Chris Knight, MD FACP
“Is it over?” The thought reverberates in my head as within the past week both the Secretary General of WHO and President Biden have suggested that the end of the pandemic phase of COVID could be in sight. COVID isn’t over, of course. We, as specialists in caring for adults and the elderly, continue to see, and treat, and mourn patients with COVID. But outside our offices and hospitals, masks are coming off, kids are going back to school, restaurants are open for business, and flights are full again. The un-lockdown is happening all around us and so far the rates of COVID have continued to decline through the summer. What the fall will bring remains to be seen, but there is room for hope as we look ahead.
That cautious optimism has inspired our Program Planning Committee to put together our first in-person Annual Chapter Meeting since 2019, back at Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle. It promises to be a fantastic meeting, with precourses for both outpatient and inpatient internists, followed by two days of learning and laughter as we enjoy great teaching, compelling stories, fascinating cases, and the return of Dr. Moe Hagman to lead our residents’ Doctor’s Dilemma competition. I hope to see all of you there—and if you see me, please come say hello!
This is my first Governor’s Corner. As I’ve gotten up to speed on the job, I’ve been continuously grateful to my predecessor Matt Hollon for his inspired leadership as he navigated the Chapter through the early years of the COVID pandemic—and to our Executive Director Liz Truong, whose skill and expertise made the handoff easy. We had a strategic planning meeting earlier this summer to talk about long-term goals for the next few years. Here are some highlights from that discussion:
- More engagement with students and residents. Washington State’s teaching programs have grown immensely in the past decade; we now have three medical schools and nine (!) internal medicine residency programs spanning the state. My goal is to develop a broad base of students and residents who are willing to provide the Chapter guidance as to how we can best meet their needs as internists in training. Next up for Residents – our 4th annual Resident Career Forum.
- More subspecialists. ACP is a professional home for every internist, whether they practice primary care, hospital medicine, subspecialty medicine, or any combination. During my time as a member I have watched hospital medicine develop as a new branch of internal medicine, and seen our Chapter reach out to embrace hospitalists as valued colleagues. Now we want to reach out to subspecialists and bring more of their expertise and perspective to the Chapter.
- More Fellows. Fellowship is an honor bestowed by the College in recognition of your contributions as an internist. In looking at our list of Members and Fellows, I think that we in Washington are under-recognized; there are many of you who qualify for Fellowship but have never applied. My goal is to connect with as many of you as I can to encourage you to apply!
- More in person events. We have clearly heard the desire for more person-to-person contact with peers and colleagues. In addition to bringing back the in-person chapter meeting, we hope to ramp up more regionally-based events focusing on wellness and clinical updates. Further details to come!
I know we still live in uncertain times. But I can’t help but be inspired by the courage, character, and commitment shown by internists—my friends and colleagues—as we have found our way through the last three years. I am optimistic, and I also know that whatever the future brings, it’s one we can face together.
Chris Knight, MD FACP Governor || Washington Chapter – American College of Physicians
We are pleased to announce that our chapter is in receipt of the 2022 Gold Chapter Excellence Award! The award recognizes chapters which successfully meet the standards for managing a chapter with gold being the highest achievement possible. Although there was leniency this year with reduced criteria coming out of a pandemic year, we are proud that our chapter met the gold criteria even during a very difficult year! 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.
Anita Chopra and Deepthi Mani, Co-Chairs, WA-ACP 2022 Annual Meeting
The WA ACP 2022 Annual Chapter Meeting will be on November 4th and 5th at the Bell Harbor Convention Center in Seattle.
This year, we are planning for a hybrid meeting, with live presentations and in-person networking in Seattle, and the ability to watch via simulcast in Spokane, WA or virtually from the comfort of your home or office.
The main meeting includes 12 plenaries and your choice of 3 of 15 workshops on an array of topics designed to address common internal medicine and related subspecialty topics in the ambulatory and inpatient arenas. We have also included several sessions addressing diversity and inclusion, physician wellness, advocacy, volunteering and medical education.
The COVID symposium during the meeting would cover COVID therapeutics, Post-COVID conditions and Pandemic Preparedness.
