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Governor's Newsletter
Spring 2002

Phillip E. Griffin, MD, FACP
Governor, Montana Chapter

Governor's Message

The spring meeting of the ACP-ASIM Board of Governors and Board of Regents in Philadelphia April 7-9 was an action packed several days! Recertification and the ACP-ASIM's relationship with the American Board of Internal Medicine continued to occupy the majority of the discussions. During this meeting the Board of Regents unanimously approved a serious of recertification resolutions submitted by the Board of Governors.

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 subspecialty internists. 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 are 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, Board of Governors and Governor from the Education Committee.

Award Given to Montana Chapter

For the fourth year in a row our Montana Chapter received a Chapter Management Award. This award signifies our Montana Chapter of ACP-ASIM has met all fiduciary responsibilities plus many activities that we organize and promote. We will receive our certificate at the Chapter Meeting August 22-24, 2002 in Missoula.

ACP-ASIM Name Change

When ACP-ASIM merged several years ago it was agreed upon that after a suitable period of time a shorter name might be adopted. It appears that the time has come. The ACP-ASIM Governors have been studying how best to proceed. It seems likely that the name of our organization will once again be "American College of Physicians."

As part of the discussion at the Board of Governors, it was clear that the merger between ACP-ASIM has been very successful. The merged organization has been a capable and powerful advocacy organization for our membership while at the same time preserving a set of professional values based on the primacy of the patient and the value of life long professional development and learning. There will be more coming out on this within the next six to eight months.

New Fellows at Annual Session

New Fellows at Annual SessionCongratulations to our newest fellows who marched in the convocation in Philadelphia. These new FACPs are: Leslie Whitney, MD of Missoula; and Jim Yturri, MD of Great Falls. I look forward to next years meeting in San Diego and hope to have more of our members join the FACP ranks.

Montana ACP-ASIM Annual Meeting: Missoula, August 22-24, 2002

Mark your calendars now for our annual get-together. Program Co-Chairs Michael Caldwell and Eric Hughson have organized a superb session with the theme "The Internist as a Consultant". The faculty includes outstanding speakers from academic centers around the country as well as participation of local Montana internists. The tradition of Osler Bingo continues under the authorship of Elton Adams. We look forward to a visit from our College Representative, Joseph Silva, MD, who is Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Dean of the Medical School at University of California, Davis. A new conference center on the University of Montana campus will be the site of our meetings. This center is an easy walk from the convention hotel. This exciting program makes this a meeting you won't want to miss. See you in Missoula!

Medical Student Scholarships

This year our Chapter awarded two scholarships to two outstanding Montana senior students at the University of Washington. Both awardees plan to pursue careers in Internal Medicine. The students are Sandra McIntyre and Molly Carlson. Our congratulations to these two top students.

PIER Is Here…The Physicians' Information And Education Resource

PIER, The Physicians' Information and Education Resource, is now available for exclusive preview by ACP-ASIM members

What Pier Is - Integrated with the College's other medical information and education resources, PIER is ACP-ASIM's new, electronic, Web-based, decision support tool designed for rapid point-of-care delivery of up-to-date, evidence-based guidance for physicians. PIER contains modules focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and will eventually include sections on prevention and screening, procedures, ethical and legal issues, complementary and alternative medicine, and patient education. ACP-ASIM members can visit the PIER web site.

Why PIER is the Best Choice - All information in PIER has gone through a rigorous review process, so you can be sure that the information found in PIER is credible, up to date, and accurate.

How PIER Can Help You -

  • Get answers to clinical questions fast.
  • Rapidly review diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
  • Find focused drug information.
  • Provide clear information to patients in print or electronic format.
  • Be up to date on the newest data.
  • Have ready access to the evidence and related literature.

What to Expect From PIER in the Future -

  • Ongoing coverage of the newest data
  • Integrated links to electronic medical records
  • Customizable patient information
  • Clinical question archiving

Visit PIER today and see how it can work for you!

Bioterrorism Resource Web Site Updated

The College's Bioterrorism Web site has been revised for easier navigation, and features new clinical information, images, and support tools. The site has received praise from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other viewers for its comprehensiveness and content. Recent additions include new support tools on cutaneous and inhalation anthrax, self-assessment questions on biological and chemical agents, and new information about biotoxins, nerve agents, and toxic gasses. Physicians are urged to visit the site to increase their knowledge of bioterrorism agents and to learn how to deal with a suspected bioterroristic attack.

New E-Newsletter for Members

A new monthly electronic newsletter for College members will debut on May 1, 2002. The newsletter will cover new College programs, products and services, and will also keep members updated on ACP-ASIM's advocacy efforts on behalf of internists. The nearly 50,000 members who have provided the College with their e-mail addresses will receive the newsletter the first Wednesday of each month; recipients will have the opportunity to opt-out of receiving the publication at any time.

The newsletter will provide brief articles (two to three paragraphs) about College activities and services that directly affect members. Readers who wish to learn more about a particular topic will be referred to more information on the Web (when available). Members who do not have e-mail may also access the newsletter on ACP-ASIM Online. For more information please contact Allison Ewing at (800-523-1546, ext. 2649).

ACP-ASIM Email Campaign

ACP-ASIM wants your email address. In an effort to ensure that you receive urgent health communications from the College, update and submit your current email address. ACP-ASIM will not sell or share your e-mail address and will ensure the judicious use of your e-mail address.