The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
Hospitals can be complex, challenging, and dehumanizing for both patients and practitioners. In a national survey, up to half of hospitalists were affected by burnout and scored highly on emotional exhaustion and depersonalization scales.1
Yet hospitals are also ripe with meaningful stories. In addition to patients’ narratives, the stories of multidisciplinary team members who make quality patient care possible reveal that we are bound together in more ways than we realize. Now, we have the opportunity to tell these stories.
This issue of Journal of Hospital Medicine introduces a new series: In the Hospital. Through selected interviews we explore the day-to-day lives of members of our hospital team. Highlighting the “team” in healthcare has been a longstanding focus of JHM, but we also hope that this series will demonstrate how each individual we meet with is not only a critical part of how patients receive care but is also an important member of our community.
We invite readers to appreciate the common threads that bind these pieces together. These stories will introduce us to individuals who have discrete and often disparate job descriptions, but all of them care about patients and want the best for them. Some are frustrated with the health care system and the constraints it places on our efficiency. Many of them worry about how to balance the demands of work with the need to be available for their families and friends. Many are trying their best to maintain their humanism, build resilience, and sustain themselves in ways that meet their personal goals for excellence, empathy, and fulfillment.
This series begins with the story of a palliative-care clinical chaplain whose life experience and perspective brings to light issues of resilience, meaning, and purpose. Future stories in this series will include a variety of providers across a spectrum of practice environments. We look forward to engaging you in this journey and welcome feedback and contributions.
The authors have nothing to disclose.