Matt Hollon, MD MPH FACP
I write this at a moment in time that feels like we are, in our local communities (though not across the globe), simultaneously feeling hopeful, starting to get ahead of the pandemic and appreciating a return to normal, but, at the same time, continuing to face so many challenges – health care disparities, climate change, ongoing firearm violence, physician burnout and administrative burden to name a few.
With CDC’s updated guidelines for travel for vaccinated persons, I recently joined an old friend (also vaccinated) on a previously planned trip that we had had to cancel last year. On my travels home, I reflected on how the trip was a “taste of normalcy” that had uplifted my spirits after a long, exhausting, and deeply frustrating year (on more than one front). My reflection got me thinking about the idea of “normalcy”, why we value it, and the concept of “new normal”, which everyone seems to be talking about in the face of all the changes wrought by the pandemic.
In particular, I have been contemplating the tension between predictability and change. On one hand when we refer to “things being normal” we are speaking to that sense of predictability. But on the other hand, we also recognize the fact that change is normal. I think for us as individuals, and particularly for the organizations we belong to, reorienting to, navigating, and welcoming these two sides of normalcy is real opportunity. Our ability to bring together both what we value about predictability, doing things the way folks are used to and enjoy, with all the new potential opened by change is a big part of the key to an organization’s success. The College and our Washington Chapter are ideally positioned to accomplish this.
The College’s and our Chapter’s programs can be both that place of normalcy, the stability and the predictability we enjoy, as well as a way to together navigate, accelerate, and embrace change as normal. In this quarter’s newsletter, we highlight many of the prime programs, such as our Annual Spring Scientific (co-chaired by Sandra Demars and Ananth Shenoy), ACP Leadership Day, and our Annual Chapter Meeting (co-chaired by Pallavi Arora and Mary Ramsbottom), that are upcoming in the months ahead as well as the work we are doing to embrace and even advance the “new normal” – a “new normal” of living on our only planet sustainably, curbing the epidemic of firearm violence, creating a just and equitable health care system for all, and, critically, supporting internists in a practice environment where we can thrive. This is the College and the Washington Chapter at our best!
As always, please email me if you have comments or suggestions for the Chapter!
Matt Hollon, MD MPH FACP Governor || Washington Chapter – American College of Physicians
Member Spotlight #1: Sandra Demars
By Jennifer Lee, MS2, Elson S Floyd College of Medicine, WSU
In recounting her path to medicine, Dr. Sandra Demars explains how she grew up knowing that her work should be meaningful, and that our responsibility as human beings should be to contribute as much as possible to the world. In college, when her closest childhood friend was diagnosed with and later passed away from lymphoma, Dr. Demars turned to research, which she believed would equip her with the tools to help effect real change in society. Later, a desire to have more personal relationships in her work helped pivot her to pursue medicine.
Dr. Demars continued to contribute to the field of research throughout medical school, initially thinking she would end up in the field of neurology. However, she eventually chose internal medicine after a rotation in the intensive care unit (ICU) brought her the realization that it would be difficult to give up the breadth of medicine in exchange for more specialized care. As a general internist, Dr. Sandra Demars has dedicated her career to serving vulnerable populations. Following residency, she began working at the Seattle VA Medical Center. In 2016, she moved to Ketchikan, Alaska to work at a 25-bed critical access hospital at PeaceHealth. Simultaneously, she also became the medical director at New Horizons Long-Term Care Unit. Although she returned to the Seattle VA in 2019, she currently still serves as the medical director at New Horizons, traveling back to Ketchikan nearly monthly to see a small panel of patients. Dr. Demars appreciates the more intimate community that comes with living in a rural area and hopes to practice in that environment again someday.
For now, she enjoys her work as a hospitalist at the Seattle VA, believing the veteran population is a group of people to whom medicine owes the best care. In the evenings, the ICU is open to hospitalists, which has allowed her the additional opportunity to maintain her skills in critical care. When asked what she would like people, especially aspiring hospitalists, to know about vulnerable populations, Dr. Demars said, “We are all just trying to do our best, every single one of us. We each approach life through the lens of our varied backgrounds, obstacles and experiences. Try to meet your patient where they are. Ask about their life, their priorities, their fears. A little compassion and listening goes a long way. The doctor-patient relationship should be a partnership. With the privilege to bear witness to our patients’ most vulnerable life moments, comes great responsibility.”
Member Spotlight #1: Pallavi Arora, MD, MPH, MBBS
By Alison Brennan, MS1, University of Washington
2021 Spring Scientific Day
By Ananth Shenoy, MD FACP
We are eagerly looking forward to our Annual Spring Scientific Day on Friday May 21st! This 2.5 hour virtual event on the Zoom platform from 10:00AM-1:00PM is an opportunity for our Chapter’s Medical Students, Residents and Early Career Physicians to showcase their research projects. In contrast to our Annual Fall Chapter Meeting abstract competition where our trainees present clinical vignettes, our spring session’s abstract competition focuses on research projects including those in quality improvement, medical education and clinical research. This year we have 38 abstract submissions from across the state! Our event on Friday May 21st will have two sessions. The first will be 9 short oral presentations of the top abstracts and this will be followed by a round table of clinicians who will share their experiences and career paths in different aspects of research and medical education and then field questions from the audience. After this round table session, we will close the Spring Scientific Day by announcing the winners of the abstract competition. We hope you can attend!
