2020 Winter Newsletter

Governor’s Corner

Matt Hollon, MD MPH FACP


The sun setting over Schweitzer Mountain in the Idaho Panhandle. If you ski and happen to be heading to Schweitzer please send me an email. I would love to make a run with you – Matt Hollon

With the sun now set on 2019, our attention has turned to how we build on our Chapter’s great successes this past year and carry the energy optimistically forward at a time when it feels like the engines of chaos in our world are near full throttle.  Last year’s successes include transitioning to new executive administration, co-hosting an evening CME event on reducing firearm violence with King County Medical Society, our first ever resident “Career Fair”, and another amazing annual chapter meeting that was again live webcast to Spokane.  I truly believe that the best way to confront the challenges we face going forward – including disheartened physicians, a chaotic health care system, and looming threats of massive public health challenges in the face of climate change – is to come together in support of each other and the work we do.  We are better together.  The American College of Physicians and our chapter are here for us to accomplish this collective effort by fostering collegiality across our community of internists, supporting us in the practice of medicine, and advocating for our patients and the health of our communities.

There continues to be no better way for us to come together in life-long learning and to celebrate internal medicine than our Annual Chapter Meeting.  The 2019 meeting, co-chaired by Tristan Osborne and Divya Gollapudi was truly one of the best meetings ever – and our live webcast in Spokane continues to grow and provide opportunity for our Eastern Washington colleagues to share in this outstanding event.   While 2019 will be hard to top, I am confident that 2020 will be equal if not better under the guidance of Co-Chairs, Leah Marcotte and Anna Hagan. Mark your calendars for the 2020 meeting to be held November 5th-7th at Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle.

Certainly, one of the highlights of the meeting for me is the opportunity during our awards luncheon to recognize the amazing members in our Chapter doing amazing things.  These are folks who inspire us all to work hard for the benefit of our patients, our colleagues, and our profession.  And not only are our current members amazing but also our associate members. I have such great confidence in the future of our Chapter and internal medicine when I realize the caliber of current residents in our state as well as the students who are interested in our awesome specialty, evidenced by the effort put into amazing abstract presentations and the enthusiasm for the Doctor’s Dilemma competition – continued thanks to Dr. Moe Hagman for her ongoing role as master of the ceremony for our medical jeopardy!

The fact is there is really nothing more impressive and inspiring than a room of internists!  And importantly, because internists are respected, when we use our collective physician voice to advocate for thoughtful change things happen.  The College had major success this past year in pushing for dramatic overhaul going forward of reimbursement and documentation requirements for evaluation and management (E/M) codes – changes that will lead to increased payments and will reform a system that undervalues the complexity of our physician work in providing primary and cognitive care to patients.  And in 2020, we anticipate that the College will be among the leading voices in our country in recommending substantive changes to the American health care system in it’s “New Vision for a Better Health Care System for All”.

This next year abounds with opportunities for all of us to contribute in our work of bringing the internal medicine community together in our state and across our country to make a difference in the lives of patients and our practice of medicine.  We look forward to ACP members participating in the Washington State Medical Association’s Legislative Summit in Olympia on February 25th (if you are planning on attending please email our Executive Director, Liz Truong, who can connect you with other ACP members).  In May, our Chapter will once again take a contingent to Washington, DC to participate in the College’s Leadership Day.  Also in May, we look forward to our annual Spring Scientific Day – started by our Past-Governor, Dr. Joyce Wipf, as a forum for students, residents, and early career physicians to showcase and celebrate their contributions to scholarship in medicine.

Most importantly, we continue to welcome your involvement with our Chapter.  We anticipate doing a statewide survey of members this year and hope you will respond, sharing your honest opinion about how our Chapter can best serve you and your colleagues.  We encourage you to promote ACP to internists who are not part of the College (remember – we are better together).  We also hope to see many of you in Los Angeles on April 23-25, 2020 for Internal Medicine Meeting 2020 – the most comprehensive conference in internal medicine!

