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Governor's Newsletter, Spring 1999

West Virginia ACP-ASIM Chapter Meeting

Arrangements are being finalized for this year's meeting to be held at Lakeview Resort and Conference Center, May 21-23. The program summary is outlined below.

This meeting is being co-sponsored by each of the internal medicine training programs in West Virginia: Marshall University School of Medicine, Ohio Valley Medical Center, West Virginia University School of Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine - Charleston Division, and by the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. Melanie Fisher, MD, FACP, Program Chair has coordinated a broad-based clinical program that will be of interest to primary care physicians and specialists alike.

Highlights for this meeting include presentation of ACP-ASIM Laureate Awards to Melanie Fisher, MD, FACP and Mabel Stevenson, MD, FACP. In addition, the West Virginia Distinguished Internist Award will be presented to William C. Revercomb, MD, of Charleston.

Once again, the Medical Knowledge Challenge competition will pit teams from the four residency programs. Last year's winning team from WVU - Charleston Division will be working hard to maintain its championship title.

ACP-ASIM Annual Session

The 1999 ACP-ASIM Annual Session was held in New Orleans. Important events for the West Virginia Chapter included the formal election of Rashida Khakoo, MD, FACP as West Virginia Chapter Governor. Her four-year term is immediately effective.

Our Associates were well represented at the national Medical Knowledge Challenge competition. By virtue of their winning the 1998 West Virginia Chapter competition, the team from WVU - Charleston Division was sponsored to attend the national event. Associates attending the New Orleans program were Clinton Curtis, MD, Joan McMahon, MD, Shelda Martin, MD and Khurram Kamran, MD. Raghda Sahloud, MD, (Marshall University) was a Research Poster Finalist, and Nancy Norton, Marshall University medical student, was a Student Research winner. Arif Showkat, MD, the overall Chapter Associates Competition winner last year, participated in the Associates' poster presentation.

Congratulations to all these esteemed colleagues!!

ACP-ASIM Leadership Day

The Annual ACP-ASIM Leadership Day on Capitol Hill will beheld May 25-26. This program is designed to provide a unique opportunity for ACP-ASIM members to meet with their Washington Congressional Representatives. Rashida Khakoo, MD, FACP, Governor, and John Holloway, MD, FACP (Wheeling), our Public Policy designate, will attend this year's session.

Y2K Bug: Terminal Illness for Elderly Software?

For the past few months, Y2K articles have dominated the headlines. But according to the recent findings of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problems, health care professionals are the least prepared for dealing with the Y2K problems. In fact, the Committee found that most physicians' offices are unaware of the crippling affect that the Y2K bug can have on their practices.

Practice management software is a particular risk because its failure could disrupt practice operations, and vendors are not supplying Y2K retrofits for some older practice management software products. Practices owning such products are left with little choice but to purchase replacement systems, and the time remaining in which to accomplish such a complex selection and installation, is growing desperately short. Experts predict that y mid-year, vendor backlogs could develop that would push new installations into the year 2000.

As a result of these disturbing reports, the ACP-ASIM has stepped up its efforts to educate its members on how they can make their practices Y2K compliant before its too late. The College has developed a comprehensive web site, which can be accessed from ACP-ASIM Online at www.acponline.org/y2k. This site includes staff-written articles on how to cope with the Y2K problem; guides, checklists, and educational opportunities to help evaluate, compare and select Y2K compliant software; and links to major outside web sites.

The College's Center for a Competitive Advantage (CAA) has two, free informational packets available to members through Customer Service, Selecting a Software System and Electronic Medical Records. Call Customer Service at (800) 523-1546, ext. 2600 or (215) 351-2600. Members can also call CCA at (800) 338-2746, ext. 4553, or the College's Medical Informatics Department (800) 523-1546, ext. 2572, for more information about Y2K compliance issues. Other informative medical Y2K web sites include: irm.cit.nih.gov/y2000/ - the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) web site for medical schools and teaching hospitals; and the AMA's web site.

Governors and the Community-Based Teaching Awards

As of November 1998, the Community-Based Teaching Program has available two different preceptor awards - the CBT Participation Award and the CBT Excellence Award. Both awards are available to internal medicine preceptors who teach students, residents or fellows in an office-based practice. Eligible preceptors may be either full-time r volunteer faculty, provided they teach in a practice located in the community, separate from the hospital or hospital clinic.

The preceptor recognition award is available to office-based internists who have taught in an office setting for two or more years. There is no specified amount of contact time mandated during the two years of teaching in order to be eligible for the award. Self-nomination for the award is allowed, but the local CBT program administrator (clerkship director, program director, or other) must sign the application attesting to its accuracy. Applications are then forwarded to the CBT Program at ACP-ASIM, and are processed each quarter. After the awards are processed, individual, diploma-quality certificates are created for the award winners, and are signed by ACP-ASIM Executive Vice President and the Chapter Governor, using electronic signatures. The completed certificate is returned to the award recipient, and the Governor is informed about the award through the GIC. This information is also made available on the GIC for downloading into chapter newsletters. Governors may wish to use this information to acknowledge award winners at Chapter Meetings. Those Governors who wish to sign the certificate personally, or present the award at the Chapter Meeting are certainly free to do so, and these arrangements can be made by calling the CBT Program at (800) 523-1546, ext. 2588.

