Rolf R. Paulson, MD, FACP
Governor, North Dakota Chapter
I was recently privileged to spend roughly two weeks on ACP activities, first at the Fall Board of Governors meeting and then at our ND Chapter meeting. There are a lot of important things to report on, but I still think the most important thing is for like-minded doctors (IM's) to have a chance to "connect" on several levels. I feel our "busyness" is the single biggest thing that separates us; more than the great distances here, the competing group practices, the "General" vs. "Specialist" issue, or anything else.
At the National Meeting, we heard exciting talks about "Human Genome Project" related medications and also what sounded like the totally computerized hospital. This optimism was tempered by the College's concern about the large numbers of uninsured and underinsured; lack of money for basics while we dream about expensive new developments. The College (ACP) has spoken aggressively on behalf of the uninsured and has backed this up with its' reputation, money and hard work.
Physician burnout was also eloquently addressed by a doctor who specializes in this area. This was a worthwhile presentation. There was also a spirited rebuttal that the root causes of burnout, namely the endless hassles we deal with, cannot be ignored.
The most passionate discussions however, related to recertification. This is special interest to younger IM's and to those still in training. Many Governors feel the new ABIM process is totally out of hand. This is in terms of time required, of intrusion into practice, and of questionable relevance. No other specialty has such a rigorous process. ABIM is a separate organization from ACP, but obviously works with the same group of people. ABIM offers to send a board member to each ACP Chapter meeting. I think the ND Chapter should consider taking them up on it next year at our meeting in Grand Forks.
A bigger highlight for me was our own Chapter meeting. We had an extremely good turnout in Bismarck and we all need to thank Drs. Jim Lampman and Lynne Peterson for their excellent work. Dr. C. Anderson Hedberg from Chicago, represented the College. In one part of his talk, he acknowledged his favorite North Dakotan, Phil Jackson, coach of the Chicago Bulls and now the Lakers. The skills needed to get the egos of the NBA to work together to common purpose has relevance to getting a clinic or hospital staff working together. We had a useful panel on ID with Dr. Robert Tight of Fargo, Dr. Steve McDonough (Pediatrics) from Bismarck, and Dr. Kent Martin of Bismarck. Dr. Martin later gave perhaps the best medical lecture I've ever heard on both historical and future aspects of influenza. Dr. Emad Dodin of Grand Forks, presented a complex cardiac case with audience interaction. I think this is the direction the lecture format will go to in the future. A highlight during the Medical Jeopardy was when retired ACP Governor Harold Evans of Grand Fork, made it to the final five. The winner was a hard charging Dr. Patel of Williston, who went over the top on the final question. Medical students Stephanie Hansel, Jonathon Haug and Kerby Alonto and residents Majdeh Rabbini and Majdi Abjel-Roheem showed their research projects. These weren't required in my training years. "Diabetes at the Movies," by Stephanie Hansel, was especially fun and thought-provoking.
Another Chapter highlight is our five new Fellows-
Syed F. Hassan, MBBS, FACP, of Bismarck
Bilal Ahmed, MBBS, FACP, of Bismarck
Nicholas H. Neumann, MD, FACP, of Bismarck
Sajid Jalil, MBBS, FACP, of Fargo
Sudhir Mungee, MBBS, FACP, of Stanley.
This is the largest number of new Fellows we have had for a long time, maybe ever! Credit to those who accomplished it. Hopefully they will stimulate still others to apply. Many of you are overdue. I have both membership and Fellowship applications, please contact me for a copy.
We did not give out a Laureate Award this year, but please consider candidates for that.
We had the second "Literature in Medicine" section this year. Jim Brosseau of Grand Forks, and Lisa Lewis-Spicer from UND Dept of English, discussed the play W;T.
The medical student section is moving along with an IM Club in Grand Forks for first and second year students. Drs. LaVaun McCann and Dawn Drotar are advisors here. Attendance is very strong, but one is never sure if the motives are interest in IM or free pizza! We also restarted a summer opportunity for first year students. This was well received, but will need further evaluation. Thanks to Jim Hanley of Fargo and UND Dept of IM Staff for helping to coordinate this.
Any suggestions or help with Associates (residents) would be appreciated. It sounds as if the National Organization has some resources we could utilize.
I do want to be responsive to local needs. We have a Governor's Advisory Council, for which we need to elect new members and figure out a mechanism for turnover. As an organization, we have had input on the state tobacco settlement. We sent out the ACCP anti-coagulation guidelines to all doctors in the state. We have the potential, through various mechanisms, to influence NDMA, the National ACP and our congressman. All this depends on interest from our membership, as well as where we want to put our limited resources of time and money.
Let me know, through the Council or directly, the direction you want your Chapter to go.
Rolf Paulson, MD, FACP
Governor, North Dakota Chapter, ACP
1000 South Columbia Road
Grand Forks, ND 58201
Phone: (701) 780-6208
Fax: (701) 780-6449
Mark Your Calendars
National Annual Session in Atlanta
March 29 - April 1, 2001
We will join Mayo and Minnesota for the "reunions" for the first time.
More information to come.