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July 2011 Thomas A. Bledsoe, MD, FACP, Governor

Dr. Bledsoe

Meet the New Governor and Our New Chapter Administrator

Greetings from the main offices of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American College of Physicians! I am particularly humbled, honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve as Governor for the RI Chapter over the next 4 years! You are privileged to be a member of the largest specialty organization in the world, an organization fundamentally committed to the profession and the precepts of professionalism. Every contact I have had with the College since the inception of my Governor-elect year last spring has elevated my admiration for and appreciation of our organization.

For those of you who do not know me, I am a primary care internist. I am also very pleased to announce our new Chapter Administrator in the person of Donna Goodnow. In addition to her new role at the RI Chapter, Donna has been on the staff at Brown University for 15 years, currently serving as the Center Manager for the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women. Donna will be a great addition to our team. If you have administrative questions about the Chapter, please contact Donna directly.


Rhode Island Chapter Award Winners

Hearty congratulations to this year’s Chapter Award winners! Andrew Van Wieren, recently awarded his MD degree from Brown was given the Chapter’s outstanding medical student award. At this year’s Chapter meeting, we were very pleased to honor Dr. Paul McKenney with the Governor’s award for exceptional service on behalf of the chapter, presented by out-going Governor (and new College Regent!) Nitin Damle. Governor-emeritus Fred Schiffman was honored with the Milton Hamolsky Lifetime Achievement Award with a thoughtful introduction by Dom Tammaro and then some words from Dr. Hamolsky himself. Finally, Dr. S. T. Sambandam was honored with the Irving Addison Beck Award, which is given each year to a senior College member who epitomizes the attributes of Dr. Beck in recognition of peer approval, excellence in Internal Medicine and for distinguished service to the Chapter and the community. Dr. Sam’s address focused on the greatest sources of personal and professional inspiration in his life. He then distributed copies suitable for framing of A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Well done, Drs. McKenney, Schiffman, Sambandam and new Dr. Van Wieren!!

Out-going Governor Nitin Damle and long-time Chapter Administrator Nancy Baker-Hobin were also thanked for their service with a certificate and comments of appreciation.


RI ACP Meeting Update

Thanks to all who presented at our recent Chapter meeting! Our Chapter meeting was held this past May 12 at an all day session at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick. Reviews and evaluations were very positive but attendance was disappointing, both to the organizers and to the presenters.

The meeting kicked off with updates in women’s health, hospital medicine and a very interesting report of medical student career choices by Drs. Kelly McGarry, Lou Rubenstein and Mark Fagan, respectively. After a break, the controversy over Vitamin D was discussed by a panel chaired by Jennifer Jeremiah that included our own Caroline Troise (Internal Medicine specialist), Joe Tucci (Internal Medicine subspecialist, endocrinology) and Roy Aaron from orthopedics. Click on the presenter’s name to see their slide sets.

The state licensure CME portion of the meeting included an overview of food borne illness (next time, we won’t put Steve Opal right after lunch!), followed by a fantastic and really inspiring talk by Jody Rich from Infectious Diseases about his decision to learn how to provide suboxone therapy to his patients. His talk was both practically useful and spoke to the very heart of professionalism. This session was concluded with a presentation on a model of ethics consultation (by yours truly) that is used on the consult service at Rhode Island Hospital and in the medical ethics session for med students at Brown.

The Chapter meeting concluded with a poster session for Associates and then an impressive series of presentations by 7 finalists. The first place presentation was by Dr. Joseph Frank on “Data and Design of a Resident-Driven Discharge Improvement Project.” Second and third place presentations were by Drs. Katherine Fox and Sharmila Subaran (all good for cash prizes!) with the runners-up being Drs. Anne Frank, Denisa Hagau, Robert Meehan and Rita Semaan. All of the presentations are available on the Chapter website. The audience agreed that both the scholarly work and the presentations themselves were of impressive quality! Special thanks to our judges for the competition: Drs. Rubenstein, McKenney and Mark Braun, and to moderator Eleanor Summerhill.

