Matt Hollon, MD MPH FACP
I think optimism is not only about an inclination to highlight that, with patience, blue skies lie ahead but also the ability to see the possibility, beauty, and peace in the world at any moment – even the darkest and foggiest of times. The spirit of this is captured in this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Here he suggests that even the most challenging and tiresome moments in our lives become part of the fabric of who we are and how we think and respond, and for even those moments, we can see how they add to the sum of who we are – for all of that, it can be important to be grateful. Certainly, I am not suggesting that we embrace Pollyannaism but rather that as we head into this next year, I hope we can all cultivate this sense of optimism that helps us to see how the past two years have helped us to understand many things including the importance of science, the need for patience and understanding, and the extraordinary value of connecting with other humans, in-person. And that we can also hold onto that side of optimism that lets us know that blue skies are ahead!
Through this lens of optimism (a good antidote to burnout), the start of a new year is a great opportunity to both look backward at the continued success of our Washington Chapter as well as look forward with excitement to what this next year brings. Looking backward, I would offer a final thanks to this past year’s WA-ACP Annual Scientific Meeting Co-Chairs, Dr. Pallavi Arora and Dr. Mary Ramsbottom who share a recap of an amazing virtual meeting including our first annual John Vassall, MD FACP Annual Lecture for Justice and Equity in Medicine by Chapter member and Fellow in the College, Dr. Mabel Bodell as well as a phenomenal session on transitions of care and many other great speakers (including Dr. Susie Glass, profiled below, who did a great “Articles That Changed My Practice” talk with Dr. Rachel Safran). Our Annual Meeting also featured a wonderful abstract competition and another year of virtual Doctor’s Dilemma, featuring teams for every internal medicine residency program in the state and once again hosted by the illustrious, irreplaceable Dr. Moe Hagman. And, of course, our Annual Meeting would not be complete without the opportunity to spotlight the extraordinary contributions and accomplishments of our Chapter members with our Annual Awards!
And, as we head into this next year, we have wonderful things to look forward to. I suspect we are all keeping our fingers crossed that at the end of April, our community of internists across the country will gather in Chicago for the first National ACP meeting since 2019, Mastering Medicine Together; for our Chapter this will be a particularly significant meeting as we will celebrate three National Award winners, two new Masters in the College, (for more on these five amazing individuals see our Fall 2021 newsletter) and the transition of Governorship from myself to Dr. Chris Knight! Other spring events include our Annual Spring Scientific Abstract competition for associate and student members as well as ACP Leadership Days. Planning has also started, under the leadership of this year’s Co-Chairs, Dr. Deepthi Mani and Dr. Anita Chopra, for the Washington Chapter Annual Meeting in November 2022, which we anticipate will be a hybrid meeting with options to both attend in-person and virtually.
As Dr. Horwitch, past Washington Chapter Governor and former Regent in the College, explains below another great way to counteract the burnout attendant with the challenges of a career in medicine and to cultivate optimism is to be involved in helping to shape the future of health and healthcare for our patients and colleagues. I too have found that exercising my opportunity to advocate helps me to remain optimistic and true to the aphorism to be the change you want to see in the world. Parallel to this we are excited to welcome new Co-Chairs to our Chapter’s Health and Public Policy Committee, Dr. Stephanie Fosback and Dr. Chris Wong. They have hit the ground running and share details below of the direction the Committee will be taking in 2022.
I hope we all continue to share our optimism with each other and with those that need it most as we head into 2022. 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 the College . . . again as Dr. Horwitch notes, we are stronger together!
Matt Hollon, MD MPH FACP Governor || Washington Chapter – American College of Physicians
EMERGING FROM THE FOG INTO BLUE SKY – COLBURN BASIN, SCHWEITZER MOUNTAIN
The start of the new year is a great time to be optimistic about what lies ahead for us personally, professionally, and for our Chapter. Through all the fog of the past two years we can reassure ourselves of the possibility, the beauty, and the joy in the world, even in dark, hard times. So here is to all of us keeping the flame of optimism going!
Even though it was not in person, we were so happy that so many of you could join us for the ACP WA annual meeting in November. What a wonderful, stimulating, interactive few days it was with our first John Vassall Lecture given by the pioneering Dr. Mabel Bodell – who gave us an inspiring view of Covid in central Washington. While the sessions were jam packed with knowledge, Dr. Finkelstein reminded us to focus on physician wellness as we go through another year with this pandemic. We tried some new things with a multi-speaker transitions of care talk that was well received. We managed to squeeze in case-based workshops, and had a thrilling jeopardy session with Dr. Moe Hagman. We are so thankful to all the speakers and the audience for taking the time to come together for mutual learning, sharing experiences and keeping our WA state medical community tightly knit as ever. We look forward to seeing you again in November 2022.
Member Profile: Dr. Susie Glass, MD
By Phuong Van, MS2, WSU College of Medicine
Dr. Susie Glass was first introduced to the field of medicine through multiple sport-related injuries and thought orthopedics was for her. However, through her education, she realized that the critical thinking and puzzle solving aspect of internal medicine was something she could not turn away from.
