Governor's Newsletter, Spring 2000
Tanya L. Repka, MD, FACP
Governor, Minnesota Chapter
Hopefully spring weather will have arrived (and stayed) by the time you read this newsletter. As I begin this newsletter, spring has officially arrived a few weeks ago, although I can't tell by the weather. My poor flowers/bulbs were tricked early in March into thinking it was spring and time to poke their little heads out. I am hoping they'll survive now that winter seems to have returned.
College activities and business are going well. Much of this newsletter will be devoted to news of the Annual Session in Philadelphia, from which I have just returned. If you have not attended an Annual Session, consider attending next year's in Atlanta. There is something for everyone at the conference and next year's Scientific Program Director is our own Scott Litin, MD, FACP (Immediate Past Governor.)
We had our spring Chapter Council meeting in Northfield on April 6th. After my brief siting of the President of Estonia who was in town receiving an award at St. Olaf, I enjoyed dinner with the Council. In spite of the lack of fine china, table linens and crystal, the Council did manage to get quite a bit of business done. Please feel free to contact my office if you are not a council member but would like to receive a copy of minutes from the meeting. If you are interested in serving on any of the Chapter's Committees, please contact the Chair of that Committee.
FALL SCIENTIFIC MEETING
The planning began for the Fall meeting on April 26th and Steve Hillson and his Committee are planning another exciting meeting. The Fall meeting will be held at the Airport Marriott, which has recently been remodeled and is quite nice. This hotel is even closer to the Mall of America for all you shoppers! The program will have pertinent updates in subspecialties and will again contain the hands-on modules that were so popular last year. Please mark the dates of November 3-4, 2000 on calendars NOW, to ensure you remember to plan to come to the meeting and arrange coverage if needed.
ANNUAL ACP MEETING — PHILADELPHIA STYLE
The ACP Annual Session was held in Philadelphia, from April 13-16, 2000.
The Annual MN Chapter and Mayo Alumni Reception was held on April 14th. Hosting was Immediate Past Governor, Scott Litin, Transitional Governor, Eric Tangalos and myself. Chapter members and Mayo alumni stopped by to renew old acquaintances and make new ones.
Associate activities at the Annual Session were an exciting component of the meeting. Winning abstracts were presented in both the clinical vignette and research categories; all four teaching hospitals had winning Associates' finalists present.
Oral Presentations of Winning Abstracts:
- Noelle Nelson, Abbott-Northwestern Hospital
- Arun Prahash, University of Minnesota
Research Poster Finalists:
- Ronnier Aviles, Mayo Clinic
- Kevin Bybee, Mayo Clinic
- Edgar Jaimes, University of Minnesota**
- Joseph Lin, University of Minnesota
- Jeevan Paul, University of Minnesota
- John Schirger, Mayo Clinic
Clinical Vignette Poster Finalists:
- Gavin Bart, Hennepin County Medical Center
- Mihnea Chiorean, Mayo Clinic
- Laura Diamandopoulos, Mayo Clinic
- L. Nowak, Mayo Clinic
- Otis Rickman, Mayo Clinic
**Winner of cash award and framed certificate.
This year we also had a Medical Student present a poster at the student competition:
- Jennifer Tolzmann, Mayo Clinic
Congratulations to the Mayo Medical Jeopardy team, who won Doctors Dilemma at the National meeting — beating out 11 other teams.
The Convocation of the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine is a yearly ceremony whereby the College recognizes and applauds its new Fellows and the recipients of various honors. It is a ceremony of tradition, transition, renewal and celebration. The first ACP convocation was held in 1916, the year after the College's founding. Convocation is conducted in full academic regalia, a ceremonial form that dates back to the twelfth century. According to current etiquette, only holders of a doctoral degree (MD, PhD, JD, etc) may have velvet on their gowns and only doctors may wear a gold tassel on the cap. Moreover, the doctor's hood is longer than that of any other degree. Hoods for all degrees are lined with silk in the official colors of the institution conferring the degree. The velvet border on the outside of the hood is also significant — its color indicates the discipline to which the degree pertains. For example, royal purple signifies law. The deep green color on medical doctors' hoods comes from the green of herbs — healers in humanity's earliest pharmacopoeia.
This year six Fellows from Minnesota marched in the Convocation ceremony and took the pledge administered by Sara Walker, Chair of the Credentials Subcommittee. They were:
- Gianrico Farrugia, MD, FACP
- Wayne L. Feyereisn, MD, FACP
- Edward V. Loftus Jr., MD, FACP
- Paul S. Mueller, MD, FACP
- John R. Raines, MD, FACP
- Sandra J. Taler, MD, FACP
Masters comprise a small group of highly distinguished physicians, selected from 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. Mastership is considered a special class of membership. Currently the College has 412 Masters. This year the Minnesota Chapter had two physicians that were awarded Masterships at the Annual Session:
- Robert A. Kyle, Mayo Clinic
- B. Lawrence Riggs, Mayo Clinic
If you would like further information on nominating Fellows for Mastership, please contact Scott Litin, Chair of Awards and Nominations Committee, Eric Tangalos or myself.