Lastly know this – we aspire to remain one of the best chapters in the College and we understand that begins with our members like you and Anita Chopra, MD FACP and Rachel Safran, MD FACP.  All of you make up this Chapter’s indispensable asset and, with that recognition, we would like to support you in planning events in your own communities.  We are excited to announce that the Executive Council is accepting proposals for small grants (up to $500) for you to plan an event in your community that brings internists together – whether that is for a “mini-CME” event or simply an evening of sharing stories – send us your proposals.  We look forward to your creative ideas for hosting Washington Chapter ACP events and we will “meet you where you are at” with our support!

Happy New Year –

Matt Hollon, MD MPH FACP

Governor || Washington Chapter – American College of Physicians

2019 Annual Chapter Meeting Review

By Tristan Osborn & Divya Gollapudi, 2019 Meeting Co-Chairs


We were honored to serve as co-chairs for the 2019 Washington State ACP Chapter Scientific Meeting and incredibly proud to watch the meeting come together.  We truly enjoyed watching the engagement of the audience with expert speakers on topics such as iron deficiency, headaches, alcohol use disorder, and adverse reactions to immunotherapies.  We learned many fascinating insights into basic science research on the human microbiome and received a timely updates in state-wide public health, practice-changing articles, and novel drugs. The pre-course day provided terrific practical and hands-on experiences with ABIM MOC modules, point of care ultrasound, and a focused and clinically relevant line-up of inpatient and outpatient topics. Residents from all over the state presented fascinating cases in both oral and poster format and seeing their energy and passion remains a meeting highlight!  We were excited to welcome back the debate, this year on the adjunctive use of steroids for the treatment of pneumonia, and loved seeing the audience involvement for the new plenary session on the art of clinical reasoning. Thank you to all of our WA ACP members, meeting speakers, support staff, ACP Executive Council, Liz Truong and Matt Hollon for your support of this remarkable and informative annual meeting! We very much look forward to the 2020 chapter meeting, led by Anna Hagan and Leah Marcotte, and hope to see you there!”

2019 Spokane Webcast Review


In partnership with the Spokane Society of Internal Medicine, The Spokane Webcast of the Washington ACP Annual meeting was held at the beautiful WSU Riverpoint Campus.  There were around 40 attendees.  The room was lively between sessions as participants made connections.  We had a great time watching Jeopardy as usual and were able to shout out answers since the contestants couldn’t hear us!  The food was delicious and we had 9 exhibitors that were all very engaged and informative.  We look forward to continuing to offer this wonderful event to Eastern Washington next year.


2020 Annual Meeting Co-Chairs


Leah Marcotte, MD, FACP is a primary care physician at UW General Internal Medicine Center and the Associate Medical Director of Population Health at UW Medicine. Prior to her current role, Dr. Marcotte worked at Iora Health, an innovative primary care organization focused on team-based care and population health, and in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She graduated medical school from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed Internal Medicine residency training at the University of Washington.


Anna F Hagan, MD, is a hospitalist at UW Harborview. She graduated medical school from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and completed her internal medicine residency training at the University of Washington.  During residency she received the Residence Excellence in Teaching Award and then served as the Clinician-Teacher Fellow at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System.  In 2019 she served as Co-Chair for the Hospitalists Pre-Course at the Washington Chapter Annual ACP meeting.



Dr. Marcotte and Dr. Hagan will be joined this year in plannign and organizing the annual chapter meeting by the following pre-course co-chairs:

Outpatient Pre-course: Dr. Ananth Shenoy and Dr. Mary Ramsbottom
Hospitalists Pre-course: Dr. Ana Parker and Dr. Pallavi Aurora

2019 Chapter Award Winners


Our Washington ACP Chapter awards winners are:

Dr. Kim O’Connor receiving the Chapter Laureate Medal from Govnenor Matt Hollon

Golden Apple Award (community-based teaching) – Michael Graham, MD FACP

Community Service Award – Anita Chopra, MBBS

Community Service Award – Majd Isreb, MD FACP

Hospitalist of the Year – Joey Parker, DO FACP (see below for a great pearl from Dr. Parker on his thoughtful approach to teaching and look for more “pearls” in subsequent newsletters)

Chapter Service Award – Kemi Nakabayashi, MD FACP

Faculty Clinician-Educator (academic-based teaching): Elizabeth Kaplan, MD

The Doug Paauw, MD MACP Outstanding Student in Internal Medicine – Kim Matsumoto

Alvin J. Thompson, MD MACP Internist of the Year – Carletta Vanderbilt

Chapter Laureate Award – Kim O’Connor, MD FACP

Further details of the winners can be found here.


