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Governor's Newsletter, May 2000

Philadelphia 2000

The national ACP-ASIM Annual Session was held in Philadelphia, April 13-16, 2000. The meeting was attended by over 10,000 physicians, residents, medical students, non-physicians, etc., and included a wide variety of pre-meeting mini courses, as well as formal scientific sessions for the National Association of In-Patient Physicians. My informal poll of many old acquaintances and friends, including a large number of Arizonans or those who trained in Arizona, leads me to believe that individual educational needs were met by these proceedings and that most were quite satisfied. The Update sessions in general internal medicine and subspecialty sections were presented by well known experts who did a masterful job of reviewing the years literature and presented the most significant data published in 1999. The University of Virginia continued with three presentations of its innovative approach to evidence based medicine in the series entitled, "Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind." Common clinical questions or problems are phrased and the answers are sought by doing a rules based approach to evaluate the pertinent literature. These sessions were highly acclaimed.

The opening ceremonies were punctuated by a discussion of the medical system and the problems faced in Great Britain by Professor Sir George Alberti, President of the Royal College of Physicians of London. Later, 750 new Fellows were presented at the commencement program where new Masters and other awardees were also celebrated. Dr. David Gullen, the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Regents, was awarded Mastership in the College. The keynote address was given by President Whitney Addington, MD, MACP. His presentation focused on the positive aspects of practicing medicine in the United States, as well as the need to support universal access to health care. His words set the tone for our present challenges as physicians and struck those in attendance as honest, open and clearly provocative. Dr. Sandra Fryhofer presided over the closing ceremonies.

Next year's Annual Session will be held March 29-April 1, in Atlanta, Georgia.

New Fellows At Convocation In Philadelphia

It was my pleasure to lead four of our new Fellows in the procession at the Convocation exercises at the recent ACP-ASIM Annual Session in Philadelphia. Those honored were:

Lory E. Baraz, MD—Paradise Valley
Gonzalo M. Celis, MD — Tucson
Coralee H. McKay, MD — Phoenix
Bernadette M. Reidy, MD — Phoenix


Also, CONGRATULATIONS to our new Master — David Gullen, MD, MACP


On Friday, April 16, the Arizona Chapter of the ACP-ASIM, along with the University of Arizona Medical School, hosted a cocktail party for all alumni and Arizona physicians in attendance at Annual Session. Many guests were entertained and the atmosphere was purely one of good fellowship. This was the first celebration in many years without the presence of Dr. Jay Smith from the University of Arizona, who is now enjoying travel and the leisure of retirement.

End Of Life Issues Spark Controversy

The ACP-ASIM has become heavily invested in projects regarding appropriate modalities of care at the end of life. A great deal of effort has been made to enlist the proper expert involvement in producing the papers, which detail the science and art of compassionate patient care at the end of ones life. The College's position has been clear regarding terminal care with spiritual support, compassion and comfort not only for the patient, but also the family and significant persons related to that patient. These papers have been published in several formats including articles in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Subsequent peer reviewed articles have also appeared in Annals that have dealt with other aspects of caring for the terminally ill patient. One such group that appeared recently was devoted to the concept of physician assisted suicide. The publication of this material has been assumed by some members as a statement of support of that concept by the College. This is not the case. In fact, these papers were from a group of highly respected medical ethicists from the University of Pennsylvania and were published in Annals on March 21, 2000.

Maintaining academic integrity has long been the principle by which Annals has flourished and gained recognition as a top tier peer review journal. Inherent in that role is the necessity to publish materials which meet academic standards even though that material may be controversial and offensive to many. I believe the Annals' editors found themselves in that situation and appropriately, after much review, felt it necessary to publish this material. It is my clear understanding that having done this in no way underscores support from the College or the Annals' editors for these points of view. I would be interested in any thoughts you may have regarding this. Please let me know. My e-mail address is mgrossma@u.arizona.edu.

Community Based Teaching

The Arizona Chapter has been supporting the Rural Health Community Based Teaching Program in partnership with the University of Arizona College of Medicine. This year we have four students who will rotate with our members serving as preceptors.