CALL FOR LAUREATE AWARD NOMINATIONS
At the Annual Chapter Meeting each year, the Chapter presents the Laureate Award. This award honors those Masters and Fellows of the ACP in Minnesota, who have demonstrated, by their example and conduct, a commitment to excellence in medical care, education, or research and service to their community and to the ACP. This is the most treasured award presented at the Annual Chapter Meeting. If you would like to nominate someone, please contact Scott Litin, Chair, Awards and Nominations Committee (see page 10 for contact information), or Tanya Repka and she will share your nomination with the other members of the Laureate Award Committee.
SPRING BOARD OF GOVERNORS MEETING
(held in conjunction with the Annual Session) Both Eric Tangalos and myself were on the Board of Governors' Reference Committees (for information on the resolution process, link to the Winter newsletter via the Minnesota ACP web page.
The BOG voted to recommend that the College take strong stands against several common managed care practices, including restrictive drug formularies, all-products clauses and burdensome documentation requirements. In other actions, the Governors reaffirmed their request that the Board of Regents work with the ABIM to simplify the internal medicine re-certification exam.
The Governors sent a number of resolutions to the Regents. (All Governors' resolutions are sent to the College's Board of Regents for further review and potential adoption.)
- The College should explore developing a fellowship exchange program between Latin American and North American internists.
- The College should push for federal legislation that would allow all Medicare patients to receive an annual health maintenance review.
- All ACP members should be encouraged to make certain that their employees have health insurance.
- The College should explore ways to encourage development of more physician-scientists.
- The College should study how "the current health care environment impedes the delivery of quality health care."
- The College should study alternatives to employer-based insurance as the basis of the nation's health care system.
- The College should support development of one standard credentialing form to be used by health care plans and hospitals.
- The College should work to restore funding to Medicare.
- The College should condemn "Big Tobacco's" economic power.
- The College should help subsidize attendance at Leadership Day for chapters that demonstrate financial need.
CANDIDATES ELECTED TO ACP FELLOWSHIP IN JANUARY 2000
Congratulations to these very deserving new Fellows:
- Robert O. Berkseth — Minneapolis
- Steven D. Hillson — Minneapolis
- David C. Dahl — Minneapolis
- David E. Midthun — Rochester
- Stephen B. Erickson — Rochester
- Kevin G. Moder — Rochester
- Gianrico Farrugia — Rochester
- Douglas R. Osmon — Rochester
- Sherine E. Gabriel — Rochester
- John R. Raines — Shoreview
- Joel S. Greenwald — Minnetonka
- Robert D. Tiegs — Rochester
FELLOWSHIP PROPOSALS DUE JUNE 1, 2000
For all of you contemplating advancement to Fellowship, please complete your application and if you need help with identifying Fellows to write your supporting letters, feel free to contact me. I look forward to marching with you next year in the Convocation in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Annual Session, March 29 to April 1, 2001.
The current ACP guidelines acknowledge a range of professional activities that indicate continuing scholarship and professional achievement. You no longer have to publish to qualify for advancement.
If you would like information on advancement to Fellowship or a Fellowship packet, please call the ACP Customer Service Department at 800-523-1546, ext 2600, or 215-351-2600 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST), or contact Tanya Repka or Kersten Anderson.
HEALTH and PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE
Mark Liebow, MD
Chair, MN Health and Public Policy Committee At the Federal level, 1999 was a year of much talk and little action on health policy issues. Both Houses of Congress passed Patient Bill of Rights legislation, but the two bills were wildly different and the conference committee appointed to reconcile the bill did not even meet until this March. The College has taken a position in favor of imposing liability on health plans for medical negligence and having medical necessity determinations made by a treating physician, which are two of the major areas of difference between the bills. Appropriations for medical research went up, especially for the National Institutes of Health. The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research was reauthorized and renamed. It is now the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. It, too, got more money for research grants and contracts. At the end of the year, Congress tried to undo some of the damage it had done with the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Some of the reductions in Medicare funding, including reductions in graduate and medical education funding and in disproportionate share hospital funding, were restored, though the bill by no means reversed the cuts completely.
