It wasn't long ago that hospitalism in any form was considered a new and unique career option for internists. The field has evolved quickly in recent years, and with it the characteristics and role of the hospitalist have changed. Non-traditional careers have been, and continue to be, forged by pioneers who define for themselves what a hospitalist does, as well as how and when she does it.
Our cover story takes a look at one such alternative career path: nocturnism. About 6% of hospitalists choose to work the night shift, for reasons that range from better pay and more time off, to a desire to eliminate temporal disparities in patient care. Staff writer Stacey Butterfield captures what it's like to rise with the moon and begin one's work day, and examines whether having nocturnists at your hospital really does improve patient care and satisfaction—as well as employee satisfaction.
Clinical research is another career area that is opening up for hospitalists. Academic physicians, who have traditionally done the bulk of this research, are now partnering with community hospitalists on projects, to the benefit of both sides. The academics say the collaboration helps them test medical strategies in a real-world setting, while the community doctors say they get intellectual satisfaction from conducting research. Read about the kind of projects these research teams are working on.
Mark Chassin, FACP, knows about balancing scholarship with clinical experience. The subject of our physician profile, Dr. Chassin started his career doing a research fellowship with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation while moonlighting as an emergency medicine doctor. Now he's president of The Joint Commission. Learn how he went from student to leader, and the lessons he picked up along the way.
As always, we welcome any and all feedback from our readers. Is there anything you'd like to see in our magazine that we haven't considered? Or anything you feel you're seeing a little too much of in our pages? Drop us a line at acphospitalist[EACHAT]acponline.org.
Editor, ACP Hospitalist