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Leadership & Professional Development: Nurturing Education in the Interstitial Spaces

Written by: Bruno Álvarez Concejo, Shannon K. Martin
Published on: Jan 11, 2023

smiling doctor
Photo credit: Flamingo Images/Adobe Stock

Hospital medicine is defined by where we practice. Inside the hospital walls, we round with patients at the bedside, coordinate care in offices, contribute to science from our desks, and lead from executive suites. We hustle to and fro, and while what happens in between may not make it into dashboard metrics, we argue those spaces are integral to developing highly effective teams and fulfillment for our learners and ourselves. The average resident spends most of their time in hallways and workrooms, and as hospitalist educators, we can leverage those intervening spaces to teach, reflect, and build team camaraderie.


The interstitium holds the tissue together. These times and spaces in-between are potential opportunities to increase your impact as a leader and educator: An elevator ride to get to know your team better or a hallway full of snippets of education.

Interstitial spaces are natural places to walk and talk. In between clinical encounters, we can find the respite and rapport needed to ask about a learner's day off before diving into a patient's hyponatremia, aiming for “Small Talk before Med Talk.” These purposeful exchanges are vital in building trust, and demonstrating that you care about your learners, essential to a positive learning environment.

Read the full report.