This year the major Federal issues include increasing the number of people with insurance coverage, Medicare reform, and the Patient Bill of Rights conference process. While there has been again much talk about increasing access to care by increasing insurance coverage, it is not likely that much will happen in a short session with sharp partisan differences on how to achieve this goal, even though there is a lot of support for the goal itself. The College has put a huge effort into getting universal health insurance coverage but this issue may not be fully joined until after the presidential election. Widespread Medicare reform now seems less likely than it did earlier in the year. There are real possibilities for a prescription drug benefit to be added to Medicare in these flush academic times, though there are still significant differences between Republicans and Democrats about how to structure the benefit and how to pay for it.
In Minnesota, the overriding health policy issue is the provider tax. Despite vigorous efforts and an unprecedented surplus in the state treasury it was not possible to repeal the provider tax last year, though a temporary reduction was passed into law. This year an even larger surplus is available and a new effort is being made to repeal the provider tax. The Democratic-controlled Senate seems the major obstacle to this right now. Governor Ventura has indicated that he would not stand in the way of a repeal but that he will not work hard to see it happen. This issue may be settled at the last minute and there may be still some time when you receive this newsletter to talk to your state representative or senator to ask him/her to vote to repeal the provider tax.
If you want more information about Federal or state health policy issues or if you are interested in working with the Chapter's Health and Public Policy Committee, please e-mail me.
NEWS FROM THE STATE ACP WOMEN'S GROUP
By: Lorre Ochs, MD, FACP
Chair, Women Physicians' Committee
(Because the Governor does not excel at "cut and paste," the last newsletter had old news from the Women's Group. This is the news that should have been in the last newsletter. Tanya Repka)
On January 30, 2000, 17 ACP Women's Group members met at The Spa at the Marsh for our annual retreat. Participation continues to grow, with twice as many attendees as last year. All those present were asked to encourage their internist friends and colleagues to join the ACP. All were reminded to fill out their Fellowship applications; attendees who are already Fellows offered to write letters of support for those applying for Fellowship.
We also discussed other opportunities available through ACP, including the Minnesota Chapter Annual Fall Meeting, which will be held November 3-4, 2000; the Women's breakfast at the fall meeting; and next year's Annual Session, March 29-April 1, 2001, in Atlanta, Georgia. Everyone also appreciated the opportunity to relax and re-connect with friends and colleagues.
SUPPORTING YOUR CHAPTER THROUGH CHAPTER DUES
Chapter dues are the backbone of local activities and vital to the success of our chapter. While we receive some financial support from the national office, the chapter dues collected provide the majority of financial support for local activities. Educational meetings, mentoring programs for medical students, local Associates' research competitions, advocacy with state legislators, and participation by chapter leaders in Leadership Day on Capitol Hill are just some of the activities supported by your chapter dues. Many of these activities are orchestrated by unpaid volunteer leaders in our chapter. However, the increase in activities at the local level has created the need for additional staff support to help manage the day-to-day operation of the chapter. Your chapter dues help support the cost of local staff and provide funding for new and existing chapter initiatives. When you receive your dues notice, please remember to include the chapter dues in your payment. You will be contributing to the success of many grass roots activities happening right here at home.
- June 1, 2000 Fellowship Applications due at ACP
- August 22-23, 2000 ABIM Cert. Exam in Internal Medicine
- November 3-4, 2000 MN Chapter Scientific Meeting
- December 1, 2000 Fellowship Applications due at ACP
- March 29-April 1, 2001 ACP Annual Session, Atlanta, GA
MINNESOTA CHAPTER OF ACP EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Governor Tanya Repka, MD, FACP
Transitional Governor Eric Tangalos, MD, FACP
Health and Public Policy and Medical Services Committees Chairs
Mark Liebow, MD, FACP
Secretary/Treasurer Gary Schwartz, MD, FACP
Scientific Program Committee Chair
Steven Hillson, MD, MSc, FACP
Health and Public Policy and Medical Services Committees Chairs
Mark Liebow, MD, FACP
Membership Committee Chair
Joel Greenwald, MD, FACP
Associates' Committee Chair
Brad Benson, MD
Medical Student Committee Chair
Craig Roth, MD, FACP
Women Physicians' Committee Chair
Lorre Ochs, MD, FACP
Awards and Nominations Committee Chair
Scott Litin, MD, FACP
Immediate Past ACP Governor
Robert Lohr, MD, FACP
Peter Elkin, MD, FACP
Web Page Coordinator
Edward Rosenow, III, MD, MACP
Past ACP Governor
Don Wessel, MD
Bruce Money, MD
Donald Deye, MD
Council Member Tim Kleinschmidt, MD
Helen Wood Medical Student Representative
Council Member Clara Wu, MD
Associate Representative — Chief, Resident