Health and Public Policy Committee Update
The WA legislative session just ended this week. There were several bills that dealt with health care or health related issues. Rather than review the various bills, below are 2 links: one from WSMA highlighting the key legislative outcomes for medicine and one from WSPHA- with some overlap highlighting the key outcomes for public health. One major improvement is the amount in the WA budget for the next 2 years that will go into public health in our state. An investment that is very much needed and long overdue. Please consider contacting your WA state representatives and senators to thank them for this investment in our patients and communities health.
There is also a new ACP policy framework to Understand and Address Disparities in Health care. Since reducing health care disparities and reduce racism this is an important new policy. Please read: A Comprehensive Policy Framework to Understand and Address Disparities and Discrimination in Health and Health Care: A Policy Paper From the American College of Physicians | Annals of Internal Medicine (acpjournals.org)
In addition to the opportunity Leadership Day provides to support the College’s advocacy work we strongly encourage you to join more than 15,000 colleagues in the Advocates for Internal Medicine Network (AIMn) in advocating for the interests of internal medicine in Washington, D.C. The AIMn program is for ACP members interested in participating in federal advocacy. It is designed to help members engage with their federal lawmakers on policy issues important to ACP and internal medicine. The program keeps you abreast of these critical policy issues and makes reaching out to federal lawmakers easy!Enroll Here
Council of Hospitalists Upcoming Webinar:
Updates in Hospital Medicine
By Divya Gollapudi, MD FACP
The WA ACP Hospitalist Council would like to invite you to an “Updates in Hospital Medicine” webinar on June 1 from 4pm – 5pm. Dr. Susan Glass, Dr. Meghaan Hawes, Dr. Angela Zhou will be presenting an evidence-based review of practice changing or thought-provoking articles published within the last year, relevant to the practice of hospital medicine. We hope to continue to provide regular content for hospitalists in the future and welcome any ideas or members that would like to join the Council of Hospitalists. Please contact: Divya Gollapudi, email@example.com.
Membership and Diversity Committee
By Co-Chairs: Gary Forbes, MD FACP & Mary Anderson, MD FACP
One critical task of the committee is to encourage members’ application to fellowship. A recent webinar held in conjunction with the IMG committee was well-attended, including a visit with ACP president Dr. Jacqueline Fincher, MACP. For those fellowship-eligible members who were unable to attend, we encourage you to reach out to either committee, especially if you have questions about letters for sponsorship. The newly formed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion subcommittee has met, is off to a roaring start and will be visible at the annual meeting in Seattle this fall. Any individuals interested in participating in this group are most welcome- we anticipate another meeting later this spring. The committee needs your suggestions for activities to engage the members in this time of virtual collegiality. Feel free to contact Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions about any of these issues.
New ACP Board Review Course: July 21-23, 2021 By Joyce Wipf, MD MACP
We are excited to announce that our Washington chapter will be sponsoring a new ACP board review course, directed by Doug Paauw, MD, MACP and Joyce Wipf, MD, MACP. The course will be held virtually live from Wednesday through Friday, July 21-23, 2021. The three-day course is designed for new medicine resident graduates in preparation for the board-certification exam, as well as an update for physicians in practice.
Talks include numerous audience response questions so attendees can self-assess knowledge and reinforce patient care skills with clinical problem-solving and evidence-based practice. Sessions will be recorded so attendees can review again short-term after the course. The long-standing national ACP Seattle board review course was cancelled during the pandemic. Given the popularity of the Seattle-led board review course and many requests to conduct a course, we are partnering with the ACP Washington chapter to conduct a local virtual course.
Look for e-blast communication with further details about registration!
2021 Annual Chapter Meeting!
Planning for our next Annual Chapter Meeting is in the final stages. While we anticipate a return to an in-person meeting at Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, we are simultaneously exploring staging this as a hybrid meeting and giving Chapter members the choice between attending in person or virtually. Under the guidance of main meeting Co-Chairs, Drs. Pallavi Arora and Mary Ramsbottom, as well as outpatient pre-course Co-Chairs, Drs. Anita Chopra and Stephanie Fosback, and inpatient pre-course Co-Chairs, Drs. Stephanie Field and Raman Palabindala, this will be an amazing collegial and continuing education event – stay tuned for more details in the summer newsletter on meeting content! And don’t forget, the dates are November 4-6, 2021 – so mark your calendars!