Joey Parker’s Teaching Corner


My mom was a teacher for 40 years. I remember skipping elementary school to spend time in her junior high classes, listening to her use various methods to teach students. She would rap, sing, and draw pictures if that’s what it meant to emphasize her points. I suppose teaching is in my blood. I’m excited for this column and to share short pearls that may better help you reach your learners. I’ll start with a very basic lesson, though it may be the most crucial: it is more important to give learners something to work toward, rather than something to work on. In other words, explaining the “why” behind your teaching is sometimes more important than “what” you teach. We have all taught students the basics of heart failure or the pathophysiology of hyponatremia, only to be unsure if the audience was truly engaged. If we explain why it’s important they learn these topics and connect lessons to their future profession or goals, our teaching becomes more dynamic. I will often preface my teaching by saying, “this is why I’m teaching you this”, or “it’s important you know this because…”, or “The ABIM loves this topic.” Our learners will be much more likely to retain our teaching and be engaged when they grasp why these lessons are important, and how they will impact their future success.


2019 Abstract & Doctor’s Dilemma Competitions

By Ananth Shenoy, MD 


We are very proud of our medical students and residents who participated in the abstract competition at our fall meeting. This continues to be one of the many highlights of the conference and demonstrate excellence in scholarship by our colleagues in training! We had 36 poster presentations and 9 oral presentations covering a wide range of topics. Congratulations to our top place abstracts:


Head Judge Ananth Shenoy with the 2019  abstract winners – Mary, Stephanie & Raja

Resident Oral Presentation Winner:
Rajalakshmi Arunachalam, Spokane Internal Medicine, with her talk titled “Clues and HINTS to a Stroke”. She won a trip to the National ACP Meeting in April in Los Angeles. Congratulations Dr Arunachalam!

Resident Poster Presentation Winner:
Stephanie Hampton, University of Washington Internal Medicine Residency, with her poster entitled “Benzodiazepine Withdrawal: A Real Downer”.

Medical Student Poster Winner:
Mary Gwin, University of Washington School of Medicine, with her poster entitled “Acute Myeloid Leukemia Patients that Enroll on a Precision Medicine Clinical Trial Have Extremely Poor Prognostic Risk Factors”.



The winning UW jeopardy team celebrating with their department

ACP Doctor’s Dilemma (Medical Jeopardy):
The annual Jeopardy session was again an astounding display of knowledge of medical trivia and a fierce competition amongst our state’s medical residency programs. Congratulations to the team from the University of Washington including: Hilary Zetlen, Meghan Rochester, and Stephanie Hampton.








2020 Leadership Day


Leadership Day provides an opportunity for ACP and our members to increase our presence in Washington, DC and bring visibility to issues of common concern.  Participants receive a comprehensive orientation and briefing on ACP’s top legislative priorities and then have an opportunity to meet with legislators and the staff on Capitol Hill.  Each year this among the highlights for the contingent of Washington State Chapter members who travel to the “other” Washington.  If you are interested in participating please email our Executive Director, Liz Truong.  Leadership Day is May 12-13, 2020.


2020 Spring Scientific Day


We are eagerly looking forward to our upcoming Annual Spring Scientific Day on Friday May 8th at the University of Washington South Campus Center. This is our 6th annual session and the focus of the one day conference is on mentorship and scholarship for medical students, residents, fellows and early career physicians. The session includes an abstract competition with an emphasis on research, quality improvement and medical education and also plenaries and breakout sessions focused on finding and building research projects, publishing your work and academic career development. Abstract applications are officially open and can be submitted here before March 13th.


Member Spotlight #1 – Anita Chopra, MD FACP

By Rahaf Baker, MS4, MPH


Dr. Anita Chopra is a primary care physician at UW Medicine Shoreline Clinic. She comes from a long line of physicians and remembers being exposed to inspiring stories about physicians in her family throughout her childhood. She was born in Amristar of Northern Punjab and never met her grandfather but grew up surrounded by inspiring stories him. He was a physician and was always helping in his community during the war in India. Despite the curfews during the war, he saved many lives during the Cholera epidemic. He frequently made rehydration solutions in his home and distributed them to homes to save lives. These stories inspired her to pursue medicine. During her teenage years she would shadow her uncle who was a cardiologist and enrolled in medical school in her home state of Punjab. She never expected to come to the US but she found herself immigrating to Michigan after marrying her husband (now a mechanical engineer at Boeing). She trained in internal medicine at Wayne State University, where her program director, Dr. Diane Levine was one of her greatest supporters who empowered her as a woman in medicine and helped her carve her path.

