Governor’s Corner

Matt Hollon, MD MPH FACP

It is understandable how gold, as precious as it is and the symbol of extravagance and riches, has also come to be imbued with the meaning of top-notch success.  Perhaps nowhere is this more obvious than in the Olympics where the “gold medal” is every competitive athlete’s ultimate dream of peak performance (and not so much the kotinos, or olive wreath, that was the prize for the winner at the ancient Olympic Games).  Notably the College’s Chapter Excellence Award is also a tiered award of gold, silver, and bronze that recognizes chapters’ excellence in chapter management.  And it is wonderful to reflect on our Chapter’s continued success at achieving “Gold Level” again this year – a recognition we have achieved every single year since the new tiered system came into place (more details below).

While our Washington Chapter leadership and incredible staff deserve part of the credit for the continued success, the bottom-line is that membership organizations are made of members – and it is our extraordinary members in Washington State that make this Chapter thrive.  This continued success is truly the collective success of the amazing internal medicine community across our state – and a celebration of all the work you all do!

And speaking of celebration and extraordinary Chapter members – we could not be more ecstatic to share with you that key members of our Chapter collected three national awards and two Masterships in the College this year – five awards in total.  Among these awards is the Steven Weinberger Award for Physician Leaders, which goes to Dr. John Vassall.  We have been strategizing for a while about ways to recognize the extraordinary contributions that Dr. Vassall has made to internal medicine and the broader healthcare community in the Northwest and we are thankful that he was chosen for this honor.  However, our intent to honor Dr. Vassall does not stop there.  His steady, thoughtful, sonorous, voice of reason and insight has inspired so many of us (I have been witness to this of late in his contributions to the Washington State Medical Association) – and his regional leadership in bringing his voice to issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion deserves continued recognition.

As such, in our Chapter’s ongoing commitment to remaining focused on advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, we share with you that each year at the Chapter’s Annual Meeting going forward we plan to devote key plenary time to a presentation that takes a closer look at healthcare specifically through this lens.  With Dr. Vassall’s blessing, the plenary will be the John Vassall, MD FACP Annual Lecture for Justice and Equity in Medicine.  This year we look forward to welcoming Central Washington nephrologist Dr. Mabel Bodell to the Annual Meeting where she will share her experiences confronting the pandemic in communities in the middle of our state.

And speaking of the Annual Chapter Meeting, we have many more amazing topics and speakers than just Dr. Bodell.  Under the leadership of our outstanding Co-Chairs, Dr. Pallavi Arora and Dr. Mary Ramsbottom, we will have an extraordinary, albeit virtual, meeting.  I will be honest, right to the very last minute, I continued to lobby hard for us to have a hybrid meeting with both in-person and virtual options.  My emotions of this being the last meeting I will preside over as Governor had me feeling a bit desperate to connect with all of you who might show up.  The wisdom of the Executive Council won out on this occasion as we faced both health and financial risk from trying to pull off a hybrid meeting and, despite my disappointment at not being with you in person, I am truly excited about the richness of this year’s meeting!  I hope to share the experience of one more virtual Chapter Meeting with many of you (and may it be our last)!

Of course, Chapter activities are not just once-per-year events. Part of our recognition for Chapter Excellence is a result of the multitude of activities we continue to offer throughout the year.  This quarter has seen us host another of our well-received webinars for hospitalists.  We also held our third annual Career Forum for residents, bringing together key recruiters, early career physicians, and senior residents to get the inside scoop on finding that first job.  We also continue our work on developing a robust mentorship program that links medical students to later career internists for sage advice on careers in internal medicine.  If you have ideas for membership events and programming that you would like to see our Chapter stage, please share your thoughts with us!

As I said at the close of our previous newsletter considering lessons learned since the start of the pandemic, “we will continue to learn from these challenges and, with these lessons in mind, stay prepared to continue to offer all of you the value you seek in your professional organization – advocacy for our patients and the practice of medicine, continuing education, professional support, and collegiality across the state.”

I wish you all a stimulating and educational Annual Meeting followed by a wonderful end to 2021.  I truly hope to see many of you at Bell Harbor in 2022 if not before.  Deepest thanks for your continued membership in our thriving Chapter and, as always, please email me if you have comments or suggestions!  And lastly, do not forget to encourage your colleagues who are not members to join . . .

As always,

Matt Hollon, MD MPH FACP Governor || Washington Chapter – American College of Physicians


The brilliant golden needles of Larix occidentalis are a sure sign that fall is here. The Western Larch, native to the Inland Northwest, is one of the few deciduous conifers – the wood is valued for its tough, waterproof, and durable qualities. The magnificence of the larch at this time of year is a good reminder that fall is such a gratifying and glorious time for our Chapter with National Awards, Chapter Awards, and our Annual Meeting all happening.

Washington Chapter Wins Chapter Gold Excellence!

We are pleased to announce that our chapter is in receipt of the 2021 Gold Chapter Excellence Award!  The award recognizes chapters which successfully meet the standards for managing a chapter with gold being the highest achievement possible.  The Gold criteria gets updated each year, adding more stringent criteria on what denotes a truly excellent chapter and we continue to achieve these high merits.  We would like to extend a special thanks to those chapter members who assisted our chapter in all of these endeavors! For their hard work and dedication, we received this award.

