• rss
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • linkedin

Governor's Newsletter, Summer 2002

Col. Nathan Erteschik, MD, FACP
Governor, U. S. Army Chapter

Message from the Governor

I wanted to begin this newsletter by updating everyone on a number of significant changes at the College:

1) Dr John Tooker, FACP has been appointed Executive Vice President and CEO, and will replace Dr Walter McDonald, FACP as of July 1, 2002. He will be responsible for overall administration of the College's activities in medical education, membership services, publications, marketing and communication, and public policy. Trained in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine, Dr Tooker has served as Deputy EVP and CEO since 1995. We all look forward to working with Dr Tooker, and wish Dr McDonald the best as he closes his leadership tenure with ACP-ASIM.

2) Dr Sara Walker, MACP was inducted as this year's President; Dr Cecil Wilson, FACP was inducted as this year's Chair, Board of Regents; and Dr David Dale, FACP was inducted as this year's Chair, Board of Governors. As I will cover later, access to care and ABIM recertification are among the top issues for the coming year.

3) Perhaps not as earthshaking, but we will revert this year to being called a "Chapter," not a "Region". I am also extremely pleased to be able to tell you that the College recently recognized us with our first ever Chapter Management Award, which signifies full compliance with a variety of requirements. Many thanks to the members of the Governor's Council, and especially our Chapter Meeting Program Chairs, COL Rick Marple, FACP, and LTC Greg Argyros, FACP, for everything they have done the past two years.

New Masters

Masters of the College comprise a very small group of highly distinguished physicians, selected from among Fellows, who have achieved recognition in medicine by exhibiting pre-eminence in practice or medical research, holding positions of high honor, or making significant contributions to medical science or the art of medicine. It is my great honor to tell you that two distinguished retired Medical Corps Officers were inducted this April as Masters:

BG(Ret) Michael J. Kussman, MACP - BG(Ret) Michael J. Kussman, MACP is now the Chief Consultant for the Acute Care Strategic Health Group for the Veterans Health Administration in Washington, DC. He also serves as Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. His personal vision, kindness and intelligence have directly touched many members of the Army community in his past assignments as Consultant to the Surgeon General in Internal Medicine during the Gulf War, Commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Commander of all medical activities in Europe during the conflict in Kosovo. His efforts resulted in current clinical reviews of infectious diseases relevant to the deployment of forces in Southeast Asia, chemical and biological protection doctrine and treatment, and deployment and redeployment clinical health policy. Quoting an Army Internist in Kosovo about Dr Kussman's outstanding support of geopolitical humanitarian missions: "His unwaivering support clearly empowered us to save lives." Dr Kussman has received a number of awards and honors during his distinguished career for his teaching abilities and clinical expertise. He became a Fellow of the College in 1987 and has been very active in the ACP-ASIM. He served as Governor of the Army Chapter from 1988 to 1991 and received the Laureate Award from the Chapter in 2000.

COL (Ret) Kurt Kroenke, MACP - COL (Ret) Kurt Kroenke, MACP is now Professor of Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine and Senior Research Scientist at the Regenstrief Institute for Health Care. As an educator and mentor, he helps forge the skills of his trainees as health services researchers and clinician educators. As General Medicine Fellowship Program Director at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, he trained most of the academic General Medicine Service Chiefs in the Army today. He has won recognition for his teaching excellence on numerous occasions, and has published extensively on common symptoms in primary care, as well as depression. Dr. Kroenke has been very active in the ACP-ASIM. For many years, he coordinated the Internal Medicine Breakout sessions at the Army Chapter meetings, transforming them into a showcase for research and educational innovation. Many of his trainees presented papers at the Associates Research Competition at the Annual Session. He has been an invited faculty member at a number of Annual Sessions, and Chair of the Scientific Program Subcommittee for the 2000 and 2002 meetings. In 1998, the Army Chapter presented him with a Laureate Award. Dr Kroenke is currently the President of the Society of General Internal Medicine.

Special Award

COL (Ret) Robert J. Joy, FACP received the 2002 Nicholas E. Davies Memorial Scholar Award, which is presented to an individual for outstanding contributions to humanism in medicine and recognizes the person's scholarly activities in history, literature, philosophy and ethics. Dr Joy was one of USUHS' first faculty members and served as Chairman of the Department of Medical History for 20 years. Additionally, he was the School of Medicine's first Commandant from 1976-1981. As Professor Emeritus, he still teaches students on the history of military medicine. Dr Joy received his MD degree from Yale in 1954, completed his Residency at Walter Reed, served in Vietnam, and prior to his tenure at USUHS also completed a distinguished career at WRAIR, culminating in his selection as the Director and Commandant of WRAIR from 1975-1976.

