Governor's Newsletter, Spring 2001
Rolf R. Paulson, MD, FACP
Governor, North Dakota Chapter
This spring I attended the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP) Governors meetings and Annual Scientific Sessions in Atlanta, Georgia. While there is a long list of benefits that membership in ACP offers, I continue to feel that the opportunity for "collegiality" in the context of the ideals ACP represents is most valuable to me. Our busyness in day-to-day practice with rules to follow, forms to fill out, mistakes to avoid, meetings to attend, etc., may be important or even essential, but this "busyness" tends to distract us from the root reasons we decided on medicine as a career. Setting time aside to refocus at the Annual Session, chapter meeting, or whatever works for you is something I would strongly recommend. I have spoken to several internal medicine colleagues who share this emotion.
Especially moving at the Spring Meetings was participating in the "Fellowship" (FACP) awards of several North Dakota Internists. I would again recommend that you all consider taking this step.
There are a lot of other areas where ACP is active for our benefit. CME has always been a strength and I would urge you to consider attending the national meeting in the future and our North Dakota chapter meeting on September 20th of this year in Grand Forks (more on that below).
Political advocacy is another major focus of ACP and one where we in North Dakota have not done much. If there are those interested in public policy, we do have a chance to influence things at the national level. Also, should someone wish to represent our chapter nationally on an annual basis in Washington, DC, there is structure and funding available for this.
Our efforts at presenting Internal Medicine in a positive light to the University of North Dakota medical students through an Internal Medicine Club and a summer externship resulted in our receiving the prestigious "Evergreen Award." This is quite an honor. Thanks to Dr. Casey Ryan, Dr. LaVaun McCann, and Dr. Dawn Drotar, as well as the student representatives regarding the Internal Medicine Club. Thanks also to Dr. Jim Hanley and Dr. Bill Newman and especially the preceptors regarding the summer experience. We are looking at ways to offer more involvement to our associates (residents), but I cannot give you a timetable as yet. I am scrambling for funding for all of this, but at present we are financially all right. Bylaws require that I shuffle the Governor's Advisory Council and I am looking for help on that.
Not everyone seems aware that any ABIM "boards" passed since 1991 are now out of date and need to be retaken! This is true for IM boards and any Specialty boards. Just what the consequences of not renewing would be, is one of many interesting questions being bandied about. At the Governor's meeting, there was not much debate about the need to recertify, but there was a lot of debate about the current format which includes a proctored test, required learning "modules," and soon colleague and patient testimonials! ACP is not involved with the "boards." Those are under jurisdiction of the ABIM. In an effort to increase communication however, ABIM has agreed to send a representative to each ACP chapter meeting. This is both for our edification and for an opportunity to relay our opinions back to the ABIM. Heather Gantzer, a internist in general medicine at Park Nicollet Clinic in Minneapolis, is on the ABIM Board and will be our guest at the fall chapter meeting (Thursday, September 20). I think this topic will be of special interest to the residents and younger physicians. Our chapter meeting will also have Dr. John Nelson as a guest. He is one of the founders of NAIP (National Association of In-Patient Physicians) and he will explore the "hospitalist" concept with us. This style of care delivery is still in evolution and has already assumed various forms in North Dakota. I am looking forward to meeting him and to our discussions.
A third guest will be Dr. Mahendr Kochar of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is one of the Regents of ACP. Dr. Kochar will represent "the College" and will also give a "Professor in Action" session. Dr. Kochar is an ardent supporter of the colleges ideals and a real dynamo. Among his other accomplishments is editorship of a textbook of internal medicine.
We will also have excellent local speakers and presentations by our students and residents. The meeting will be in Grand Forks' new Alerus Center, which we are eager to showcase. We are trying to provide a sneak visit to the new Engelstad Hockey Arena as part of the NDMA meeting which is on September 21st. I would encourage you to attend their meetings as well. With our large state and small population, I think it is crucial that the doctors interact on a regular basis and there is no better form than this. We will be awarding a Laureate Award to Dr. Jim Brosseau.
I am honored to serve as your Governor. Currently, Dr. Bob Tight is working on the process for election of a new Governor. I would encourage those of you who have been nominated to strongly consider this opportunity.
Rolf R. Paulson, MD, FACP
Governor, North Dakota Chapter, ACP
New Fellows of the North Dakota Chapter
Bilal Ahmed, MD, FACP
Akindolapo O. Akinwande, MD, FACP
Sajid Jalil, MD, FACP
Nicholas H. Neumann, MD, FACP
Glenn J. Shamdas, MD, FACP
Resources for Renewal
We have all heard stories of "burned-out" internists who left their practices, or of young residents who chose a field other than internal medicine because they heard of the long hours, bureaucratic hassles, and declining incomes associated with our field. College Governors have listened to their members' concerns about physician burn-out and the need for renewal, and spent the last several months developing a list of resources that could be used by anyone dealing with these issues. The Board of Governors reviewed a variety of speakers, websites, organizations, books, articles, and College publications, choosing resources they would personally recommend to their colleagues. This material has been collated and posted on ACP Online, in the Careers section http://www.acponline.org/careers/. If someone you know is looking for a better balance or a path to renewal, there may be something on this list you can recommend.
There is a response form linked to the list. If you refer to one of the pieces, and would, in turn, recommend it to someone else, let headquarters know. If you are aware of a wonderful resource that's not listed, you can suggest it be added. All feedback will be reviewed by a working group of ACP Governors, who will be revising the list on an ongoing basis.
Visit the Careers section, check out the renewal project, and let us know what you think!
Check out Our Chapter Web Site - http://www.acponline.org/chapters/nd/
How to Contact Your Governor
Rolf R. Paulson, MD, FACP
1000 South Columbia Road
Grand Forks, ND 58201
Phone: (701) 780-6208
Fax: (701) 780-6449
Phone: (701) 780-6129