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Career Spotlight: Harvir Singh Gambhir

Written by: Dr. Harvir Singh Gambhir
Published on: Jun 7, 2023

Harvir Singh Gambhir
Harvir Singh Gambhir MD, FACP, CPL, CPHQ

This is the latest in a series of interviews with hospital medicine clinicians connected to the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) to share insights, knowledge, and expertise about career opportunities, growth, and development. Today we hear from Harvir Singh Gambhir, MD, FACP, CPL, CPHQ.

Dr. Gambhir is an associate professor in the division of hospital medicine for the department of medicine, and associate program director for the internal medicine residency program at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, N.Y. He serves as vice-chair for the quality improvement and patient safety program, department of medicine. He did his residency and chief residency at SUNY Upstate Medical University. His interest in improving communication between physicians and patients and his educational interest in leadership and mentorship led to his initiation of a quality management structure, sepsis campaign, and educational quality curriculum and metrics for internal medicine residency. Dr. Gambhir has been recognized by students, staff, and colleagues for his contributions to teaching and clinical care. He received the 2020 Gold Standard Award and the 2021 Laureate Award from the New York Chapter of the American College of Physicians for professional leadership, commitment to excellence in medical care, education, or research in service to colleagues and the community. He is chair of SHM’s Quality Initiative Special Interest Group (SIG) and on the executive council for the Patient Experience SIG.

1. Why did you choose hospital medicine as a specialty?

The pace and diversity of the disease process.

2. What does your typical workday look like?

Clinical Service: It’s from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. I round on my patients, plan treatment changes and discharges, conduct family meetings, and do bedside teaching.

In my administrative role as vice-chair for quality improvement and patient safety, I engage with the frontline team and conduct quality rounds.

3. What’s unique about your career or career path?

I did not realize there were so many opportunities and leadership options for hospitalists. In my role as a hospitalist, I can participate in patient care and impact the quality of care, lead quality improvement and patient safety for the department of medicine, and also be an educator and mentor.

4. Describe an important milestone in your career and what made it significant.

My academic promotion from assistant to associate is an important milestone. It was a point in my professional career to reflect on and appreciate so many team members, family, and, most importantly, patients, as all have taught me something that has helped me continue my journey.

5. What’s been the biggest obstacle in your career?

Electronic medical records can sometimes be challenging to navigate.

6. What surprised you the most about hospital medicine?

The scope and spectrum of opportunities, along with being able to function as a clinician.

7. What membership benefits offered by the Society of Hospital Medicine have helped you in your career?

I joined the Society of Hospital Medicine during the pandemic, which was my best decision. SHM is my clinical home for quality improvement and patient safety, and I have connected with many QI experts and learned from them. SHM has also provided me with a platform for leadership. I am the chair for QI SIG for 2023-24.

8. What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Always think out of your comfort zone as a leader in hospital medicine.

9. If you could trade places for one day with someone else (either a person or profession) in health care, who would it be and why?

Not a chance. I love where and what I am today.

Learn more about SHM and the benefits of membership.