Development Phase


More than 350 pediatric hospitalists convened in Tampa, Fla., last week for Pediatric Hospital Medicine (PHM) 2009, tri-sponsored by SHM, the Academic Pediatric Association (APA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). More impressive than the continued growth of the field, however, was the palpable theme of development and maturation.

The theme was immediately evident as Patrick Conway, MD, MSc, took the stage to give the keynote address. Dr. Conway, a card-carrying pediatric hospitalist, has built upon his beginnings in health services research and a White House fellowship to become the chief medical officer in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Secretary/Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. He also is the executive director of the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research.

After providing an insider’s view of HHS, comparative effectiveness research, and healthcare reform and policy, he challenged pediatric hospitalists to demonstrate their value to the healthcare system.

Synergistically, this year’s meeting also provided an opportunity for the PHM Roundtable, a strategic planning session of pediatric hospitalist leaders, to fully share its vision for transforming the delivery of hospital care to children. As a manifestation of this vision, collaborative discussions and workgroup plans coalesced amid the enlightening mix of clinical, practice management, academic, and quality and patient safety workshops.

Growth and development are central concepts in pediatrics, and PHM 2009 highlighted the field’s energetic steps towards maturation.

Dr. Shen is pediatric editor of The Hospitalist and medical director of hospital medicine at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas

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