California Northern Governor's Newsletter March 2022

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Chwen-Yuen Angie Chen, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Chwen-Yuen Angie Chen, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Governor's Message

This April 2022, I will have had the privilege of serving you for a year. As daily life appears to be moving into a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to see you at the Internal Medicine Meeting in Chicago. Our California Reception will be held on Friday evening, April 29, 2022.

We also mourn the loss of our local and national icon, Faith T. Fitzgerald, MD, MACP. I was fortunate enough to have trained under Dr. Fitzgerald while in medical school at UC Davis and later served with her on CA ACP's HPPC where there were often lively debates; without exaggeration, I always gained a different perspective of healthcare, ethics, and humanity when I listened to Dr. Fitzgerald.

My goals for our CANO Chapter are: a) to advocate for physician empowerment while holding the highest standard of patient care—these two aims need not be construed as mutually exclusive; b) advance substantive DEI initiatives; and c) continue to deliver quality medical education.

Well-being initiatives are important; however, I believe physician well-being rests largely in re-assuming self-agency, autonomy, and prioritizing self-care. The stigma of any illness or frailty amongst ourselves needs to be dismantled and our vulnerabilities need to be authentically shared with each other and our patients in mutually respectful ways. During the pandemic our psychological mettle has been tested and for the most part we have yet again proven we are resilient; but the ability to adapt to unhealthy situations is not necessarily a sign of health. Confidential treatment for physicians who have suffered mental illness or substance use disorders should not only apply to the consequences of COVID-19 stressors but should have always been available, with parity. and must continue to be available under any circumstance in the future.



Spring BOG - Resolutions

We will be discussing 12 resolutions during the Board of Governor's spring meeting in Chicago. Your input is important. Please review the resolutions and share your thoughts here. Deadline for response is March 22.




Colonoscopy Bill: CA ACP member Stony Anderson, MD, FACP was a tireless advocate for removing barriers to colorectal cancer screening. Read more about the Fight colorectal cancer effort.

Tobacco Bill: CANO ACP Governor, Chwen-Yuen Angie Chen, MD, FACP, was instrumental in getting legislation passed to require tobacco screening and treatment at substance use disorder facilities. Information about the bill can be found here: Tobacco Bill.

Physician Health: Advocating for change in Credentialing and Licensure Questionnaires: Most hospital credentialing bodies and State Medical Boards continue to ask questions about physician past mental health and substance use; this essentially violates ADA law by asking about treatable medical illnesses. We do not ask about one's diabetes or other chronic disease, therefore why should we ask about mental health and SUD? Read the information about this on ACP's website.

Medical Board of CA: Be Active at the Medical Board Meetings: Dr. Richard Thorpe, MD, FACP and past President of CMA came to speak to our Council and invited ACP Members to be medical experts in order to help set the standard of care in Internal Medicine.

The public is always welcome to listen in on Board Meetings, which you can do at MBC Meetings.



Washington Leadership Day

The annual Leadership Day in Washington, DC will be held May 17 & 18. The deadline to register is April 24, 2022. Read more about this event and register today!



Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

We want to highlight our Keynote Speaker Dr. Benjamin Danielson (Benjamin Danielson), who spoke on Equity in Healthcare. Here is an excerpt from an email interview exchange between Dr. Danielson and CANO Governor Dr. Chen, and we hope that as a Chapter we can begin to start these tough conversations:

Dr. Chen: “As an addiction specialist, I appreciated the way you framed our gun violence problem as an addiction. I also heard the calling out of superficial and nominal DEI implementations, I like the maze with the tiny equity deep in the center. I have always believed that medicine was at least an oasis from irrationality and harm, that physicians sworn to oath could set aside personal beliefs and treat every patient equally, I somehow believed that for the most part we were trained to be this way, however, it's come to my attention that this is not always the case, that colleagues are disseminating misinformation on vaccines for instance, that my fellow governors in certain parts of the country have to tread carefully when promoting ACP progressive initiatives. Dr. Danielson, how can we open dialogue and create that sense of understanding without alienating those who resist this kind of inquiry into racism and promote change?”