Student Preceptor Location
Scott Brannan Michael O'Connor, MD Cottonwood
Tristan Dow William Merrell, MD Prescott
Hazzy Fletcher Steve Savoia, MD


Tyler Pickrell Elizabeth Harding, MD Chinle

Our chapter is conducting this project and awarding stipends for support of the students as one of our outreach educational programs. We are also tracking the students and the preceptors and in the next few years, will be collecting data based on the outcomes of the career paths these students choose as they go on to resident training and ultimately practice.

Dues Notice

Every member is assessed the national dues each July. The same invoice carries the assessment for the state dues. This money is utilized in a variety of ways to offset local initiatives and to cover educational costs that belong to the chapter. The annual meeting costs are high and to some extent are covered by commercial support as well as the meeting registration fees. Our resident physicians are charged a modest fee; however, if they attend all aspects of the meeting, we return their fees, as is the custom of all chapters. We have many associate (resident physicians) programs and are striving to increase our membership. We also have programs geared to stimulate interest of our medical students, who also are invited to attend the state meeting free of charges. We work to influence our state and national leaders and hope to send representation to Washington on leadership days each year.

For all these and other projects we need your support. Please pay the state chapter dues when you pay your national membership fees. Thank you for your continued support.


Volunteerism, like commitment to continuing medical education, has long been an established tradition among internists and many other physicians. A study done by the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1994 found that two-thirds of all practicing physicians provided some free or reduced fee care, averaging 12% of their work time. Moreover, time spent in volunteer work had increased between 1990 and 1994.

The American College of Physicians - American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) encourages all physicians to get involved in volunteerism and community service. The cumulative effects of physician volunteerism bring access to health care a little closer to many underserved patients, and can make a real difference in the lives of people and communities. Volunteerism can also benefit the physicians by providing unique experiences not encountered in training or practice, feelings of satisfaction at making a difference over and above one's usual career accomplishments, and an opportunity to choose an area of interest unrelated to issues of compensation.

How To Get Started

  1. Think about what you would like to do specifically:
    Patient populations
    Wellness or preventive services
    Location — local or abroad? vs. treating the ill
  2. Investigate the pathways available:
    Internet listings — www.diversionmag.com
    County Health Departments
  3. Learn the legal issues about volunteer work:
    1997 Volunteer Protection Act
    Reference the ACP-ASIM web site

The ACP-ASIM supports local and national volunteerism by its membership and has established these activities as major criteria for advancement to Fellowship. If you are interested in more information visit the ACP-ASIM web site.

Volunteerism Award

The Arizona Chapter presented its first award for volunteerism to Dr. Sue Sisley for her "Think it Through Revue" — an educational musical format aimed at preventing teenage pregnancy. We will endeavor to present a volunteer award each year. If you know an ACP-ASIM Arizona member who deserves such recognition, send the nomination to: Dorie Anne Ory ACP-ASIM l THMEP PO Box 42195 l Tucson, AZ 85733 E-mail: dorie.ory@tmcaz.com

Fall State Scientific Meeting

The Annual State Scientific Meeting will be held November 3rd (Friday evening) through November 5th (Sunday afternoon), at the all new Scottsdale Hilton Resort, located at Scottsdale Road and Lincoln Boulevard. The meeting will cover up-to-date topics and will decipher the concepts of Evidence Based Medicine for application to practice. It will be informative and exciting. Mark your calendars and don't miss out!

College Initiatives

The College has identified several areas of concern to develop educational programs both for practicing physicians and for the public. Major areas of interest include: emerging bacterial antibiotic resistance, medical errors as based on the Institute of Medicine Report and appropriate pharmacotherapy for congestive heart failure. This year, major formal programming is being conducted on the emerging antibiotic resistance. Our chapter inaugurated this program at our 1999 Scientific Meeting with a formal presentation by Dr. Eskild Petersen, Head Section of Infectious Disease at the University of Arizona. More information will be forthcoming in the near future regarding all of these initiatives.