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Governor's Newsletter, Winter 2001-2002

H. James Williams, MD, FACP
Governor, Utah Chapter

A Message from the Governor

We had a very successful Annual Meeting at the Wyndham Hotel in Salt Lake City in September. Dr. Barry Stults chaired the session and was assisted by the physicians in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of Utah School of Medicine in preparing the meeting. The session had a narrow focus and discussed recent advances and approaches to Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. The afternoon consisted of small group workshops where details of the treatment and management of patients with this problem were discussed. It was a well-planned and informative meeting.

Attendance at the meeting was better than usual, which suggested that focusing on a specific clinical topic was of interest to the practicing internist. The College was also interested to see how a meeting with such a restricted format was received by the membership. My assessment is that it was a success. Dr. Paul Speckart from the Board of Regents of the College attended and answered questions about the College and its activities.

Several awards were presented at the luncheon. Dr. Quinton Harris received the Chapter Laureate Award. Laureate Award winners are long-standing and loyal supporters of the College who have rendered distinguished service to the Chapter and the community. The Meritorious Community Service Award was presented to Dr. Devon Hale. This award honors members of the Utah Chapter who have distinguished themselves in voluntary service in the area of medicine. Dr. Lisa Kuwahara received the C. DuWayne Schmidt Distinguished Chapter Service Award that is given to recognize a major contribution, which has had a significant impact of service to the ACP-ASIM.

The winners of the Associates Poster Competition were:

First Place - Dr. Brett Thorpe, a second year resident
Second Place - Niloufar Tabatabaei, a third year medical student
Third Place - Dr. Gavin West, a second year resident

Board Review and Recertification Review Tapes Available

Two courses designed to help physicians prepare for the ABIM board or recertification exams are available on audio or videotape. Users of the taped courses will be able to apply for category 1 CME credit.

The Core of Internal Medicine: A Recertification Preparation Course, a 2001 Annual Session Pre-Session course, is currently available on both audio and videotape, along with a syllabus. Audio and videotapes and a syllabus of the 2001 Seattle Internal Medicine Board Review Course is also available. For more information, contact CME Unlimited at (800-776-5454) or (http://www.cmeunlimited.org/acp-asim/).

Bioterrorism Resource Center

The September 11 terrorist attacks precipitated a wave of concern about the possibility of bioterrorism-the use of germs and chemicals as weapons of mass taking of lives. In recent weeks, the concerns have become a reality with the onslaught of Anthrax cases. In an effort to educate physicians and provide up-to-date information on biological terrorism, ACP-ASIM has developed the Bioterrorism Resource Center on the College website.

The information featured in the Bioterrorism Resource Center is broken down into the following sections:

Therapeutic Recommendations for Exposure to or Disease Caused by Biological Weapons - Up-to-date recommendations from the CDC and other organizations regarding treatment, exposure, research, etc.

Essential Medical Knowledge - General medical knowledge on biological and chemical weapons

News - Current events and news releases regarding bioterrorism.

Additional Resources - Helpful resources to assist in the gathering of information on bioterrorism; websites, journals, recordings, speakers.

College Activities - ACP-ASIM initiatives and efforts to aid physicians in the battle against biological and chemical threats.

ACP-ASIM encourages all physicians to visit the Bioterrorism Resource Center often, as physicians are the first line of defense against bioterrorism. It is the intent of the College to be a comprehensive resource for the medical community on biological and chemical threats in an effort to prevent the sense of alarm and panic.

Education and preparation are key components in promoting an efficient, expeditious approach to bioterrorism. Visit the Bioterrorism Resource Center (http://www.acponline.org/bioterro/index.html) and join ACP-ASIM in the campaign to promote a "Don't panic, prepare" campaign against bioterrorism.

Board-Certified Associates to Move to Full Membership and Receive Discounted Dues

ACP-ASIM associate members who are ABIM certified in good standing with the College will automatically be elected to full membership in the College. Nearly 5,000 associates are expected to be "auto elected" in the new program, which alleviates the need to formally apply for full membership. Auto elected members will receive a welcome packet in July; shortly after their dues notice arrives. Supporting the new, simpler election process is a revised dues structure designed to ease the financial burden of members who are just entering the workforce.

