Ethan Cumbler, M.D.*1;Patrick Rendon, MD2;Essey Yirdaw, MPH1;Patrick P. Kneeland, MD1;Read G. Pierce, MD1;Christine D. Jones, MD, MS1 and Carrie Herzke, MD3, (1)University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, (2)University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM, (3)Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

Meeting: Hospital Medicine 2017, May 1-4, 2017; Las Vegas, Nev.

Abstract number: 57

Categories: Other, Research Abstracts

Keywords: , , ,


Prior research in the field of academic hospital medicine has described unique challenges to achieving promotion for academic hospitalists.  A consensus conference identified challenges for academic hospitalist success including alignment of hospitalists with clinical priorities that may not be recognized for academic advancement, inadequate infrastructure to promote success, and lack of national funding for research in general inpatient medicine. Prior work has examined attributes of successfully promoted hospitalists but there is a paucity of research on the perspectives of academic hospitalists themselves on how to find career success. This qualitative study explores the barriers and facilitators of career success as perceived by early career academic hospitalists.


We performed transcribed interviews using a semi-structured interview tool with early-career academic hospitalists. This analysis focused on hospitalist perspectives about factors affecting finding career success.  We analyzed responses to questions on barriers, resources, and what the hospital medicine group could do to most effectively help academic hospitalists achieve career success. This study was approved by the Colorado IRB.


Seventeen academic clinician-educator hospitalists from three academic medical centers were interviewed. Subjects had been academic hospitalists an average of 3.1 years, 94% were Assistant Professors, 47% (8/17) were female, and 12% were underrepresented minorities.  Interviews lasted an average of 32 minutes.

The most common resources identified by early-career hospitalists to help find success included protected non-clinical time, individual mentorship, and a wide professional network.  The most commonly identified barriers included competing professional responsibilities creating tension between clinical and non-clinical academic priorities, a lack of protected non-clinical time to devote to academic pursuits, and burnout due to excessive work stress.  Hospitalists most frequently thought the hospital medicine group could support success through facilitating mentorship and providing protected non-clinical time.


The presence, or absence, of protected non-clinical time was a cross-cutting theme and could mitigate the conflict referenced by early-career hospitalists between clinical and non-clinical obligations. Our findings also suggest that structures created by the group to facilitate both individual mentoring relationships and collegial professional networks could facilitate academic hospitalist’s achievement of career success.  This emphasizes the need for academic leadership to closely attend to the efficacy of both mentorship relationships as well as infrastructure to facilitate connections and collaborations between early-career hospitalists and their colleagues.

To cite this abstract:

Cumbler, E; Rendon, P; Yirdaw, E; Kneeland, PP; Pierce, RG; Jones, CD; Herzke, C . KEYS TO CAREER SUCCESS: RESOURCES AND BARRIERS IDENTIFIED BY ACADEMIC HOSPITALISTS. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2017, May 1-4, 2017; Las Vegas, Nev. Abstract 57. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2017; 12 (suppl 2). Accessed October 14, 2019.

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