Letter from the Editor

This month's issue includes a cover story on how to find a job that makes you happy, diagnosing and treating acute pancreatitis, and case summaries from San Francisco General Hospital.

Hospitalists are, of course, very concerned about salary, benefits and workload when seeking jobs. However, these aren't necessarily the aspects of a job that will make them happy in the long term. A growing body of research indicates that the right “cultural fit” between a hospital and a physician is what truly guarantees a fulfilling career. Getting a bead on the elements that help to create a good fit can be tricky, but they generally comprise factors like the level of collegiality in the workplace, staff and administrators' attitudes about making mistakes, and the level of autonomy on the job. Our cover story offers advice on how, during your job search and interview process, you can determine whether a potential worksite meets your expectations in these and other areas.

Also in this issue, we introduce an ongoing series in the Newman's Notions column called “Vital Signs Are Vital”. Each month starting in February, medical students, residents and fellows will discuss different vital signs from a clinical, historical and cultural standpoint. In doing so, they will underscore the importance of each of the vitals to the physician exam. This month's introductory piece explains the unifying theme and includes a reproduction of an oil painting by our editorial advisor, Jamie Newman, MD, FACP, to illustrate—literally—the concept.

In clinical coverage, we tackle the slippery subject of acute pancreatitis. A mimic for many other diseases and a potentially fatal condition, acute pancreatitis has been the object of new guidance in the last year. Read our feature to get a handle on the signs that indicate acute pancreatitis, the best treatment, and the complications to watch for. Also in clinical topics, this issue's installment of The Brief Case includes 5 interesting patient cases written by hospitalists at San Francisco General Hospital that cover conditions like low anion gap and lepromatous leprosy.

What do you consider vital to your clinical practice? Share your thoughts with us anytime.

Jessica Berthold
Editor-in-Chief, ACP Hospitalist