This year, we are honored to have Dr John Vassall MD FACP himself deliver the titular John Vassall Annual Lecture for Justice and Equity in Medicine.
Another highlight of our meeting is the society and medicine plenary session by Dr. Priya Fielding-Singh addressing obesity and food insecurity/nutritional inequalities.
Prior to the meeting on Thursday, Nov. 3rd, there are half-day precourse sessions tailored to cover both inpatient and outpatient topics.
We are pleased to continue our collaboration with the WA chapter of the Society of Hospital Medicine as a co-sponsor for the Inpatient Precourse and awards for associates abstracts.
We look forward to seeing you in person in November!
Please join us for our 4th Annual Resident Career Forum! The evening will be focused on revealing the inner workings of the recruitment process and the interview trail from finding open positions to the process of signing a contract! Recruiters from some of our local institutions will offer their insights into the process along with a panel of early career hospitalists and primary care physicians from a variety of Washington hospitals and clinics who will share their experiences and advice from their job searches. Finally, a contract lawyer will review key tips in reviewing a contract. This is an excellent opportunity for internal medicine residents (and anyone else who would like to learn more) to gain a better sense of how to navigate their own first steps into their post-residency careers. The Resident Career Forum will take place virtually via Zoom, on Thursday, October 13th from 6PM – 8:30PM. The event is free for all, RSVP required by CLICKING HERE.
New Residency Program: St. Joseph Medical Center!
St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, WA, is proud to announce the opening of the St. Joseph Internal Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Joey Parker, DO, FACP, a graduate of Virginia Mason Medical Center, will lead the residency as the inaugural program director. The residency will match 13 applicants per year with its first class set to enter their doors in July 2023. Please contact Dr. Joey Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Health and Public Policy Committee Update
By Stephanie Fosback, MD FACP & Chris Wong, MD FACP
Your Health & Public Policy Committee members are hard at work!
We participated in ACP’s Leadership Day in Washington, DC in May, meeting with Congressional staff to advocate for ACP priorities such as Access to Care, Prescription Drug Reform, and Mental Health.
We continue to work with both ACP as well as WSMA. We have submitted resolutions for ACP to endorse Paid Sick Leave access, and for WSMA to support increased communication between SNF providers and PCPs.
We will provide an Advocacy Update at the upcoming WA State ACP Meeting in November, and will focus on how members can further advocacy by working with ACP. We hope to see you there, or join us at an HPPC meeting – we convene on the second Monday of the month from 6-7 pm on zoom.
Steph & Chris
Praise the effort, not just the results. We live in results driven world. Medicine is no different. As physicians we are trained to ask questions, order tests, find a diagnosis, initiate treatment, and watch as the patient gets better. As much as we’d like to say we have the correct diagnosis 100% of the time, reality is we don’t always know the answer to what ails the patient. As frustrating as this is, for learners who want to impress their senior residents and attending physicians, it’s even more frustrating. One idea I have found really helpful during complicated cases and ones that don’t have a clear diagnosis is to praise the learner’s thought process, even if it doesn’t lead to the correct diagnosis or outcome right away. For example, the resident may provide a thorough differential diagnosis and treatment plan and support this with labs and imaging, but the patient might not respond quite as expected. We’ve all been there. In these situations, it’s important to separate decision making from results, and applaud the detailed thought process despite not having the most desired outcome.
- The Council of Early Career Physicians (CECP), the Council of Resident/Fellow Members (CRFM), and the Council of Student Members (CSM) are currently seeking candidates to fill vacant seats for 2023-24. Please reach out to me if you are interested in applying for one of these positions. Nominations are due November 1, 2022.
- ACP’s Career Connection is hosting a Virtual Career Fair on October 27, 3-6 p.m. PDT and it’s FREE to attend. During the virtual career fair, you’ll chat directly with recruiters, browse open positions, employer profiles & benefits. Register and upload your CV here: bit.ly/10-27-6-9
- ACP has created brief webinars (10-15 minutes each) emphasizing specific skills to enhance physician well-being and reduce burnout. If those seem too long, there’s a second set directed at residents (2 minutes each) which I thought were great for anyone.