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.Massachusetts Early Career Physicians Banner

Winter 2011

This is the first edition of a newsletter intended to help inform Early Career Physicians in Massachusetts of events and news that matter to them. An Early Career Physician is defined by ACP as anyone within 16 years of graduating medical school who is not currently a resident or a fellow. National ACP started a National Council of Young Physicians in 2005 and began encouraging individual states to form their own councils of young physicians.

Over the last 6 months, our MA chapter has formed its own council of 12 internists practicing in various different contexts across MA and decided to call it the Massachusetts Council of Early Career Physicians (MCECP). Our mission is “to enhance professional development and quality of life for early career physicians in Massachusetts, foster their involvement in College activities, and ensure that their voices are heard in all chapter discussions.”


Introduction to the MA Council of Early Career Physicians

The MCECP has enjoyed a successful and productive fall quarter. We have created and approved our mission and bylaws, elected a panel of 12 officers and members-at-large, and enlisted a group of interested actively participating physicians. If you are interested in joining the MCECP, please contact Chairperson, Dr. Phoebe Cushman, at phoebecushman@gmail.com.



Winter Kickoff Event

MA Early Career Physicians Social Event

Friday, January 27, 2012
7:30PM to 10PM

The Metropolitan Club (“MetBar”)
1210 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

- “Heavy” Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar
- Spouses/significant others welcome
- Open to non-ACP members

To RSVP or for any questions, contact Lynda Layer at
781-434-7317 or llayer@mms.org.



We're On Facebook!

The MCECP has created the Massachusetts chapter’s Facebook page! Thanks to all those who contributed posts and photos to help keep the page current. Our goal is to continue to develop the page, so that it may be utilized effectively by the Massachusetts chapter as a whole.

Please click on the link and "like" us!




ACP Leadership Day Rescheduled

SAVE THE DATE! ACP Leadership Day

Wednesday-Thursday June 6-7, 2012

Leadership Day is ACP's annual advocacy day on Capitol Hill. This event provides an opportunity to increase the College's presence in Washington. Participants spend the first day in a comprehensive orientation and briefing on ACP’s legislative priorities and then spend the second day meeting with their legislators and the staff in their Capitol Hill offices. If you are interested in attending, please contact Lynda Layer 781-434-7317 or llayer@mms.org.

Please check the Leadership Day Web page for updates and materials.



Work/Life Balance

Panel Discussion at Chapter Meeting

The MCECP’s first formal endeavor was to present a panel discussion at this year’s MA Chapter Annual Scientific Meeting (held November 19, 2011) entitled, “Careers in Primary Care and Hospitalist Medicine: Sustainability versus Burnout.” We were quite pleased with the turnout and enthusiasm, and hope that the attendees found the conversation useful. According to panellist Linda Habeeb, “I enjoyed listening to other panelists and attendees and learning from their experiences. I left the session feeling no longer alone in this daily struggle and mentally recharged by experiencing the support of my colleagues.”

Panelists included Linda F. Habeeb, MD, FACP, Internist, CapeCod Healthcare, Sandwich; Ryan W. Thompson, MD, Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Associate Director of Quality Improvement, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital; Joel N. Auslander, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine and Hospitalist, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton; and David Weinstock, DO, Internist, Grove Medical Associates and Instructor in Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester. The session was moderated by Phoebe Cushman, MD, Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Internist, Mt. Auburn Hospital, Cambridge.



ABIM Maintenance of Certification

ABIM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Preparation

Are your family and friends wondering why you bring flash cards to the dinner table? Have you started taking your patient’s history with multiple choice questions? Are you worried the ABIM MOC process will throw you into a fugue state?

You are not alone: twice per year, internists from around the world sit in a high security (can’t even bring your own tissues) pencil-free testing center for the ABIM MOC exam.

The MOC process is essential for maintaining the integrity of our specialty. It is a well organized learning process to help you stay current on best practices and new evidence. You can start as early as 6 years after certification and do the process in any order that fits your practice and lifestyle. There are many ACP Resources to help you prepare for the exam and complete the process. Mass ACP Council members Larissa Lucas and Chris Shanahan just completed the MOC process and are available for questions.

