Deliberate Practice Makes Perfect: Expertise Training on the Wards

Meeting: Hospital Medicine 2012, April 1-4, San Diego, Calif.

Abstract number: 97754


Academic productivity is a key component of advancement in academic medicine and development of expertise, however many new attendings lack the knowledge and experience to publish a paper. For example, a multi–institutional survey of academic hospitalists revealed that half of academic hospitalists have not produced an abstract, poster or first–author paper. The importance of deliberate practice in expert performance has been established for several decades but has yielded few practical applications for the training of physicians. The literature suggests that mentorship is a valuable component of career advancement and satisfaction, however trainees and new hospitalists are challenged to find mentors for scholarly activities. Another potential target includes creating a system of rewards for scholarly work, as inadequate recognition and reward systems may be driving physicians that are deeply committed to clinical work away from academic medical centers.


To test an innovative approach in creating expert academic hospitalists and trainees by (1) promoting engagement in academic works with award and recognition, (2) establishing cross–generational mentorship within medical teams on the wards, (3) increasing participation in conferences, and (4) encouraging collaboration across departments and institutions.


The Rick Albert Prize is awarded to the medical team with the best clinical vignette of 2011––2012. Applicants are expected to write an abstract, make a poster, present at local and national conferences and ultimately publish their scholarly works. The winning team is given a cash prize, recognized on a plaque, and celebrated at an awards ceremony. All submitted materials will be published online and all posters will be hung in the medicine ward for knowledge dissemination. The award promotes critical components of deliberate practice as participants continually exceed their current level of knowledge through the deep study of challenging patient presentations and the repeated practice of presenting patient cases in various settings with extensive mentorship and coaching to enable teams to create their best possible works. Students and faculty will be surveyed at the end of the academic year to determine effectiveness of this intervention and impact on job satisfaction and academic preparedness.


The Rick Albert prize is the first studied intervention to promote academic achievement among academic hospitalists. In less than four months we have seen a dramatic 800% increase in abstract, poster, and conference submissions. Attending noon conference attendance has gone from <10% to >80% and interdepartmental collaboration has blossomed. This success results in more engaged physicians, facilitates a new culture of mentorship and teaching, and provides physicians and students with an encouraging environment to study patient outcomes and their own pursuit of expertise.

To cite this abstract:

Leclair C, Campbell J, Frank M, Hudon R. Deliberate Practice Makes Perfect: Expertise Training on the Wards. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2012, April 1-4, San Diego, Calif. Abstract 97754. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2012; 7 (suppl 2). Accessed March 31, 2020.

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