Among the 1011 respondents to the 2014 survey, 877 identified as either hospitalists or non-hospitalists. Of these, 22% identified as hospitalists and 78% as non-hospitalists. In 2012 and 2009, 15% and 11% of respondents identified as hospitalists, respectively (Fig. 1).
Table 2 lists the results of the demographic data from the survey. Overall, there was no major difference in the percentage of men versus women choosing hospital medicine. Approximately 52% of hospitalist respondents identified as female, compared to 54% of non-hospitalist respondents. This is a change from 2012, when only 31% of the hospitalist respondents were female. Non-hospitalist respondents did not change significantly, as 53% identified as female in 2012.
Regarding age, the hospitalists are a younger cohort than the non-hospitalists. The majority of hospitalist respondents (73%) are below the age of 45, whereas the majority of non-hospitalist respondents (54%) are 45 years or older. In 2012, 78% of the hospitalist respondents were below the age of 45 and 50% of the non-hospitalist respondents were over the age of 45.
The hospitalist respondents are more racially diverse than the non-hospitalists, although this did not meet statistical significance. There are two notable differences regarding race and ethnic background in Table 2. First, a larger percentage of hospitalists (24%) identify as Asian than do non-hospitalists (15%). In 2012, 21% of hospitalists identified as Asian. A larger percentage of non-hospitalists (72%) identify as Caucasian/white than do hospitalists (64%).
The hospitalists have a larger percentage of faculty in the academic ranks of instructor and assistant professor. Approximately 54% of survey respondents who identified as a hospitalist are at the instructor or assistant professor rank, compared with 39% of non-hospitalist respondents. Also, 22% of non-hospitalists are full professors, compared to 11% of hospitalists. In 2012, 66% of hospitalist survey respondents were instructors or assistant professors, and only 5% were full professors.
The financial compensation and principal administrative responsibilities are comparable between the two groups, with some exceptions. A larger percentage of non-hospitalists (6%) receive a salary greater than $300,000 than do hospitalist respondents (2%). A larger percentage of hospitalists are clerkship directors, division chiefs, associate residency program directors, and hospital administrators. A larger percentage of the non-hospitalists are fellowship directors, research center directors, and clinic directors.
Academic hospitalists spend their time differently from academic non-hospitalists. A significantly larger percentage of hospitalists spend 50% or more of their time on clinical activities (44% vs. 31%). Hospitalists also spend more time on research, with 17% spending more than 50% of their time on research, compared to less than 9% of non-hospitalists. Hospitalists are slightly more likely to spend 50% or more of their time teaching (8% vs. 5%), but the majority (60%) of hospitalists spend at least 50% of their clinical time with learners, compared to 38% of non-hospitalists. Hospitalists and non-hospitalists did not differ significantly in how they spend time on administrative activities.
Table 3 shows significant differences in respondent participation in SGIM and their opinion of the society. The majority (63%) of hospitalists who responded to the survey have been SGIM members for less than 5 years. A third of the non-hospitalists have been members for more than 15 years, compared to only 10% of hospitalist respondents. More non-hospitalists (34%) consider SGIM membership essential and will “absolutely” renew their membership, compared to hospitalists (19%). However, the combined percentage of respondents who report SGIM as either essential or very valuable is largely the same among the cohorts (80% vs. 82%, hospitalist vs. non-hospitalist).
A major finding was that only 34% of the hospitalists consider SGIM their professional home, compared to 54% of non-hospitalists. Twenty-one percent of SGIM member hospitalists consider the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) their professional home, versus less than 1% of non-hospitalists. Among all survey respondents, 16% reported that they were also members of SHM in 2014. This is an increasing trend from 2009 and 2012, when 10% and 12% of all survey respondents reported membership in SHM, respectively. In 2009 and 2012, respondents were not asked what organization they considered their professional home.
Membership among hospitalists and non-hospitalists is comparable in organizations such as the American College of Physicians (ACP), Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM), and Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM).
The interest in the annual SGIM meeting favors non-hospitalists. Twenty-five percent of non-hospitalists have attended five or more annual meetings in the past 5 years, compared to 12% of hospitalist respondents. The number of regional meetings attended is more comparable between the two groups (Table 3).
The survey also asked a set of questions that gauged members’ interest in volunteering with SGIM as well as their perceived value of certain components of the organization. There was no significant difference between the two groups regarding interest in volunteering, but a larger percentage of non-hospitalists felt that opportunities to volunteer were not important. There was no difference in the perceived value of regional and national meetings, continuing medical education (CME) credits, opportunities for presenting their work, job search sources, or career development resources. Hospitalists, in larger percentages, felt that opportunities to publish their work and developing clinical skills and knowledge were critical. A greater percentage of non-hospitalists felt that networking, national advocacy, and providing timely and relevant news and discussion were critical. More non-hospitalists than hospitalists also felt that developing administrative and research skills were less important.
Hospitalists felt that the SGIM Annual Meeting was less likely to reduce their professional practice gaps, with only 17% of hospitalists reporting a reduction in practice gaps, compared to 24% of non-hospitalists. Overall, the difference between the groups on this question was not statistically significant. It should be noted that 45% of hospitalists agreed somewhat, compared to 40% of non-hospitalists.
The survey also asked whether SGIM places the correct amount of emphasis on a number of key activities, including regional meetings, national meetings, mentorship, job search, career development, and providing opportunities for publication. The results were comparable between hospitalists and non-hospitalists, with no significant differences.