The CBT Excellence in Teaching Award is available to office-based internists who have taught for at least 7 of the last 10 years, and who can document at least 50 hours of direct contact time with trainees for each of those years. In order to receive the award, the preceptor must meet specified criteria that are listed in the application. In many instances, the evidence needed to document fulfilling the criteria is available from local CBT administrators. Additionally, a letter of support is required from someone knowledgeable about the preceptor's teaching, and the local CBT administrator must sign the application. Completed applications are forwarded to ACP-ASIM where they are processed each quarter. The award consists of a red, marble apple on a black ebonite base, and is inscribed with the name of the award, and the recipient's name. Governors are notified about award winners in their Chapters, and at that time, the Governor can decide whether to receive the award from the College and present it to the recipient at the Chapter Meeting, or have it sent directly to the recipient.

Each award is available to preceptors only once. That is, a preceptor may receive one Participation Award, and one CBT Excellence Award, but not more than one award from each category. Award applications are available online at www.acponline.org/cme/cbt/awards.htm or can be obtained by calling the CBT Program at (800) 523-1546, ext. 2588.

Community-Based Teaching Awards

Donald Koppel, MD, FACP (Fairmont) and Mohammad Roidad, MD, FACP (Fairmont) have received ACP-ASIM Community-Based Teaching Awards this past year.

A Farewell Note from Your Governor

It has been a wonderful privilege for me to have served as your Governor. My personal gratitude goes out to all who have assisted me in this daunting task. I am extremely pleased with the progress our ACP-ASIM Chapter has made over the last several years. Our annual meeting has taken on a new significance by virtue of its excellent educational value, particularly coupled with an expanded Associates Program.

I sincerely hope that more of you will be considering advancement to ACP-ASIM Fellowship, an accomplishment and recognition deserved by many West Virginia internists. We are indeed fortunate to have had collegial relationships with our medical schools and residency programs, and look forward to developing a strong relationship with the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

The merger of the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Internal Medicine represents a major accomplishment for internists and the patients we serve. Our combined organization has an even more effective voice on issues ranging from family health and violence to end of life care, and many others of vital interest to the health of all American citizens.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Rashida Khakoo, our new Governor. I know she will bring a wealth of energy and talent to our Chapter, and to the national organization. Finally, I extend my warmest thanks and appreciation to Leslie Harvey, who has assisted me in the day to day operations of our Chapter over the last four years.

June Deadline for Fellowship Proposals

All candidates for Fellowship who want to be considered at the November 1999 Credentials Subcommittee meeting, must submit Fellowship proposals to ACP-ASIM's Member Records Section before June 1, 1999. Supporting letters from two current ACP-ASIM Masters or Fellows and current curricula vitae must accompany the proposals, which staff will then forward to the appropriate ACP-ASIM Governors.

Governors are asked to return all endorsed Fellowship proposals with supporting materials and their letters of recommendation, to the Member Records Section before July 31, 1999.

The current ACP-ASIM Pathways for Advancement to Fellowship, acknowledge a range of professional activities that indicate continuing scholarship and professional achievement. One important change to the Pathways is that you no longer have to publish to qualify for advancement. For more information, contact Mariana Hotea, Credentials Administrator, at (800) 523-1546, ext. 2709 or lookup the Membership Information Booklet in the ACP-ASIM Online's Information Library. For an Advancement to Fellowship inquiry kit, contact Customer Service at (800) 523-1546, ext. 2600 or (215) 351-2600.

Advancement from Membership to Fellowship

"How do I advance from Membership to Fellowship?" is a question frequently asked by you, the ACP-ASIM members. Below, is a summary of the requirements and pathways that a candidate must fulfill and/or meet in order to become a Fellow of the College.


  • be certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada or the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine;
  • have been a member in good standing for two years in either ACP or ASIM and have held a position in practice or in academia for at least two years since completion of training;
  • have an active medical license in good standing (if in clinical practice);
  • have confined professional activity to internal medicine or a subspecialty of internal medicine;
  • be proposed and seconded with detailed letters of support from two current Masters or Fellows with reference to character, ethics and medical activities, and outlining professional contributions and accomplishments;
  • be endorsed by the appropriate ACP-ASIM Governor;
  • have shown continuing scholarship and professional accomplishments; and
  • document continuing professional activities, including teaching (both institutional and community-based); hospital committee work; public service and community activities; and participation in continuing medical education activities as both a student and teacher.


The College has established four Pathways that serve as guidelines to qualify for Fellowship. For each of the following pathways, the candidates must meet the basic requirements listed above.

Pathway 1: Members must have demonstrated skill in written medical communication.

Pathway 2: Members must have significant and continuing certification activities and/or teaching (both institutional and community-based), and/or community activities that indicate professional achievement and scholarship; they must have undergone recertification, or they must have participated in the Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program (MKSAP) with a passing score. In addition, subspecialty certification or certificates of special competence in adolescent medicine, critical care medicine, clinical cardiac electrophysiology, geriatrics, or sports medicine can qualify a candidate for this pathway, but are not adequate by themselves.

Pathway 3: Members must have been active members in ACP or ASIM for at least 10 years, with substantial participation in programs and activities, as well as demonstration of other professional accomplishments.

Note: Outstanding candidates who have been active Members for fewer than 10 years may qualify by combining Pathways 1 and/or 2 with Pathway 3.

Pathway 4: Members must have distinguished professional activity in teaching, patient care or professional service over many years.

Candidates must document each pathway; however, a candidate may be accepted without fulfilling one pathway if his/her work in other pathways is deemed outstanding by the Credentials Committee. For a complete copy of the "Requirements for Advancement from Membership to Fellowship" and/or an advancement to Fellowship proposal, contact your local College Governor or call ACP-ASIM Customer Service at (800) 523-1546, ext. 2600. The "Requirements for Advancement from Membership to Fellowship" can also be found on the College's web site at www.acponline.org/college/membership/required.htm.