Thinking about a career as a Hospitalist? Good news! We know a guy.
We talked with our Hospital Medicine Basics contributor and Hospitalist, Cuong Doan, MD about his journey to Hospital Medicine Basics, and of course, got his advice on how to become a Hospitalist.
Dr. Doan's Journey to Becoming a Hospitalist
Dr. Doan is from from Vietnam and came to the US when he was young to go to school in Colorado. He had a fascination with science and biology, so he went for a biology degree at Denver University. He then applied to medical school and got in at the University of Colorado. After finishing med school, he decided that Internal Medicine was the route that he wanted to take.
"I wanted to do Internal Medicine because it had a broad base of knowledge and gave a lot of opportunity to take care of the whole patient. I wasn’t interested in doing a specialty like Dermatology or Anesthesia, I wanted to do General Internal Medicine."—Dr. Cuong Doan
With this realization, he went to St. Joseph Hospital in Denver for residency training. He finished in 2005 with a "knack for education" from being a TA and teaching as an undergrad at Denver University. He joined the faculty at St. Joseph Hospital and has been there since 2006.
"I continue teaching young doctors and residents about Internal Medicine, with my main focus being Hospital Medicine. I have been teaching Hospital Medicine to the residents and had an interest in that and blend that into working on Hospital Medicine Basics with MedStudy."
Dr. Doan's Advice on How to Become a Hospitalist
Since Dr. Doan is so active in teaching and mentoring, he said that he is often asked from his residents, "What do you think I should do?" He usually responds with this question: "Are you more interested in longitudinal care and an outpatient setting or a faster paced, inpatient, acute setting?"
If the answer is the latter then he believes that Hospital Medicine is the way to go.
"If you are more interested in inpatient and fast-paced high acuity, complex care, then I would say Hospital Medicine would be the way to go. That is my advice for those who would want to go into Hospital Medicine." —Dr. Cuong Doan
Another piece of advice that he offers is for them to look at the work/life balance of a Hospitalist. It has its pros and cons as far as schedule and work life. "You are expected to work weekends, holidays, days, nights, because a patient that is sick and needs to come into the hospital could come in anytime there is no set schedule for when sick patients need to come into the hospital." He says that even though the schedule can be unpredictable, he thinks that an upside is that on weekdays, he is able to go to the bank and run other errands without the crowds.
"There are some pros and cons to being a Hospitalist in terms of the work life balance there. A lot of the residents who are interested in seeing high acuity find it very rewarding to get the results back and do the test right away and then be able to act on those results and intervene on them. They propose a management strategy that will help take care of the patient relatively quick. So, it is more immediate gratification, you don’t have to wait a week later to get the results and then talk to the patient in a follow up visit."—Dr. Cuong Doan
Snippet from Dr. Doan's Consultative Comanagement lecture in Hospital Medicine Basics
For more from Dr. Doan, check out his Consultative Comanagement lecture in Hospital Medicine Basics.