The Penetrating Point

Challenges and opportunities in Academic Hospital Medicine: Report from the Academic Hospital Medicine Summit




The field of hospital medicine is growing rapidly in academic medical centers. However, few organizations have explicitly considered the opportunities for and barriers to hospital medicine's development as an academic field in internal medicine.


The objective was to develop consensus around key areas limiting or facilitating hospital medicine's development as an academic discipline.


The design was a consensus format conference of key stakeholders in academic hospital medicine.


The consensus group identified several issues impeding the development of academic hospital medicine as a recognized entity in academic settings, including extraordinarily rapid growth, increasingly preponderant nonteaching roles, and demands to perform nonclinical duties (such as quality improvement) not generally viewed as academic pursuits. The consensus group developed recommendations for addressing these concerns, specifically: 1) characterizing the optimal job description for an academic hospitalist, 2) developing better local and at‐a‐distance opportunities for training academic hospitalists in key aspects of early career success, and 3) advocating for the development of fellows and junior faculty researchers in hospital medicine.


Fostering academic hospital medicine will help address these issues more effectively and will help the field while also attracting the next generation of generalists needed to care for an increasingly complex inpatient population. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2009;4:240–246. © 2009 Society of Hospital Medicine.

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