Currently, she works as a hospitalist at the VA Hospital in Seattle. Dr. Glass thoroughly enjoys her role and realizes what a privilege it is to serve those with incredible and tough stories. Her experience at the VA gives her the unique opportunity to work as a hospitalist while maintaining long-term relationships and continuity with her patients. The hardest parts of her job are financial barriers associated with long-term care and finding sustainable resources for her patients. She is excited to see medicine move towards having individualized and targeted therapies so that patients can continue to have better outcomes. In addition to her role in clinical care, she loves teaching residents and contributing to regional talks with Updates in Hospital Medicine.
Outside of the clinic, Dr. Glass loves being outdoors, which is one of the reasons she moved to the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys skiing, trail running, rock climbing, and taking her lab on walks. She is also a self-acclaimed “true nerd” and she likes epic reads.
2022 Abstract Competition
By Ananth Shenoy, MD FACP
As you may know, with the growth of the Annual Spring Scientific Day in May, we have increasingly focused the medical student and medicine resident Abstract Competition at the Fall Meeting on Clinical Vignettes while reserving the May event for Quality Improvement, Academic Research and Medical Education projects. For those who are planning to submit abstracts for upcoming ACP events, we will continue this emphasis of clinical vignettes for fall and research abstracts for spring.
We were again excited to co-host our fall abstract competition with the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM). With their support, we were able to expand the competition, and award FIVE prizes!
These included prizes for the finalists in both general medicine and hospital medicine for the top oral and poster presentations (for a total of 4 awards) and a separate award for the top medical student poster. Our poster competition took place as a virtual showcase with pre-recorded videos and the live oral presentations were intermixed throughout the final day of the main conference.
We had a total of 63 submissions with 45 of the submitters preparing poster or oral presentations. Our participants showcased their hard work on their clinical vignettes and our faculty judges reviewed these presentations and we had our awards ceremony Saturday afternoon. Congratulations to all our participants and to our top place finishers!
- Medical Student Poster
- Kayla Hogan, Medical Student, University of Washington School of Medicine. Abstract Title: Nocardia nova in the Setting of Metastatic Disease, a Case Report.
- ACP Resident Poster
- Jessica Wong, Internal Medicine Resident, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. Abstract Title: Susac’s Syndrome: A Rare Presentation and Course.
- SHM Resident Poster
- Bowen He, Internal Medicine Resident, Virginia Mason Franciscan Health. Abstract Title: Leukostasis Syndrome in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.
- ACP Resident Oral Presentation
- Ketan Mehta, Internal Medicine Resident, Madigan Army Medical Center. Abstract Title: Bone Specific Alkaline Phosphatase Elevation due to “Huffing” Computer Cleaner.
- SHM Resident Oral Presentation
- Cooper Kersey, Internal Medicine Resident, University of Washington Medical Center. Abstract Title: Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Myocarditis: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself.
Thank you to all our participating medical students and residents and the mentors who support them and to our judges and ACP staff for helping make the competition a success! We are looking forward to seeing you at our Spring Scientific Day in May.
Doctor’s Dilemma Winner
2021 Washington Chapter Awards
We have so many amazing Chapter members – in this unprecedented and historically challenging year we celebrate the following individuals:
Anita Chopra, MBBS FACP
Alvin J. Thompson Internist of the Year
John H Vassall, MD FACP
Washington ACP Laureate Award
Matthew Hollon, MD MPH FACP
Exemplary Leadership Award
Sundance Rogers, MD FACP
Community Service Award
Anne Grossman, MD FACP
Community Service Award
Bruce Smith, MD MACP
Kemi Nakabayashi Chapter Service Award
Greg Nakamoto, MD FACP
Golden Apple Award
Rachel Reeg, MD FACP
Hospitalist of the Year
Molly Blakely Jackson, MD FACP
Clinician - Educator of the Year
Kang X Zhang, MD FACP
Clinician-Educator of the Year
Douglas S. Paauw MD Outstanding Student in Internal Medicine Award
University of Washington School of Medicine
Douglas S. Paauw MD Outstanding Student in Internal Medicine Award
Elson S Floyd College of Medicine
Douglas S. Paauw MD Outstanding Student in Internal Medicine Award
Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
2022 Annual Meeting Co-Chairs
Anita Chopra, MBBS FACP
Deepthi Mani, MBBS FACP
We have had extraordinary run of excellent meetings and the Washington Chapter Annual Meeting continues to be among the truly top tier chapter meetings in the College. This is in part due to the amazing energy and thought that meeting Co-Chairs have volunteered. This year will be no different as we welcome two of the most energetic, brilliant, and creative chapter members and Executive Council members to the positions of Meeting Co-Chairs.
- Deepthi Mani, MD FACP is a hospitalist at Valley Medical Center and within the Chapter has served as Co-Chair of our Council of International Medical Graduates and our Council of Hospitalists.