After residency, she worked for a year at Swedish but her heart was always in academics and she wanted to work with medical students. In 2012, she came to UW and has been doing primary care internal medicine with a large geriatric population. She has been enjoying the continuity of patient care since then. At one point, she realized that her practice had peaked but was again challenged when, her oldest daughter Mehr asked her a difficult question. Mehr’s friend in second grade told her that he cannot see a doctor because his family is uninsured and unemployed, and Mehr asked her mother “what about the people who can’t come to you? Why don’t you go to people who can’t come to you?”. Dr. Chopra and her daughter then became partners in leading “Seattle Health and wellness program”, a free community health fairs project that has been running for the past 8 years. These free health fairs have been a labor of love for the mother daughter team, occurring twice per year and attracting over 650 patients. They bring together community partners and offer free mammograms, pap smears, colon cancer screenings, vision checks, mental health services, dental vans and Medicare/Medicaid sing-ups. Her daughter has also taken on giving workshops in the community and taken an interest in medicine.

Dr. Chopra is involved in ACP and co-chairs the IMG counsel in ACP, she is part of healthcare equity efforts in ACP and won the community service award last fall. She loves that ACP feels like a family and thanks Dr. Hollon for all he has taught her, Dr. Deepti Mani, as well as Liz Truong for her hard work in keeping ACP running. ACP has empowered her to make a difference in her community and provided her with relentless support in her efforts. She is always looking to do more for her community. She greatly admires Dr. Paul Ramsey, Dean and CEO of UW Medicine, for his humility despite being an accomplished academic, and for all his support of her project. Dr. Chopra’s advice to young physicians is to never lose your empathy in any field you pursue. On her worst days, she is inspired by her patients who come to her clinic all the way from Renton and see her as their physician, as well as the immense trust that her patients have placed in her. Her days off are spent with her two daughters and her family, reading and listening to music, and hopefully cooking a meal that is appreciated by all!


Meeting Spotlight #2 – Rachel Safran, MD FACP

By Natalie Smith, MS1


Dr. Rachel Safran has always had a calling for social justice. As a high schooler, Dr. Safran volunteered with summer camps working with high risk youth. While in medical school and into residency, she tied together her interests in public health and prison reform to do research on how to improve correctional medicine. Now, as a physician working in both medical education and outpatient ambulatory care, Dr. Safran still finds time to advocate through her role on the board of directors of Camp Stix, a summer camp for young adults with Type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Safran can trace the roots of her interests in medicine back to a young age. Dr. Safran recalls a field trip as a grade schooler where she got to see a human GI tract prosection in an anatomy lab. Instead of being grossed out with her peers, Dr. Safran was enthralled and yearned to learn more about human development and anatomy. By the time she was beginning college, Dr. Safran planned to go straight to medical school after completing her Chemistry degree. It was a surprise, therefore, when her love for competitive debate, an activity she was a part of throughout college, steered her off her well-planned track. During Dr. Safran’s senior year of college, she and her debate partner were the first to win both National Championships in parliamentary debate in the same year. This success led the debate team to offer Dr. Safran a position as a coach after she graduated. She could not turn the opportunity down and stayed on campus as a debate coach for a few years before moving on to medical school. When reflecting on this experience now. Dr. Safran is grateful that she spent time developing skills in efficient research and communication, both of which she uses daily in clinical practice.

Dr. Safran grew up in Salt Lake City, but once she got out to the Pacific Northwest, she knew she was here to stay. After attending the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma for her undergrad (she and I are both alumnae- Go Loggers!), she matriculated to UWSOM in Spokane. There, she found her ideal environment: multiple ski hills to travel to in the winter (Schweitzer is her go-to), great weather in the summer for hiking, and a yard large enough to plant a vegetable garden. Dr. Safran stayed in Spokane for residency and fellowship and is especially appreciative of the Spokane community for the confluence of medical learners there. She is excited to continue to push the field of medical education forward by incorporating the utilization of tele-health technologies and team-based care into her teaching.

