Results of a Survey of Academic Hospitalist Researchers

1Ralph H. Johnson VAMC, Charleston, SC
2South Texas Veterans Health Care System, San Antonio, TX
3Colorado University School of Medicine, Denver, CO
4University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL

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

Abstract number: 97663


Hospital Medicine (HM) has become one of the fastest growing U.S. medical specialties, and many academic medical centers have developed HM programs. Concerns have been raised regarding the challenges that face HM researchers, particularly a lack of adequate mentoring and institutional support for academic pursuits. Little is known about the strengths and weaknesses of hospitalist researchers or the threats and opportunities confronting them. In order to better plan advocacy efforts and educational programming for SHM constituents, members of the SHM Research Committee conducted a web–based survey of SHM–affiliated researchers.


We developed and distributed a 16–item web–based questionnaire to 130 members of the SHM Academic Committee and to 316 individuals previously participating in the research portion of the SHM RIV competition. Survey data were collected and managed using REDCap electronic data capture tools.


Overall, 60 individuals (13%) responded to the survey indicating their research activities over the past 3 years. Eighty–one percent of respondents had given oral or abstract presentations at an SHM Annual Meeting. Respondents most frequently reported projects in the areas of quality improvement (QI) (32.7%), health services (22.9%), and education research (16.3%), and many conducted more than one type of research. Only 36.2% reported completing fellowship training in research methods. However, 57.6% reported receiving extramural funding for research, QI, or educational initiatives. Private foundations were the most frequently cited funding source (33%), with 25.4% and 20.6% reporting NIH and AHRQ funding, respectively. Several respondents reported success in acquiring intramural funding from departmental funds (37.9%), hospitals or health systems (31.8%), or local clinical and translational research institutes (CTSA) (13.6%). Lack of suitable mentors (31.3%), available funding (29%), and institutional support for early–career investigators (26%) were most frequently listed as key challenges facing hospital medicine researchers.


These survey results offer several insights into the current status hospital medicine research. Among SHM members responding to this web–based survey, over half of respondents had received extramural funding. Private foundations were a strong source of successful funding acquisition, and many respondents took advantage of available intramural resources for research and QI projects. Nevertheless, this survey is congruent with prior research suggesting limitations in appropriate hospitalist mentoring. Lack of suitable mentors was felt to be a challenge by a significant proportion of respondents, and only 4 individuals reported serving as a mentor for extramurally funded research projects. Limitations of our survey include a small sample size, poor response rate, and potential sampling bias.

To cite this abstract:

Meltzer D, Wald H, Leykum L, Axon R. Results of a Survey of Academic Hospitalist Researchers. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2012, April 1-4, San Diego, Calif. Abstract 97663. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2012; 7 (suppl 2). Accessed May 23, 2019.

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