There’s only so much caffeine you can ingest to keep up; everyone has his or her saturation point.   Save your energy for the things that are most important to you. If social media is your thing, then by all means use twitter with the SHM handle to share content and moments from the conference. Also, come prepared to exchange contact information on the spot; if your division makes business cards, bring them with you and hand them out when appropriate. This is where your ‘elevator pitch’ is something you can lean on when asked to introduce yourself or to describe your interests.

Once the conference concludes, it is time to close the loop on a few items.  Email select contacts to allow for ongoing dialogue, mentoring, etc.. Summarize what you learned for your group/division to help foster ongoing learning and teaching.  If you were inspired by some of the talks, and feel it’s time to actively contribute to next year’s conference, start writing up your idea and find other collaborators. Workshop deadlines for these annual meetings come rather quickly and no time like the present.

It is worth mentioning that previous attendees have met their future employers at the PIT Committee-sponsored events when they attended as resident physicians. Others have been able to collaborate on common academic interests that have led to further exciting opportunities.   I have personally been able to grow my mentorship network beyond my immediate circle which I have found to be immensely gratifying. So I encourage you all to take the time (even if it’s a little), and go through the above steps. I promise you won’t be disappointed!  See you all at HM19!!!
Posted by Pallabi Sanyal-Dey on Jan 30, 2019 7:57 PM America/New_York