Governor’s Corner
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.
  • 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.

Updates from National ACP

  • 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.

Matt Hollon, MD MPH FACP Governor || Washington Chapter – American College of Physicians
mhollonmdfacp@gmail.com

2022 Annual Chapter Meeting Recap

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

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 MedicineAbstract 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

 

This year marked our 2nd virtual Doctor’s Dilemma and thanks to the enthusiasm and energy of our medical jeopardy host, Dr. Moe Hagman, and six amazing Resident teams – it was a huge success! We are pleased to announce the winner this year was the team from Virginia Mason Medical Center comprised of Quan Truong, Shikhi Bhansari, and Cathy Zhang. Congratulations, Team Virginia Mason – we will be cheering you on at the National IM meeting in Chicago!

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

Anita Chopra, MBBS FACP

Alvin J. Thompson Internist of the Year

 John H Vassall, MD FACP

John H Vassall, MD FACP

Washington ACP Laureate Award

      Matthew Hollon, MD MPH FACP

Matthew Hollon, MD MPH FACP

Exemplary Leadership Award

Sundance Rogers, MD FACP

Sundance Rogers, MD FACP

Community Service Award

Anne Grossman, MD FACP

Anne Grossman, MD FACP

Community Service Award

Bruce Smith, MD MACP

Bruce Smith, MD MACP

Kemi Nakabayashi Chapter Service Award

Greg Nakamoto, MD FACP

Greg Nakamoto, MD FACP

Golden Apple Award

Rachel Reeg, MD FACP

Rachel Reeg, MD FACP

Hospitalist of the Year

Molly Blakely Jackson, MD FACP

Molly Blakely Jackson, MD FACP

Clinician - Educator of the Year

Kang X Zhang, MD FACP

Kang X Zhang, MD FACP

Clinician-Educator of the Year

Eli Grunblatt

Eli Grunblatt

Douglas S. Paauw MD Outstanding Student in Internal Medicine Award

University of Washington School of Medicine

Jessica Brar

Jessica Brar

Douglas S. Paauw MD Outstanding Student in Internal Medicine Award

Elson S Floyd College of Medicine

Julie Fedorko

Julie Fedorko

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:

Inpatient Pre-Course

  • Raman Palabindala, MD MBA FACP SFHM
  • Jesse Levin, MD

Outpatient Pre-Course

  • 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.

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