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Serving as the 2015 ACP Ambassador for Chile and Uruguay has
been a unique and rewarding experience. In Chile, the ACP Governor,
Professor Guillermo Conte, MD, FACP and his wife Maria Eugenia were
the consummate hosts. The 48th Annual Meeting of the ACP Chile
Chapter and the Sociedad Médica de Santiago, entitled "ACP
Internal Medicine from North to South" was nothing short of superb.
The meeting was organized by Dr. Raimundo Gazitua an enthusiastic
young leader in the Chile Chapter. The poster presentations of the
residents were of extremely high quality. Interestingly, the
"posters" were presented electronically! I was amazed at this
unique innovation in a dedicated room for the residents and
students utilizing individual screens technologically wired for the
presentations. The enthusiasm of the young students, residents and
faculty was palpable.
Listening to the different problems facing medicine in Chile
sounded very familiar-the very same external "contrafuerzas" we
have in the United States seemed to have also evolved in South
America. However, the physicians in Chile have the same optimistic
outlook for the research and advances that the United States
physicians have for improving patient care. I had a wonderful time
meeting the Governor-Elect, Dr. Luis Miguel Noriega, FACP and the
immediate-past Governor Dra. Mariá Eugenia Pinto, FACP. Both
are strongly committed to the Chilean Chapter and the ACP as is Dr.
Jorge Vega, FACP, who is the current President of the Sociedad
Médica de Santiago-Sociedad Chilena de Medicina Interna.
There was unanimity in embracing my presentations on High Value
Care (HVC). I encouraged our Spanish-speaking brethren to adopt HVC
as their own: Cuidado de Alto Valor-CAV. It was a real pleasure to
have spent some time with Dr. Jose A. Rodriguez Portales, MACP, and
a former College Regent. Dr. Rodriguez has written a wonderful book
titled The American College of Physicians in Chile-Six Decades of
Collaboration with the Nation's Internal Medicine. Simply stated it
represents an extraordinary and successful effort to summarize the
history of the ACP in Chile. I had the exceptional honor and
privilege of meeting Dr. Enrique López Caffarena, MACP, who
received the Chilean Chapter's Centennial Award. It was an
awe-inspiring moment for me to meet the physician who organized the
very first ACP International Chapter in South America!
Travelling to Montevideo, Uruguay was a terrific experience. My
host was Professor Juan Carlos Bagattini, MD, FACP, who also
attended the Chile Chapter meeting in Santiago. In fact, he has
attended all of the meetings uninterrupted in Chile since 2003.
Although Uruguayan, Dr. Bagattini is so well respected that he has
received the Chilean Chapter Laureate Award! Dr. Bagattini aspires
to create a Uruguayan ACP Chapter soon. We sat together on the
airplane as it crossed the Andes from Santiago to Montevideo and
discussed the similar problems facing doctors and patients in both
countries. Dr. Juan Carlos ("J.C.") is a force of nature and has
the utmost respect of his colleagues in Uruguay. The two-day
meeting was titled "Sixth Conference Updates in Internal Medicine"
was co-sponsored by the Sociedad de Medicina Interna del Uruguay,
the American College of Physicians, and the Hospital Britanico
Montevideo) and was attended by over 100 physicians, residents and
students at the Hospital Británico. The meeting's first day
focus was on the care of the pregnant patient while the second day
explored endocrine problems, with particular emphasis on thyroid
disease. My presentations on High Value Care (Cuidado de Alto
Valor-CAV) as well as resources of the ACP were avidly embraced.
Again, the medical students, residents and faculty hold the College
in high esteem. I thoroughly enjoyed dinner and conversation with
Drs. "J.C." Bagattini, Maria Pilar Serra and Leonardo Sosa from
Montevideo. Joining us from Argentina were Drs. Erika Abelleira and
Alejandro Garcia. My special thanks to Dr. Mario Llorens, President
of the Sociedad de Medicina Interna de Uruguay and Dr. Jorge
Stanham, President of the Comité de Educación del
Hospital Británico for supporting scholarly activities
jointly with the ACP.
In summary, my sojourn as the 2015 ACP Ambassador to South
America was nothing short of spectacular. I will never forget the
warmth and genuine friendship extended to me by Drs. Conte and
Bagattini. There leaves no doubt that with their solid and
enthusiastic leadership the College will continue to grow and
flourish in Latin America for the next 100 years!
Pictured above: Robert Jackson, MD, FACP with ACP Chile
Chapter Governor, Guillermo Conte, MD, FACP
September International Newsletter