Associates in good standing who move directly to full membership will pay the discounted associate dues rate (currently $140 per year) for two more years. They will also continue to receive their associate discount on all College products for these two additional years.

After the two-year period elapses, these members will receive a normal member discount on products and will pay mid-rate dues (currently $200 per year) for an additional three years. Once this five-year transition period is up, these members will begin paying the full dues rate (currently $328 per year).

Members with questions about the transitional dues program can contact Membership Services at (800-523-1546, ext. 2605) or by emailing (mbrservices@acponline.org).

Supporting Your Chapter Through Chapter Dues

Chapter dues are the backbone of local activities and vital to the success of our chapter. While we are provided 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.

What Can the Practice Management Center Do For You?

The Practice Management Center (PMC), located in the Washington office, is a valuable benefit of College membership. It supplies free assistance to members on how to handle the business issues associated with running or working in a practice. Internists are provided with timely information to succeed in today's health care environment through three different means.

First, PMC offers over forty practical written guides on various. These publications can be downloaded via PMC's web page, or ordered through the College's customer service desk. The first copy of each publication is complimentary as a part of your College membership. These guides cover everything from starting a practice to negotiating an employment contract and complying with Medicare regulations. Laminated pocket reference sheets on coding, documentation, and preventive services are some of the most popular items.

Second, PMC's management and regulatory experts respond to individual member inquiries via e-mail and telephone calls within 24 to 48 hours. If PMC experts cannot answer your question, then they may research the question, refer to another source, or, as needed, offer a list of qualified consultants. It is important to note that Center specialists do not address clinical questions nor do they provide legal advice.

And finally, PMC offers management tools for members to use in assessing and improving their practices "Check Ups." The Patient Satisfaction Check Up (PSCU) provides a survey instrument developed by internists for internists. After you survey your patients, PMC supplies customized comparison patient satisfaction assessment reports. The Office Laboratory Check Up (OLCU) is a spreadsheet program enabling you to evaluate and optimize the profitability of your office laboratory. The Practice Management Check Up (PMCU) is a benchmarking tool for conducting an overall assessment of the practice and identifying opportunities for improvement. Each of the three "Check Up" tools comes with a guide to help improve the practice and can be downloaded free of charge from the PMC web page.

Under the umbrella of the Practice Management Center, members receive one-stop service from two organizations. PMC's own professional staff has years of experience managing medical practices and this expertise is augmented by that of the Managed Care and Regulatory Affairs Department, whose staff write guides and respond to inquiries in their respective fields. This expertise combination enables PMC to offer a remarkable range and depth of knowledge to assist College members.

In addition, PMC supports the Young Physicians Subcommittee (YPS) in developing products and educational programs of interest to young physicians. Together, YPS and PMC have begun to assist chapters interested in developing their own practice management programming and young physician committees.

What is the best way to access the Center's services and resources? Go to the PMC web page where everything is right at your fingertips - downloads, e-mail questions, links, tools, and a host of other resources. The PMC web page offers members access to the various guides for the topic of concern to them. If still more specific information is needed, the next step is to e-mail a question directly from the web page to the PMC specialist in that field. With all of its services instantly available on the web page, PMC represents a rich and valuable resource for College members. Visit (www.acponline.org/pmc/) to explore it yourself. For more information, please contact Margo Williams at (mwilliams@acponline.org).

Advancement from Membership to Fellowship

Members in the ACP-ASIM can be advanced to Fellowship. We encourage all members to consider applying for fellowship. Requirements for fellowship are:

  • Board Certification.
  • Member for two years and in practice for two years.
  • Active medical license.
  • Practice internal medicine or a subspecialty.
  • Continuing scholarship and professional accomplishment.

The current guidelines acknowledge a range of professional activities that indicate continuing scholarship and professional achievement. Recognizing different kinds of professional growth and continuing scholarship permits four different Pathways for advancing to Fellowship are:

1. Basic College requirements with an emphasis on demonstrated skill in written medical communication.

2. Basic College requirements with an emphasis on significant and continuing certification activities and/or teaching and/or community activities that indicate professional achievement and scholarship such as recertification, participation in the MKSAP for score, certificates of special competence, or subspecialty certification.