Advancement to FACP

Fellowship in the ACP-ASIM is an honor achieved by those recognized by their peers for personal integrity, superior competence in Internal Medicine, professional accomplishment, and demonstrated scholarship. It gives me great pleasure to announce the names of those who were selected at the Nov, 2001 Credentials Subcommittee:

LTC Arthur Brown
LTC Mark Kortepeter
LTC Craig Hudak
MAJ Teresa Coleman
MAJ James Furgerson
MAJ Robert Goldsteen

Several of these individuals along with those selected prior to Nov, 2001 participated in the Convocation Ceremony at the Annual Session in Philadelphia, and were treated to an extraordinary address by the ACP-ASIM Immediate Past President William Hall, MACP, explaining that new Fellows are "Bearers of the Ring".

I am also excited to relate that at our May, 2002 Credentials Subcommittee (PS again… I am a member of this subcommittee) a record number of 12 names were submitted by our Chapter for advancement; this list will be made public later this summer, but only three other Chapters submitted more nominees than ours!

Please remember that in addition to the basic requirements, there are four possible pathways for advancement, all of which are described on the College's website. I strongly encourage everyone to strive to achieve this recognition. Please email or call me with any questions.

Associates and Students

Each year, the Associates Competition for the ACP-ASIM Annual Session receives several thousand abstracts for consideration as podium or poster presentations. Only twenty are selected for actual podium presentations (10 research and 10 clinical vignette), and approximately 150 others as poster finalists. It gives me great pleasure to announce that three WRAMC residents were chosen in the top 20-an unprecedented accomplishment:

Research Category:

CPT Hiroshi Andrews
CPT John Sherner

Clinical Vignette Category:

CPT Jonathan Davison

Three other individuals were selected as poster finalists in the Research Category:

From BAMC:

CPT Hays Arnold
CPT Norma Merced

From TAMC:

CPT James Moon

Please extend your congratulations to these six individuals for their hard work and extraordinary accomplishment!

In other Associates news, I am pleased to announce that CPT Dimitri Cassimatis from WRAMC is now a member of the ACP-ASIM National Council of Associates and is also available to relay and discuss issues, concerns, and ideas from all our Associates directly to the College.

I am also proud to announce that the EAMC Jeopardy Team recently won the Georgia ACP Chapter Competition (…not the first time), defeating teams from Emory, MCG, Morehouse, Mercer, Atlanta Medical Center, and Savannah Memorial. Team members were CPT Mark Roschewski, CPT Matt Pansari, and CPT John Wilson. Way to go!!

At USUHS, Ensign Steven J. Bernick was selected to represent DOD at the ACP-ASIM National Council of Student Members. Even though our chapter does not directly have its own medical students, I would urge everyone to use every opportunity to enlighten USUHS and HPSP students both on our specialty, as well as their ability to join the College for free. Many of us have the occasion to meet students individually or in groups, and should not underestimate our ability to potentially influence them in a significant way about our specialty. Sometimes giving IM student interest groups a specific focus like working with undergraduates at their own schools on issues ranging from tobacco cessation to hepatitis B and meningococcal vaccines can improve public health and further their career interests at the same time.

College Updates

I have been told that prior to Dr. McDonald's leadership at the College, the Board of Regents would likely not have delayed voting on a major issue pending input from the Board of Governors. Our recent Board meeting was extended by a full day, in large part to formulate recommendations concerning recertification by the ABIM, and I am proud to relay that our Board's resolutions on this subject were unanimously approved by the Board of Regents. The resolutions call for the ACP-ASIM:

  • To reaffirm its commitment to life long learning and professional accountability through the process of recertification;
  • To work towards a formal and ongoing "Recertification Partnership" between ABIM and ACP-ASIM that preserves the important separation of responsibilities between the two organizations while recognizing a common goal of establishing a rational and effective process for recertification of internists and subspecialists. This process would include a review for comment on proposals for new components and revisions of existing components with key stakeholders prior to implementation;
  • To work with ABIM to establish multiple pathways for recertification, one of which would be a process that includes a secure exam; and
  • To encourage the maintenance of certification of subspecialists in BOTH general internal medicine and their subspecialties, and to continue to work with the ABIM to eliminate barriers and facilitate the process of dual recertification in both general internal medicine and the subspecialties;
  • To investigate the feasibility of developing programs of accountable, literature-based continuous medical education specifically for general internists as well as for all the subspecialty practitioners of internal medicine with consideration of awarding a certificate of accomplishment for those physicians who successfully participate in the program and this could be presented as a possible pathway for recertification;
  • To insist that the proposed plan for a Peer and Patient evaluation module be optional; and
  • To advocate that educational resources, such as MKSAP, serve as substitutes for all ABIM self-evaluation modules.

