DHM

Many potential future fellows wonder if they should do a fellowship or join the workforce directly. Why would you recommend graduating residents or early career hospitalists pursue a fellowship in hospital medicine?

  • "While being a resident is rough, your work generally is over when you head home for the night. This isn't always true in academic hospital medicine. Clinical work, email, improvement work, curriculum design, etc. often follow you home. To be successful as an academic hospitalist, it is helpful to have a passion and mentored experience helping you translate that passion into meaningful work. This is hard to do in the "off hours" of an early hospitalist. Possible, but hard. The fellowship gives you a year of mentored support in both exploring your passions and how to turn them into academic work that can be disseminated. It is an investment in yourself and your future!"
  • "If you envision that your career will be a mix of practicing medicine and something else, then the fellowship may be for you. Whether that something else is being an educator, QI director, or data scientist, the fellowship gives you dedicated time and mentorship to develop the skills necessary to successfully apply for a job where you can have dedicated, paid time to work on those efforts. The opportunity cost is high for a single year but it pays off multiple times over when it helps you enter a sustainable career as an academic hospitalist at a level that would have taken many years to obtain otherwise."
  • "The main benefits of fellowship, in my opinion, are time and mentorship. Most junior faculty begin with clinically heavy schedules and carving out time for developing projects and interests is difficult in the early years. In addition, it's a vicious loop - you have to show results to get more protected time but in order to get results you need more time. Fellowship provides dedicated time for developing interests, skills, and time to execute an actual project and see it to fruition and create a career pathway."
  • "Yes, junior faculty do get mentorship, but not to the level that fellows get. The weekly meetings, the regular feedback is far more than most junior faculty receive (at least in my opinion) and I have seen far more personal and professional growth in that one year than I would have otherwise."

How have your experiences during your fellowship year impacted your current career?

  • "Because of the hospital medicine fellowship, I was able to learn the tenets of clinical research and publish a couple of papers based on work that was done during the fellowship. My current department is using my knowledge of patient safety and quality improvement to lead departmental conference and mentor fellows."
  • "I went into fellowship to create a skillset (learn QI, curriculum development, etc. after being in private practice for a year) but came out of it with a better understanding of my interests and skills that have helped me carve out a career path. I had a running start in my new position in QI with an early leadership role within my hospital medicine group, but also subsequent leadership roles within the hospital as well (all within 2 years of being here)."
  • "The projects I pursued and relationships I built during my fellowship year have formed the cornerstone of my work as a young hospitalist. It allowed me the time to develop a unique clinical skill set (Point of Care Ultrasound) and to explore funding options and create a business plan for integration of this skill set into the division as a whole. It also gave me the time and space to complete several academic projects and bring them full circle to publication by my first year as faculty."