According to Larissa Lucas, “I was completely overwhelmed at the beginning. Then I attended a MOC module session at ACP Toronto and felt much better. I even bumped into an old friend from residency and had a buddy for the rest of the process.” For the standardized test, MKSAP and the ACP 1-day preparation are very helpful to familiarize yourself with question types and efficiently review large areas of content that you may not see in your practice. According to Chris Shanahan “I went through the entire MKSAP. Once I got into the routine, I found that having a chance to relearn the old and learn the new was pleasurable. Doing the questions was challenging but also enjoyable.”

Check your status at ABIM and start early on the process.

Do MKSAP and get credit towards ABIM Recertification and CME

For the first time, you can earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ and also apply directly for Self-Evaluation of Medical Knowledge points which are required under the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. For more information, check out ACP Online. There is also a video describing the process that is available for viewing.



Evidence Update from ACP Internist

Shorter treatment for latent TB effective, recommended by CDC

Latent tuberculosis (TB) infection can be effectively treated with just a few months of therapy, according to a new study and updated recommendations from the CDC. However, commonly used tests for the disease have a high rate of false positives, according to another study published last week.

The treatment study was an open-label, noninferiority trial in which patients at high risk for TB (most had close contact with a TB patient and positive skin tests) who lived in the U.S., Canada, Brazil or Spain were randomized to either nine months of self-administered daily isoniazid (300 mg) or three months of directly observed once-weekly therapy with rifapentine (900 mg) plus isoniazid (900 mg). Each group had almost 4,000 subjects and they were followed for 33 months for the development of confirmed tuberculosis. The results appeared in the Dec. 8 New England Journal of Medicine.

Based on the results of the study, the CDC added a new treatment option to their recommendations for latent TB: 12 once-weekly doses of rifapentine and isoniazid taken under the supervision of a health care worker. The regimen is recommended for otherwise healthy people aged 12 and older who have had recent exposure to contagious TB, conversion from negative to positive on a test for TB, or a chest X-ray indicating prior TB disease. Patients with HIV who are otherwise healthy and not taking antiretrovirals may also use this regimen. The regimen is not recommended for use among children under 2, women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, and HIV-infected people taking antiretrovirals. Patients on the regimen should be monitored for possible adverse effects and undergo a clinical assessment at least monthly, the CDC said.

For the full report read ACP Internist.



Members of the Massachusetts ACP Council of Early Career Physicians (MCECP)

  • Chair: Phoebe Cushman, MD - Primary Care /Urgent Care Mt Auburn Hospital
  • Vice Chair: Steven Van Dam, MD - Primary Care, Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center in Needham
  • Treasurer: Tejas Patel, MD, MBBS, FACP - Hospitalist Medicine and Nephrology, St. Elizabeth’s
  • Secretary: Natalie Pauli, MD - Primary Care, Brigham & Women’s Hospital
  • Newsletter Editor: Larissa Lucas, MD - Editor, DynaMed and Hospice of the North Shore
  • Communications: Milan Mathew, MD - Hospitalist, Metrowest Hospital
  • Joel Auslander, MD - Hospitalist, Newton-Wellesley Hospital
  • Gene Lambert, MD, MBA - Hospitalist, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Lydia Siegel, MD, MPH - General Internal Medicine, Brigham & Women’s (South Huntington Primary Care Associates)
  • Andy Zimolzak, MD - Harvard Medical Informatics Fellow and Urgent Care physician Harvard Vangaurd Medical Associates in Kenmore
  • Linda Habeeb-Rotondo - Primary Care, Medical Affiliates of Sandwich


If you have anything you would like included in the next issue of this newsletter or ideas to improve this in the future, please write to Dr. Phoebe Cushman at phoebecushman@gmail.com. The next newsletter will appear during the Summer 2012.

Additional information for early career physicians can be found on the Young Physicians Corner on ACP Online.


Page updated: 1/5/12