Mastership & National Awards

Lucy Sutphen, MD MACP

Kim O’Connor, MD MACP

John H. Vassall II, MD FACP

John V. L. Sheffield, MD, FACP

Irl B. Hirsch, MD, MACP

Here are this year’s Washington Chapter Awardees:


Lucy Sutphen, MD MACP

Kim O’Connor, MD MACP

MACP is one of the most prestigious awards in the college, for those fellows of the college who demonstrate integrity, the utmost professional behaviors, excellence in the practice of medicine, and significant impact on the profession.  MACPs represent a very small percentage of college membership.

Steven E. Weinberger Award for Physician Executives/Leaders
John H. Vassall II, MD FACP

This award is bestowed upon a physician leader of a medical organization for distinguished contributions to internal medicine or significant impact on improving healthcare and/or medical education beyond a single institution or health system.

ACP Award for Outstanding Educator of Residents and Fellows

John V. L. Sheffield, MD, FACP

The award recognizes an ACP member who is a distinguished educator who spends a significant amount of time teaching residents and fellows.

Samuel Eichold II Memorial Award for Contributions in Diabetes
Irl B. Hirsch, MD, MACP

The award is given to a member of the American College of Physicians that has made important health care delivery innovations for diabetic patients resulting in improved clinical or economic outcomes; or a member of the ACP who has conducted research that significantly improves quality of care or clinical management of diabetes.

Annual Meeting Speaker Profile: Dr. Mabel Bodell


Dr. Mabel Bodell is a nephrologist at Confluence Health who will share her experience during the early stages of the pandemic caring for patients in Central Washington.  She completed her internal medicine residency at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts in 2006 then went on to complete fellowship in nephrology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Like 30% of our Chapter’s membership, she completed medical school internationally – graduating in 1997 from Universidad Maimonides in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  For her amazing work during the pandemic, she received Senator Patty Murray’s Golden Tennis Shoe Award.  Here are Senator Murray’s comments:

At the start of the pandemic, Dr. Bodell was especially concerned to see that the Latino community in North Central Washington was way overrepresented in hospitalizations. Dr. Bodell jumped into action, reaching out in every way possible to make sure people had access to public health information in Spanish, and understood the importance of following the guidelines. Dr. Bodell took it upon herself to solve a problem she saw in her community, and I have no doubt that she’s saved lives in our state because of her tireless work.

We are fortunate to have Dr. Bodell give our first ever John Vassall, MD FACP Annual Lecture for Justice and Equity in Medicine!

2021 Annual Chapter Meeting Preview

Pallavi Arora and Mary Ramsbottom, Co-Chairs, WA-ACP 2021 Annual Meeting


Have you registered yet?!? What are you waiting for?!? This is your GOLD PLATED INVITATION to attend the premier conference of the year! Seriously, we hope you join us. The meeting will be all virtual, but we have been able to include all the plenary sessions, both the ambulatory and inpatient precourses as well as 6 case-based workshops.

We have included general medicine topics that focus on both the inpatient and outpatient perspective of care such as plenaries on rehabilitation medicine, substance use disorders, perioperative medicine and more. The bonus plenary is on Physician Wellness and our special plenary on transitions of care includes speakers from all disciplines (outpatient, hospital medicine and subacute care). Jeopardy for residents will be Saturday including oral abstracts and the final plenary sessions. All talks will be recorded, so that you can watch during the meeting days or at your own pace over the following 30 days.

We hope to “see“ you at the meeting!

2021 Resident Career Forum Review

By Mathini Mohanachandran, MD


This September, we hosted our 3rd annual resident career forum virtually for our resident and medical student members across our state. We started the forum with a session with our panel of recruiters from Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, Jefferson Health Care and Swedish-Providence who helped walk us through the recruitment process and timeline. They shared their tips on how to best work with recruiters to find their ideal job based on what medical systems and residents are looking for, how to evaluate a workplace to determine if it is a good fit and some of their experience with contract negotiations.

We followed this up with breakout sessions with our early career physicians, divided up into a hospitalist and primary care panel. Our panelists shared their own experiences with job searching, starting a career in medicine and the variety of workplaces that they have and previously have worked in. Then the discussion was opened up to any questions our audience had regarding finding the right position, career options and what questions to ask to learn more about a work environment and the indirect care we provide.

After this, we were joined by David Liskey, a hospitalist from Virginia Mason who shared some helpful pearls on managing finances once out of residency, focusing in on budgeting, saving and retirement planning and some of the basics of investing.

We concluded our forum with Avi Lipman, an attorney in Seattle, who walked us through employment contracts and what to look for and what may be negotiable, especially with further details regarding non-compete clauses.

While the pandemic had changed our plans from having a hybrid in-person/virtual session to a fully virtual one, the forum was a success. Thank you to all of our panelists and presenters for participating and sharing so much useful information with our residents.

