PHM virtual conference promises practical pearls, plus Dr. Fauci


The Pediatric Hospital Medicine annual conference, though virtual in 2021, promises to retain its role as the premier educational event for pediatric hospitalists and other clinicians involved in treating pediatric patients.

The “can’t-miss” session, on August 5, at 6:30 p.m. ET, is a one-on-one discussion between Anthony S. Fauci, MD, and Lee Savio Beers, MD, president of the American Academic of Pediatrics, according to members of the meeting planning committee.

In addition to the conversation between Dr. Beers and Dr. Fauci, this year’s meeting offers a mix of workshops with pointers and pearls to improve practice, keynote and plenary sessions to inform and inspire, and abstract presentations of new research. Three members of the PHM Planning Committee shared their insights on the hot topics, advice for new clinicians, and tips for making the most of this year’s meeting.

Workshops worth watching

“The keynote plenary sessions by Julie Silver, MD, on ‘Accelerating Patient Care and Healthcare Workforce Diversity and Inclusion,’ and by Ilan Alhadeff, MD, on ‘Leading through Adversity’ should inspire even the least enthusiastic among us,” Mirna Giordano, MD, FHM, of Columbia University Medical Center, New York, said in an interview. A talk by Nathan T. Chomilo, MD, “will likely prompt reflection on how George Floyd’s death changed us, and how we practice medicine forever.” In addition, “PHM Stories are not to be missed, they are voices that speak loud and move mountains.”

Mirna Giordano, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center, New York

Dr. Mirna Giordano

The PHM Stories are concise, narrative talks with minimal use of slides; each PHM Stories session includes three distinct talks and a 15-minute question and answer session. PHM Stories sessions are scheduled for each day of the conference, and topics include “Practicing Medicine While Human: The Secrets Physicians Keep,” by Uchenna Ewulonu, MD; “Finding the Power of the Imposter: How I Learned to Be Exactly the Color I Am, Everywhere I Go,” by Alexandra Coria, MD; and “Purple Butterflies: A Reflection on Why I’m a Pediatric Hospitalist,” by Joanne Mendoza, MD.

“The PHM community has been through a lot in the aftermath of the pandemic,” said Dr. Giordano. “The mini-plenary session on the mental health needs of our patients, and clinical quick-hit sessions on verbal deescalation of the agitated patients and cardiac effects of COVID-19 will likely be not only very popular, but also useful in clinical endeavors. The workshop on how to navigate the adult issues in hospitalized patients will provide the Med-Peds pearls we all wish we heard earlier.”

Although a 75-minute workshop session may seem long, “the workshop choices will offer something for everyone’s taste: education, research, clinical topics, diversity, and advocacy,” Dr. Giordano said. “I suggest that attendees check in advance which sessions will be available after the meeting, so that they prioritize highly interactive sessions like workshops, and that they experience, even if virtual, small group/room gatherings and networking.” There will be time for fun, too, she emphasized, with social sessions “that we hope will break the screen monotony and bring smiles to everyone’s faces.”

For younger clinicians relatively new to practice, Dr. Giordano recommended several workshops for a wealth of advice and guidance, including “New Kids on the Block: Thriving in your First Faculty Position,” “Channeling Your Inner Coach: Techniques to Enhance Clinical Teaching & Feedback,” “Palliative Care Pearls for the Pediatric Hospitalist,” “Perioperative Medicine for Medically Complex Children: Case Studies in Programmatic Approaches,” “The Bare Necessities: Social Determinant of Health Screening for the Hospitalist,” and “Mentorship, Autonomy, and Supervising a PHM Fellow.”


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