Posts by Larry Wellikson

Before The White Coat: Exploring the Early Lives of Hospitalists

When you see him onstage, it's like he's always been here. Bob Wachter, one of the pioneers of the hospital medicine movement, has taken the podium at SHM's annual meetings for more than a decade. Whether he's uncovering important issues in electronic medical records or covering Elton John songs onstage, he seems like a fixture in our world -- and in healthcare. The Unique Paths of Hospitalist Careers But, rather than being a fixed, static thing, the life of any hospitalist -- including the leaders of the movement -- is a progression. [caption id="attachment_12733" align="alignleft" width="169"] Available on iTunes: Before The White Coat[/caption] That progression starts in a different place for every hospitalist, influenced by the people and events of their lives. Some hospitalists knew that they wanted to be in medicine from a young age. Others found their calling much later in life. Every one of those progressions is interspersed with moments…

Congratulations, Drs. Wachter, Conway and Murthy

Imagine for a minute that you’re Bob Wachter. Last week, you introduced your book to more than 3,000 hospitalists at Hospital Medicine 2015 on a Wednesday. Then, on Saturday, your photo is on the cover of Modern Healthcare and you find yourself at the top of the list of its top 50 most influential physician executives. [caption id="attachment_12310" align="alignright" width="150"] Dr. Wachter reading from his new book last week at Hospital Medicine 2015.[/caption] His rise to thought leadership isn't accidental. It’s the product of decades of commitment, insight and genuine compassion for hospitalized patients. And Dr. Wachter is not unique in his rise to national influence in healthcare. Hospitalists are trained and well suited to lead national efforts to improve patient care at all levels of our healthcare system. For the first time ever, three hospitalists – Drs. Wachter (number one), Patrick Conway (11) and Vivek Murthy (17) – were…

Reminiscing about Match Day

Friday March 20th was the 2015 Match Day. A big moment for every doctor that in many ways determines not only our specialty and where we will practice, but in some ways sets our destiny with who we will marry and who our lifelong friends will be. I still remember my Match Day 42 years ago in 1973. There were some unique aspects to my 1973 match. First, I was president of the senior class at Temple Medical School and by tradition I worked with the dean to develop a plan to help my classmates who went unmatched to get internships. In this role I actually got a look at the match results a day ahead of the public announcements. In my class we had six or seven people who did not match. Two people because they only listed one hospital (What were they thinking?!) and another because he listed…