Call for Nominations Chapter Awards
- Alvin J. Thompson Internist of the Year
- Washington ACP Community Service Award
- Washington ACP Full-time Faculty Clinician-Educator
- Washington ACP Golden Apple Award
- Kemi Nakabayashi Washington ACP Chapter Volunteer Award
- Washington ACP Hospitalist of the Year
- Doug Paauw Outstanding Student in Internal Medicine
- Washington ACP Laureate Award
International Medical Graduates Council – FACP Webinar Recap
By IMG Council Co-Chair: Deepthi Mani, MD FACP
Fellowship / FACP is an honorary designation given to recognize ongoing individual service and contributions to the practice of medicine. Our chapter has several physicians who do qualify for fellowship, and so a virtual informational webinar on the application process was co-hosted by our council for International Medical Graduates and Membership committee on Tuesday, March 30. During the webinar, we had the opportunity to hear from several physician leaders about what it meant to them to become Fellows in the College. We were honored to host Dr. Jacqueline Fincher, MD MACP, ACP National President who shared her inspiring story. The interactive Q and A session covered the common questions that physicians had on the eligibility criteria, application process and sponsorship.
You can access the webinar link at https://washingtonacp.org/img-webinar-becoming-a-fellow/
To apply for the fellowship, visit https://www.acponline.org/membership/physician-membership/acp-fellowship
Worth A Shot Campaign Continues On!
Worth a shot is a youth led organization that has been helping reduce COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and skepticism, the raise optimism and help people get appointments for the vaccine. This organization is led by Mehr Grewal, a rising high school freshman in Bellevue, WA. Since November, 2020 they have been organizing down halls, webinar’s, Q&A sessions with experts to raise awareness and education about the COVID-19 vaccine. They have translated information into 15 different languages and have worked at the grassroots level to really mobilize and encourage people to get their vaccine. To date, they have been able to get thousands of people in Washington state get registered and make appointments for vaccines. By providing resources and live support and communication, Mehr and her team have been able to get thousands of people especially from the underserved/minority communities to get their vaccination. The most recent vaccination event was in collaboration with King County Public health at Gurudwara Singh Sabha ,Renton , on 4/25/2021 where 420 shots were delivered. Mehr says they are not only striving towards building herd immunity , but also bringing the gift of hope and optimism to Washington State.
Joey Parker’s Teaching Corner
A great way to learn new principles is by comparing and contrasting different topics. In medicine we have the opportunity to do this every day. For example, pneumonia is a common diagnosis at nearly every hospital. There are different diagnostic and treatment considerations for community versus hospital acquired and comparing the two in real time helps to conceptualize why, for example, sputum and blood cultures may be recommended for one but not the other. Another example would be a patient with ANCA-associated vasculitis. This would be a perfect time to create a table which highlights the similarities and differences between the three main ANCA entities: ANCA serology differences, organ involvement, biopsy findings, and treatment considerations. This will provide a great framework for the resident to learn new ideas. This may seem like a difficult concept at first but try this technique a few times and I think you’ll gain appreciation for the compare and contrast method.
Roohi for India Fundraiser – Saturday, May 15th
Please join the Indian-American Community Services and a coalition of nonprofits including API Chaya, Tasveer, the Washington Association of Indian Physicians of Indian Origin, QDASA, and Media Virgil for this fundraiser benefitting Oxfam India and AID India to purchase oxygen to ship to India.
For folks who can’t attend, they can donate at: https://iacswa.org/donate/
Updates From National:
The Future IM Experience
ACP’s first two-day virtual meeting for Medical Student and Resident/Fellow Members will be held Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15. This FREE zoom-based meeting tailored to ACP resident/fellow and medical student members features a schedule which includes over 20 sessions on topics in career planning, clinical skills, and leadership. There will also be a Town Hall with ACP leadership, the Doctors Dilemma competition (the University of Washington team composed of Anna Morenz MD, Molly Kelly MD, and Cody Gehring MD is representing our Chapter – go Huskies!), and an interactive medically oriented escape room. What to Expect
- Two days of highly interactive content and friendly competitions
- Learn from and engage with experts in internal medicine
- Tracks designed for Medical Students and Residents
- Opportunities to network with peers
Information including a full schedule of events is available here: https://www.acponline.org/meetings-courses/future-im-experience
ACP’s New I.M. Emotional Support Hub Offers Resources to Safeguard Physician Health and Well-being
As part of ACP’s Well-Being and Professional Fulfillment initiative, ACP has launched a collection of resources aimed at helping members improve their emotional well-being. As a recognition of the unprecedented stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to internists and internists-in-training, ACP created the I.M. Emotional Support Hub to offer curated resources and information to protect physicians’ emotional health and sustain ACP members’ ability to care for those in need. Resources include easily-accessible peer-support through the Physician Support Line and free and affordable, confidential counseling through The Emotional PPE Project and The Therapy Aid Coalition. Check out the hub for additional well-being tools and resources for individuals and organizations and to view all of ACP’s Physician Well-being activities. For more information and questions, please contact email@example.com
Annual Commercial Supporter of the Washington ACP Chapter