As we navigate a time unlike any other, it is clear that the value hospitalists provide is growing stronger as the hospital medicine field expands. Many Society of Hospital Medicine members look to its Fellows program as a worthwhile opportunity to distinguish themselves as leaders in the field and accelerate their careers in the specialty.
An active member of SHM since 2012 and member of its 2020 class of Fellows, Tanisha Hamilton, MD, FHM, is one of these ambitious individuals.
Dr. Hamilton is based at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, an affiliate of Baylor Scott & White Health. Known for personalized health and wellness care, Dr. Hamilton has more than 14 years of experience in the medical field.
Her love for the hospital medicine specialty is rooted in its diversity and complexity of patient cases – something that she knew would innately complement her personality. She says that an invaluable aspect of working in the field is the ability to interact and connect with people from all walks of life.
“My patients keep me motivated in this space. Learning from my patients and having the responsibility of serving as their advocate is incredibly rewarding,” Dr. Hamilton said. “I hope my patients feel like I’ve helped to make a difference in their lives, if only for just a moment.”
When reflecting on why she joined SHM 8 years ago, Dr. Hamilton said she was encouraged to do so because of its like-minded membership community and professional development opportunities, including the Fellows program.
“I applied to SHM’s Fellows program because I’m committed to the specialty. Hospital medicine is an ever-changing field loaded with opportunities to enhance personal and professional career growth,” said Dr. Hamilton. “To me, SHM’s Fellow in Hospital Medicine [FHM] designation demonstrates the ability to make a contribution to the field and to be an instrument for change.”
She credits receiving her designation as a distinction that has opened doors to other career-enhancing opportunities and networking resources, including an expansive global community, program development at her institution, and positions within SHM. Since earning her FHM designation, Dr. Hamilton has become an engaged member of the annual meeting committee and the North Central Texas Chapter.
“Since we are taking our annual conference virtual for SHM Converge in 2021, I’m excited to see how we can transform a meeting of more than 5,000 attendees into a full digital experience with interactive workshops, exhibits, research competitions, and more,” Dr. Hamilton said. “It’s certainly going to be a challenge, but I know that our meetings department and annual conference committee will make it a success!”
As Dr. Hamilton looks forward in her hospital medicine career, she is committed to making a positive impact on the field and for her patients.
In the future, Dr. Hamilton hopes to share curriculum she recently developed and sponsored around diversity, equity, and inclusion with her team at Baylor University Medical Center.
“Following the tragic deaths of numerous individuals, including Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Abery, and George Floyd, and other people of color who have died because of COVID-19, I have felt compelled to educate my colleagues on how to curtail systemic racism, sexism, religious discrimination, and xenophobia in health care,” Dr. Hamilton said. “This curriculum includes courses on health disparities and cultural competencies, launching a lecture series, and other educational components.”
While 2020 has been a trying year, Dr. Hamilton remains hopeful for a prosperous future.
“When I think of the future of hospital medicine, I am hopeful that hospitalists will have a more prominent role in changing the direction of our health care system,” she said. “The pandemic has made the world realize the importance of hospital medicine. We, as hospitalists, are a critical part of its infrastructure and its success.”
If you would like to join Dr. Hamilton and other like-minded hospital medicine leaders in accelerating your career, SHM is currently recruiting for the Fellows and Senior Fellows class of 2021. Applications are open until Nov. 20, 2020. These designations are available across a variety of membership categories, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and qualified practice administrators. Dedicated to promoting excellence, innovation, and quality improvement in patient care, Fellows designations provide members with a distinguishing credential as established pioneers in the industry.
For more information and to review your eligibility, visit hospitalmedicine.org/fellows.
Ms. Cowan is a communications specialist at the Society of Hospital Medicine.