Expect to see an electronic survey in your inbox asking questions about how the Chapter can best meet your scholarly and professional needs as we begin to plan our program for next year. If you are interested in participating in this effort, please contact Chapter Administrator Donna Goodnow.


Update from Alpert Medical School IMIG

Did you know?
The chapter provides financial and logistical support for the Internal Medicine Interest Group at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. This group of medical students has over 100 members and meets regularly to discuss topics of interest and internal medicine as well as to explore career opportunities. If you are interested in helping out, contact the Governor at thomas_bledsoe@brown.edu, andRahul Banerjee (Class of ’14) at rahul_banerjee@brown.edu.


ACP Policy Update—National Immigration Policy

You may not realize it, but the College has a very active policy development process. Official policies are released by the Board of Regents after careful vetting by the Governors, the College’s professional staff and others. The weight given to input from the College during the recent conversations about health care reform was greatly enhanced by the fact that the College’s recommendations were based on pre-existing policy documents. Having recently done some teaching in Germany with a German physician/ethicist to a roomful of German and American medical students, one of my favorite recent position papers is entitled Achieving a High Performance Health Care System with Universal Access: What the USA can learn from other countries[PDF]. Though a couple of years old, it still contains many important insights.

During the last ACP Annual Meeting in San Diego, the College released an important policy paper addressing the relationship between National Immigration Policy and access to health care [PDF]. While admittedly less of an issue in Rhode Island than elsewhere in the country, we all see and therefore have some responsibility to ameliorate the suffering that occurs as a result of limited access to medical care. Please take some time to look this over. I think it will help you in future conversations on this topic with colleagues, patients, family and friends.


Patient and Practice Resources

Are you aware of the tremendous patient education resources available through the College and the ACP Foundation? Be sure to bookmark the link. You may even be able to save it in the patient education section of your EMR and customize the resources while still in the room with the patient! As difficult to understand as the Affordable Care Act has been to many professionals, patients may find themselves even more bewildered by recent and future changes. Fortunately, help is available in the form of a new website www.healthcareandyou.org, launched under the sponsorship of the College, the AAFP, the AMA, AARP and other organizations. This easy to navigate web-site provides resources about the health care reform legislation that is searchable by state, age and insurance status. It also outlines the changes that will be implemented over the next few years. Take a look and share the link with your patients!


New Fellows Congratulations!

Hearty congratulations to those distinguished Rhode Island physicians who were noted for their leadership and achievements this past April with the designation as Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Fellowship is an honor achieved by those recognized by their peers for personal integrity, superior competence in internal medicine, professional accomplishment and demonstrated scholarship. This designation “FACP” will follow their "MD” for the rest of their careers and is a mark of particular distinction in the field.

At the Convocation ceremony, the fellows recited the ACP Pledge, which begins:

I affirm my belief in the mission of the American College of Physicians. To preserve and maintain the highest traditions and precepts of our professional calling. And I solemnly declare that I will conform to these ideals to the utmost of my ability.

Here is the rest of this inspiring text.

Please congratulate these physicians on this honor the next time you seem them at the office, in the hospital or at the beach!

Congratulations to:
Jennifer G. Clarke, MD, MPH, FACP Beatriz M. DeMoranville, MD, FACP Ana Tuya Fulton, MD, FACP Mary H. Hohenhaus, MD, FACP Roy M. Poses, MD, FACP Russell A. Settipane, MD, FACP Anthony G. Thomas, DO, FACP

We were particularly pleased to see Drs. Tuya Fulton, Thomas and Hohenhaus, as well as Dr. Iris Tong, at the Convocation ceremony, marching in procession!


Are you a Candidate for Fellowship?

If you have been in practice for more than 2 years, are board certified in internal medicine or neurology, have been a member of the ACP for 2 years or more and have been involved in teaching (institutional and community-based), hospital committee work, and/or volunteer and community service, especially in the voluntary provision of medical care, you may be a candidate for Fellowship in the College. Application information and a slideshow about Fellowship can be found at http://www.acponline.org/membership/types/fellow/. If you have any questions, please contact the Chapter Administrator Donna Goodnow or the RI Governor.


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