- Anita Chopra, MD FACP is a primary care internist with UW Medicine and within the Chapter has served as Co-Chair of our Council of International Medical Graduates and our Council of Primary Care Internists.
They will be supported this year by another amazing Planning Committee and the following Pre-Course Co-Chairs:
- Raman Palabindala, MD MBA FACP SFHM
- Jesse Levin, MD
- Prachi Munshi, MD
- Nkeiruka Duze, MD FACP
Physician Wellbeing Corner
By Carrie Horwitch, MD MACP, Past Governor, and Wellbeing Champion
Advocacy can be an antidote to burnout.
Early in my career I did not realize the importance of advocacy and knew nothing about how to engage in system change. I was busy taking care of my patients, continuing my medical knowledge and teaching learners. As the systems in which we practice medicine have changed, getting engaged in advocacy has reduced my stress and distress. I find it energizing that I am speaking out for the betterment of my profession, my patients and work environment. My voice and the voices of my patients and colleagues need to reach the ears of those in a position to make better laws, policies, regulations and work environment. That is what advocacy can do. I am confident that each of us can make change happen in our own organizations, and at the local, state and national level.
We all have too little time these days. First, “many hands make light work”; the more of us who are involved, the less time it takes to impact change. Second, if we want better systems, regulations and policies, we must be at the table and part of the conversation and decision making. Third, it can make a difference to reducing burnout and disengagement.
So here are 5 tips for effective advocacy:
1. Join a medical professional society advocacy group; get educated on the issues.
2. Get on a committee at your organization that can work on system improvements (WA-ACP has a health and public policy committee)
3. Write a resolution for your state medical society to advocate on an issue that matters to you
4. Invite your elected representatives to visit your workplace
5. Use the TAKE 5 approach- take 5 minutes to call/email or write a letter to your elected officials on a specific topic. Remember Keep It Simple and Specific.
Access to physicians and health care should not be a partisan issue- it is a human issue. Each person is unique and our responsibility is to care for that individual and our communities. Our advocacy will continue to change or build systems that allow us to practice with fulfillment, joy and professional satisfaction.
Health and Public Policy Committee Update
By Stephanie Fosback, MD FACP & Chris Wong, MD, HPPC Co-Chairs
Dr. Steph Fosback and Dr. Chris Wong are excited to be co-chairing the Health and Public Policy Committee (HPPC). Steph is a primary care internist in Pullman Washington practicing both inpatient and outpatient medicine in a rural community. She has interests in mental health care, LGBTQ+ care, and primary care. Chris is a primary care internist at the University of Washington. Chris’s advocacy interests include wellness for healthcare workers and universal healthcare.
The HPPC is a place where interested ACP members can channel their interest in advocacy by working with the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA), Washington State ACP and National ACP to make the changes they wish to see in healthcare.
Our member survey shows strong interest in public health, mental health access, insurance coverage, social justice, and workplace issues including wellness and diversity. At our last meeting in January the HPPC began working on mental health access issues in Washington State, and working with ACP on advocating for social determinants of health at the national level. We would love to have anyone interested get involved! Together we can make an impact in our challenging healthcare system.
We’d love to hear from you! Our next meeting is 2/21/2022.
Joey Parker’s Teaching Corner
“Make your own mistakes.” These words were instilled in me by an attending physician while I was in medical school. What she meant was it’s very easy to take someone else’s plan and to continue it, especially when our learners are new and haven’t built up confidence in their own knowledge. What I teach my residents is that for each patient you inherit from a different service, you must always critically think and not just accept that all assessments and plans are correct. Teaching this concept very early in residency is essential to the development of physicians. Most times, the accepted plan will be correct, but it’s essential to “make your own mistakes” and assess the patient with a clear set of eyes each day.
Updates From National:
ACP’s 2021 End of Year Advocacy Highlights: Advocating to Support Internists and Their Patients
Check out ACP’s 2021 Highlights graphic flyer to see all that ACP has advocated for this year. From advancing the value of internal medicine and primary care, to supporting internists’ needs during the COVID-19 crisis, ACP has been active working for our members and our patients. Also highlighted are ACP’s work to address racial disparities and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, improve Board certification policies and procedures and details about positive change in the CMS 2022 Physician Fee Schedule and new federal programs that reflect ACP recommendations.
Visit ACP’s Advocacy section to view the flyer and keep up with all of ACP Advocacy’s efforts at https://www.acponline.org/advocacy.
ACP and YouTube Have Partnered to Stop the Spread of Misinformation: We Need Your Help to Amplify the Word!
ACP has developed a series of videos on ACP’s YouTube Channel to help combat misinformation about COVID-19, various vaccines, and related treatments. The video series – some of which are also available in Spanish — features internists and includes:
- Physician to Physician Conversations – Practical communication strategies to help physicians and other healthcare professionals build vaccine confidence and address patient concerns that may be rooted in misinformation.
- Ask Your Internist – Helps answer vaccination-related patient questions using trusted, evidence-based information in the clinicians’ voice.
Read our press release announcing the partnership.