Dr. Safran has this advice to offer to current trainees: Whatever interests you have outside of medicine, both hold onto those and find ways to incorporate them into your career. All of your interests can find a way to complement what you do for healthcare.


Proposal For Members


Modeled on National’s program of Chapter Development Funds and recognizing that the best and most creative ideas are often grassroots, we are excited to share this new approach to member engagement with all of you.  If you have a great idea for how best to bring your community of internists together, we invite you to submit your proposal and the Chapter will offer up to $500 of support to cover event expenses (e.g. food).  The event could be focused on continuing medical education, physician wellness, advocacy, or another aspect of our careers in internal medicine.  In addition to monetary support, we can support your program by offering expertise from one of our Committees (e.g. Health and Public Policy, Wellness, Education).  We encourage you to consider focusing your event around certain demographics within the population of internists if that makes sense and, in that case, would also have your partner with one of our Councils (e.g. Early Career Physicians, Senior Physicians, International Medical Graduates, Hospitalists, Primary Care Physicians, etc.).  We welcome your ideas and are excited to see what kind of creative events you all can plan.  Submit your proposal here.


From National – Mindfulness in Medicine: What Physicians Need to Know Webinar Playback Available


Mindfulness is an evidence-based approach to mitigating physician burnout, not only building calm but also enhancing focus, heightening compassion for self and others, and shifting limiting thought patterns. In this dynamic webinar, Gail Gazelle, MD, FACP, MCC, CMMT provides an overview of various conceptualizations of mindfulness, reviews research on its effectiveness, and provides practical strategies readily incorporated into the physician’s workday.

Click here to watch recording

The ACP Leadership Academy will present several free member webinars this year. Click here for more information and registration for one or more of these webinars.


From National – Call for Fall 2020 Board of Govenors Resolutions


Are you concerned about a practice or clinical issue or have an idea you’d like to suggest? If so, you might consider submitting a resolution to your Governor or chapter council.

Initiating a resolution provides ACP members an opportunity to focus attention at the ACP national level on a particular issue or topic that concerns them. Participating in the Board of Governors resolutions process provides the ACP grassroots member a voice and allows you to shape College policy that impacts the practice of internal medicine. When drafting a resolution, don’t forget to consider how well it fits within ACP’s Mission and Goals. In addition, be sure to use the College’s 2018-2020 Priority Themes to guide you when proposing a resolution topic.

Not sure how to begin drafting a resolution? Researching the College’s position on an issue can give you a start. Visit the ACP Online homepage and click the “Advocacy” link in the right-hand, top margin to access ACP policy positions, read about recent ACP advocacy activities, or search ACP’s library of policies and recommendations. Visit your chapter website, too, and click the link under “Advocacy” to access Electronic Resolutions System (ERS) where you can search past or proposed resolutions. A copy of the resolutions process is available on the ERS which furnishes more details on formatting resolutions, as well the process for submission, review, and approval.

Members must submit resolutions to their Governor and/or chapter council. A resolution becomes a resolution of the chapter once the chapter council approves it. If effecting change interests you, the deadline for submitting new resolutions to be heard at the Fall 2020 Board of Governors Meeting is March 27, 2020.

Share your good idea with us. Draft a resolution.



Membership Report


Our chapter continues to grow in absolute numbers, as well as the percentage of physicians achieving fellow and master status. With this growth comes the need to assure opportunities for meaningful engagement. We hope that you will complete the short survey you will soon receive. Plans are underway for local events later this year, and a clearer picture of your needs can maximize the value of your membership. If you have other ideas to share with us, please do not hesitate to contact either of us at nakabayashimd@gmail.com or gforbes@jeffersonhealthcare.org .

We also continue all eligible members to apply for fellowship. Hope to hear from you soon!


Save the Date: Women-in-Medicine Dim Sum

The next Women-In-Medicine Dim Sum is slated to be held on Saturday, March 21st at Imperial Garden in Kent, WA. Invitation will be going out soon!