Council of Hospitalists Webinar

By Deepthi Mani, MD FACP


The WA ACP Hospitalist Council conducted an interactive online webinar on Goals of Care Discussions for the hospitalist on September 9th, 2021. The speakers, Dr. Susan Merel and Dr. Katy Hicks from the University of Washington and the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence are practicing hospitalists and palliative care leaders who provided tips on when and why to discuss goals of care and frameworks for brief ten and twenty minute goals of care conversations with seriously ill inpatients. Effective communication strategies, sample scripting and educational resources for the hospitalists were shared during the session. The webinar recording can be accessed on the chapter website HERE.

A Call To Join the ACP Mentorship Program!

Sponsored By: The Council of Medical Students & The Council of Later Career Physicians


We are inviting all medical students and physicians across all different career points (early, mid, or later career) to join us in being matched in our mentorship program sponsored by the Councils of Medical Students and Later Career Physicians. After hearing interest from both groups for the need to connect with physicians in internal medicine specifically and for physicians that were ready to give back and connect with the upcoming generation, this pilot mentorship program was created.

How it works: We will pair all mentees and mentors into “Matches” and announce those pairings at our kick-off meeting in November virtually via zoom. Matches will meet once a month whether in-person or remote to discuss a pre-determined topic by the Councils. These meetings can happen via phone, zoom, or any format of your choosing with your match for a minimum of 30 minutes. We will leave it up to Matches to decide if they want to elaborate in time and topic with each other. We will hold a mid-program February meeting with all Matches, and then again at the end of May to to conclude the program.

If you are interested in participating in the mentorship program, please sign up HERE.

Joey Parker’s Teaching Corner


Wellness is an important part of medical educationWhile our passion lies in teaching the next generation of physicians, during the week sometimes we must take a step back and breathe. After 3 or 4 days of teaching my learners about pure medicine, I’ll stop and ask them to tell me something they’ve learned about the patient. Undoubtedly, they will tell me about why they chose a specific antibiotic, or dual antiplatelet therapy, or whatever else we discussed so far that week. But I quickly correct them and ask them to tell me something they’ve learned about the patient. What are their hobbies, are they married, do they have a pet, what is their favorite movie, and what are they most excited to do when they leave the hospital? See, sometimes in the middle of trying to learn everything about medicine, we forget why we went into medicine in the first place. This exercise helps bring us back to true patient care and energizes us for more learning down the road. 


Updates From National:


ACP and Annals COVID-19 Vaccine Forum VI: Recording and Annals Commentary Now Available

ACP and Annals of Internal Medicine presented the COVID-19 Forum VI: SARS-CoV-2 Immunology: Clinical Implications on Friday, October 8th. The sixth edition of the forum series featured expert panelists discussing the clinical implications of the immunology of SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 vaccines including the status of booster doses, and the efficacy of vaccination in various groups.

The panelists included:

  • Deborah Cotton, MD, MPH, Deputy Editor ofAnnals of Internal Medicine
  • John R. Mascola, MD; Director of Vaccine Research Center (VRC) at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health
  • Camille N. Kotton, MD, Clinical Director of Transplant and Immunocompromised Host Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School Associate Professor

The full recording of the forum is available for replay and is published in Annals of Internal Medicine along with commentary by Christine Laine, MD, MPH, ACP Senior Vice President and Editor-in-chief, Annals of Internal Medicine.


ACP and YouTube Partnering on Educational Content to Counter Misinformation Around COVID-19 Treatment and Vaccines

ACP is partnering with YouTube to create new educational content to help combat health misinformation about the COVID-19 virus, vaccination and treatments. The videos will focus on communication strategies for clinicians as well as providing proactive, trusted information in the clinicians’ voice.

ACP will provide resources in English and Spanish for physicians on how to assess and address medical misinformation through a series of videos to pro-actively share evidence-based strategies to offer credible information about vaccines for clinicians and the public. In addition, ACP is developing video content for the public to answer their questions about vaccines with trusted information from physicians. The videos will also highlight the challenges around misinformation and focus on where to go for credible medical information.

ACP has expressed its concern about the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 virus, vaccination and treatments, and its detrimental impact on public health. ACP strongly supports the use of science and scientific expertise, based on the best available evidence, in the fight against COVID-19. The spread of inaccurate and incorrect information about COVID-19 hinders our ability to mitigate the spread of the virus and combat the global public health crisis.


New Ideas and Opinions Article Suggests Ways to Support the Well-Being of the Physician Workforce in the COVID-19 Environment

Annals of Internal Medicine published a new Ideas and Opinions article “Getting Through COVID-19: Keeping Clinicians in the Workforce,” authored by ACP leaders Darilyn V. Moyer, MD, FACP, FRCP, FIDSA; Eileen Barrett, MD, MPH; Susan Thompson Hingle, MD; and Cynthia D. Smith, MD. The authors are sending a direct message to employers at health systems, hospitals, and clinical practices to create strategies to support the well-being of the physician workforce during this pandemic. It is important for physicians to feel they work in an environment where they can safely care for patients while simultaneously supporting one another. The article recommends a variety of different methods and practices for employers to put in place that prioritize the physical and mental health of physicians and clinicians and go beyond the typical suggestions of yoga and meditation.


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