3. Basic College requirements with an emphasis on active membership in the College for at least 10 years, with substantial participation in College programs and activities as well as demonstration of other professional accomplishments.

4. Basic College requirements with an emphasis on distinguished professional activity in teaching, patient care, or professional service over many years.

Would you like to receive information regarding advancement to Fellowship in the College? Please send your mailing address to Katherine Sallee at (Katherine.Sallee@hsc.utah.edu) or call (801-581-4333), and you will receive an information/application packet.

Experience Annual Session-Philadelphia Style

Join the College April 11-14, 2002 and be a part of Annual Session 2002 in Philadelphia. Experience over 275 sessions covering the spectrum of internal medicine and the subspecialties. Upholding tradition, ACP-ASIM promises to offer a rich educational experience with an emphasis placed on content that is clinically relevant and practice oriented. Be Sure Not to Miss...

Clinical Pearls - Remember those words of wisdom from your most respected clinical teachers? Those Pearls were based on an experience of depth and knowledge of medical literature of remarkable scope. Pearls are noteworthy for their clarity, timelessness, and clinical applicability.

Introduced at the 2001 Annual Session and an instant hit, Clinical Pearls rekindles the joy of bedside learning, using a highly engaging, case-based format. With the audience-response keypad-system, you'll have a chance to test the depth of your clinical acumen. You'll leave each session with a rich collection of Pearls, ready to be applied directly to the patients.

Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind - Rated by many as the best of Annual Session, Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind uses a creative format to address some of the most common, yet challenging or controversial, patient-management issues. In these highly focused, fast-paced sessions, faculty offers answers to some of the most frequently faced dilemmas in patient care.

The Learning Center - Experience the excitement of the Learning Center. Refine your techniques in a variety of office-based examination and procedural skills. Take advantage of small group or individual tutorials with experts in the field. The Learning Center is unique to Annual Session and offers a wide range of opportunities for closely supervised, hands-on practice. Become familiar with procedures and examinations you don't perform on a routine basis. Try out the latest software for clinical information management and patient care. The Learning Center is a dynamic collection of hands-on activities, which you can immediately apply to your clinical practice.

Update - Keep up to date on the year's most important published papers in the subspecialty areas. Learn significant findings and their impact on patient care. Nationally recognized faculty reviews the literature and presents the year's highlights.

Experience Annual Session...
ACP-ASIM Annual Session 2002, April 11 - 14, 2002, Philadelphia, PA

Registration and other meeting information is available online or contact Customer Service at (800-523-1546, extension 2600). Early sign-up is encouraged for the best selection of workshops and seating at breakfast/lunch sessions.

Public Policy Update

The attacks of September 11 have forced a change in legislative priorities. In the November ACP-ASIM Observer, Robert B. Doherty, Senior Vice President for Governmental Affairs and Public Policy outlined how the new politics of vulnerability are affecting the health care agenda.

Recent events mean that bioterrorism has supplanted the patient bill of rights, Medicare reform, and patient safety, as the top health issues in Washington. With a change in the nation's priorities, ACP-ASIM has reassessed its agenda and shifted attention toward public policy on terrorism-related health issues.

Advocating that Congress provide adequate funding for bioterrorism preparedness now is at the top of the College's advocacy agenda. The ACP-ASIM has written to Congress urging it to provide the full amount requested by the White House-$1.5 billion-to fund the CDC's bioterrorism preparedness plan.

In another letter to President Bush, the College urged that the federal government focus on the critical role primary care physicians would serve as the nation's first line of defense in detecting and reporting a potential incident of bioterrorism.

The College has made its communications resources available to the CDC to help disseminate practical clinical information to internists nationwide on the detection, diagnosis and treatment of possible bioterrorist diseases.

ACP-ASIM Email Campaign

ACP-ASIM wants your email address. In an effort to ensure that you receive urgent health communications from the College, go to (http://www.acponline.org/college/aboutacp/email_change.htm) 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.