Background: Acknowledging that a successful career in hospital medicine (HM) may require specialized skills, residency programs have developed hospital medicine-focused education (HMFE) programs. Surveys of internal medicine residency leaders have described HMFE curricula but are limited to that specialty and lack input from early career hospitalists (ECHs) who recently completed this training. Therefore, we surveyed multi-specialty ECHs to identify needs and preferences for HMFE and to evaluate gaps in standard residency training and career development that HMFE can bridge.

Methods: From February-March 2021, ECHs (defined as hospitalists within 0-5 years from residency) were surveyed using the Society of Hospital Medicine’s listserv. Respondents identified as having participated in HMFE or not during residency (defining them as HMFE participants or non-HMFE participants). HMFE participants were subsequently asked to: 1) characterize content of their experience, 2) contrast their experiences with traditional inpatient rotations, and 3) describe the effects of participation on career development and preparedness for practice. All respondents ranked preferences for the top-five clinical, top-three non-clinical, and top-five curricular elements for HMFE and identified perceived gaps in career development and traditional residency training that an HMFE experience could fill.

Results: From 257 respondents, 84 (33%) ECHs met inclusion criteria. Half (n=42) were HMFE participants. ECHs ranked clinical hospitalist career preparation (86%) and mentorship from HM faculty (85%) as the most important gaps in standard residency training and career development that HMFE can bridge. Other key components of HMFE included exposure to quality improvement, patient safety, and high-value care (67%); provision of autonomy through independent rounding (54%); and preparation for the job application process (70%). Respondents highlighted diversity, equity, and inclusion; business of medicine and healthcare delivery; point-of-care ultrasound; and critical care exposure as additional topics important to HMFE.

Conclusions: Multi-specialty ECHs describe HMFE as positively influencing their decision to pursue a hospitalist career and increasing their preparedness for practice. HMFE may be particularly well-suited to foster advanced clinical skills such as independent rounding, critical thinking, and self-reflection. Our study provides novel insights which may assist in the development of HMFE programs nationwide.

IMAGE 1: Table 1. Reported Prevalence and Preferences for Clinical, Non-Clinical, and Curricular Activities in Hospital Medicine Focused Education Reported by Early Career Hospitalists

IMAGE 2: Table 2. Most Important Differences Between Hospital Medicine Focused Education Training and Traditional Wards Rotations Reported by Early Career Hospitalists