The approved resolutions also call for:

  • All pathways to recertification to be relevant to a variety of practice settings, eliminate redundancy, accommodate different learning styles and be sensitive to cost and time;
  • The chosen methods of recertification to be subject to continuous testing and validation;
  • That if the ACP-ASIM and the ABIM cannot reach a mutually agreeable solution, the ACP-ASIM consider the possibility of committing College resources to developing an alternative to the ABIM recertification process; and
  • That the ongoing negotiating team includes the Chair of the Board of Governors and a Governor from the Education Committee.

With access to care as the other major policy issue being addressed, Dr. Sara Walker, MACP briefed Congressional Staff on the College's recently released seven-year plan to reduce the nation's number of uninsured patients to zero. The ACP-ASIM's Washington office has told us that the College is viewed on Capitol Hill in a laudatory way as the #1 organization supporting access to care for the uninsured. Interestingly, and sadly, there are also some significant misconceptions, including that these uninsured still get good health care. The new proposals call for all Americans to participate in an insurance program by 2009, and establish a timeline for Congress to pass legislation and create the administrative processes necessary to implement the proposals.

I would like to ensure that all of you are aware of two new features on the College's website:

1) PIER (Physician's Information and Education Resource) - An evidence-based clinical guidance program presented electronically in a unique layered and telegraphic format, designed for rapid access to clinical information at the point of care by physicians and other health care providers. New modules are being added continuously, and cover individual diseases as well as procedures, and screening and prevention.

2) Bioterrorism Resource Center - Includes essential general knowledge, current events and news releases, current recommendations from the CDC and others, links to additional sites and resources, and current College activities in this area.

2002 Chapter Meeting

Our next Army ACP-ASIM Chapter Meeting will be held November 21-23, 2002, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. LTC Gregory Argyros, FACP is the Program Chair; you may contact him at (202-782-6205), or me at (910-907-6359) for any questions. We are pleased that the Regent who will represent the College at our meeting is MG (Reserves) Jamie Barkin, FACP a renowned Gastroenterologist from Florida. Additional plenary speakers will include Dr Max Harry Weil, MACP, who is truly one of the legendary leaders in Critical Care Medicine.

Our Chapter has a long history of generously recognizing outstanding individuals with awards, in the following categories:

  • Laureate Awards to retired MC Officers
  • Moser Award to the Outstanding Army Internist
  • Master Teacher Award
  • Crosby Research Award
  • Operational Medicine Award
  • Student Recognition Award

Please contact COL Dale Vincent, FACP at Tripler or me with suggested nominees or any questions regarding our Chapter Awards.

Let me say an additional thank you to everyone who has helped make our Chapter meetings so outstanding. We are fairly unique in combining General Internal Medicine with the subspecialties as we do each year, and it augments both the high quality of our meetings as well as our own cohesiveness within the Army.

New Member Benefit: Online CME Transcripts

The College is pleased to announce a new member benefit: online CME transcripts. Members may view/print a transcript of CME credit earned for participation in activities sponsored by the College. The transcript provides a six year listing and includes credit earned for:

  • Annual Session
  • Postgraduate Courses
  • Chapter/Regional Meetings Accredited by the College (Starting November 1999)
  • MKSAP and Related MKSAP Enhancements
  • MKSAP Audio Companion
  • Clinical Problem Solving Cases
  • Audio and Video Products

Members can also print documentation of their participation in sessions related to state specific CME requirements. If you have any questions, please contact ACP-ASIM's Customer Service Department at (800-523-1546, ext. 2600), or (custserv@acponline.org).

Additional Announcements

It gives me great pleasure to include an announcement of the two most recent Medical Corps selected for promotion to Brigadier General, both truly outstanding individuals:

  • COL (P) Michael Dunn, FACP, who will become Commanding General, Western Regional Medical Command/Lead Agent, TRICARE Region 11
  • COL (P) Eric Schoomaker, FACP, who will become Commanding General, Eisenhower Army Medical Center/Southeast Regional Medical Command

It is also an honor to announce that COL Ken Torrington, FACP will assume the duties as Chief, Department of Medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center.

Lastly, by now you have all received your membership renewals from the ACP-ASIM, and I hope you will continue to re-invest in the College. We decided not to increase our own chapter dues, which are the backbone of our local activities, and are vital to the success of our chapter. These dues help support our annual educational meeting, mentoring programs for students, and associates research competitions. Thanks in advance for remembering to include the chapter dues in you payment when you receive your dues notice. Additionally, please ensure that the College has a current e-mail address for you, and if you are not on the main Army Outlook directory, please also e-mail your address to me at (nathan.erteschik@amedd.army.mil)