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Governor's Newsletter, Fall 2001

Harmon H. Davis, II, MD, FACP
Governor, Wyoming Chapter

Governor's Message

Unfortunately, the Fall Board of Governors was canceled, as it was to take place the day after the tragic events in New York City, Washington DC, as well as, Pennsylvania. As a result the usual resolutions had to be handled electronically. The College met the need to do this in its usual outstanding fashion and several resolutions have been forwarded to the Board of Regents for action.

Other events that have taken place: We had a very successful Scientific Meeting in Laramie on September 7th and 8th. The medical students did attend the meeting and appeared to enjoy it, as did the other members who attended. Our next meeting is scheduled for September 5, 6 &7, 2002. It will be a combined meeting with the South Dakota Chapter at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge. We have tentatively decided to deal with the theme of diabetes and its complications. We have also decided that there will be dueling clinical pathologic conferences with a case from each state as well as an interpreter of the data, from each state. If any member has a particularly interesting case, I would appreciate that it be forwarded to me for screening with Dr. John Beckman who is going to serve as our Program Chair for this meeting.

We are already in the process of planning this meeting. The last joint meeting was held six years ago and I must say this is a very beautiful location. It is also near Deadwood for those that might be interested in that type of activity. If you would mark it on your calendars, we would look forward to you being there.

I have also had the privilege of serving on the College's Human Rights and Ethics Committee and we have met twice since I was appointed to this committee. I should note that the committee is in the process of reviewing and rewriting the ethics manual. There are also several other publications (see subsequent article) available through the College geared towards helping our patients in making end of life decisions. One can query the College for samples of these pamphlets.

In closing, I would again like to take this opportunity to remind you that the Scientific Meeting of 2003 will hopefully take place in Banff, Alberta, Canada over approximately a five day period. We are continuing to work on a joint meeting with the Governors of Saskatchewan, Alberta, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho and, of course, Wyoming. If you have any suggestions or would be interested in perhaps participating in such a meeting please let me know.

Sincerely,

Harmon H. (Bud) Davis, II, MD, FACP
Governor, Wyoming ACP-ASIM Chapter

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 toevaluate 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).

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 (http://www.acponline.org/bioterro/).

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.

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.

End-of-Life Care Patient Education Brochures and Doctor's Tip Sheet Available

In September, the Center for Ethics and Professionalism inaugurated its Patient Education and Caring: End-of-Life (PEACE) Series by releasing three patient education brochures designed to guide patients through various stages of palliative and end-of-life care. The brochures offer clearly-worded advice for patients and caregivers and are suitable for distribution in doctor's offices. The available brochures are:

  • "When You Have Pain at the End of Life"
  • "Living with a Serious Illness: Talking to your Doctor When the Future is Uncertain"
  • "Making Medical Decisions for a Loved One at the End of Life"

Also available is "Improving Your End of Life Care Practice," a tip sheet for doctors, with suggestions on how to identify patients who would benefit from the brochures and tips on how to "break the ice" in face-to-face discussions about sensitive end-of-life issues.

The patient brochures are available at no charge in packages of 50 each from the Center (call 800-523-1546, ext. 2839 or e-mail ssmith@acponline.org); they can also be downloaded in PDF format on the College's web site at (http://www.acponline.org/ethics/pated_project.htm).

For further information on the End-of-Life Care project, contact Lois Snyder, JD, at 800-523-1546, ext. 2835 (mailto:lsnyder@acponline.org) or go to the Center for Ethics and Professionalism page on the College web site at (http://www.acponline.org/ethics/eolc.htm).

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. Log-on to the College website at (http://www.acponline.org/cme/as/2002/index.html), 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.

Frustrations of Young Women Physicians

The ACP-ASIM Young Physicians Subcommittee has been looking at the problems that women physicians face from medical school until well into their careers. After much work, it has developed a working draft entitled Ready, Set, Stumble: Career Frustrations of Young Women Physicians.

One proposal is to develop local women's internal medicine interest groups for students, residents and fellows. Working with women senior and junior faculty, these groups could provide a forum for women's issues in medicine and within their institution. They could provide opportunities for pairing students, residents and fellows with mentors on an on-going basis If you are interested in implementing such a program in the Wyoming Chapter, please send your questions/comments to Dr. Davis, Governor, Wyoming Chapter at (Drbuddavis@aol.com).

Contact Information

James F. Bush, MD, FACP
Wyoming Chapter Governor

Sheila Bush
WY Chapter Executive Director
Wyoming Medical Society
P.O. Box 4009
Cheyenne, Wyoming 82003
Phone: (307) 635-2424
E-mail: sheila@wyomed.org