Dr. Danielson: “I really appreciate your question; it goes to a certain central issue. In your question I find myself moving in a couple of directions.

"The topic of engaging our colleagues is so critical, isn't it? It gets to the leveraging of our profession's commitment to healthy dialogue, peer-to-peer facilitated growth, and an openness to critical feedback. Anyway, based on this I feel we, in healthcare, ought to be somewhat adept at having harder conversations. I think we may even have a responsibility to other professionals - and other parts of healthcare - to show them that we can have these courageous conversations.

"Another part of me thinks about just how crucial it is that we compel our profession and not fear making fellow healthcare professionals uncomfortable. Just as you speak about in your reference to mis-informers regarding vaccines who are doctors. Even a couple of voices like this have an enormous tainting influence on our reputation as well as credibility on the whole. We must be sure to call our colleagues in to better practices when it comes to issues of equity and racism, because the rest of the country is watching us.

"I guess a third point relates to our relationship to the managers and business side of healthcare. We practicing physicians often find ourselves feeling unable to challenge the business models that contribute to inequities. Maybe because they still sort of sign our paychecks. Maybe because all we get is pressure to perform in a financially enriching manner. We can feel powerless against ‘administrators.’ I think we have a lot more power than we realize; we should work together to exercise that power in a unified manner.”



Annual Chapter Meeting

The CANO Scientific Meeting was held virtually (postponed from November) on February 5, 2022.

Our keynote speaker was Dr. Benjamin Danielson, a clinical professor of Pediatrics at the University of Washington who presented an inspiring and powerful talk titled: “Leading for Change, Advancing Equity in Healthcare.”

Other highlights of the meeting were the Stump the Professor session with Dr. Jamie Metcalfe presenting a case to Drs. Reza Manesh and Rabih Geha.

Dr. Nidhi Rohatgi who spoke on “Keeping the Passion in Medicine Alive in your Mid-later career” was a big hit. Our gratitude and thanks to all our amazing speakers who took the time to record and be available for Q & As. For those who joined on February 5, 2022, your registration will allow you to access the entire program until July 5, 2022.



The DEI Shift with #ProudtobeGIM

The DEI Shift podcast recently partnered with #ProudtobeGIM week to release 5 mini-episodes. Each episode features leaders from a different ACP region in conversation about important topics featured in previous seasons of the podcast. In the Physicians as Patients reboot episode, hear Dr. Angie Chen, current Governor of ACP's Northern California region, and Dr. Linda Clever, former CANO Governor and founding President of RENEW, a not-for-profit focused on energized and resilient healthcare workplaces discuss the concepts of ability, advocacy and wellness in medicine. View the site here.



Abstract Competition

The abstract competition was once again held virtually. With over 160 abstracts submitted, the first round of abstract judging was done with a VoiceOverPowerPoint (VOPP) and viewed by many volunteer judges. The second and final round of judging was held on Saturday, December 4, 2021 where residents and students presented their abstracts to the judges live via Zoom. Congratulations to our winners!

Medical Student Clinical Vignette – First Place: Marcus Cummins; Second Place: Alexa Abdallah; Third Place: Jonathan You

Medical Student Research – First Place: Mara Cao; Second Place: Abha Sathe

Resident/Fellow Clinical Vignette – First Place: Chelsea Morinishi; Second Place: Smanta Ho; Third Place: Steve Kong

Resident/Fellow Research – First Place: Jimmy Yao; Second Place: Chelsea Yin

Resident/Fellow Quality Improvement – First Place: David Hyung Oh; Second Place: Donna Haysbert

Our first-place abstract winners will travel to the Internal Medicine Meeting in Chicago to present their abstracts.

Doctor's Dilemma

Congratulations to the Stanford team who also will be traveling to Chicago to participate in the competition. The team from Stanford representing our Chapter are: Balakrishnan (Balu) Pillai, Rebecca Linfield, Maja Ivanovic.




ACP's New I.M. Emotional Support Hub Offers Resources to Safeguard Physician Health and Well-being.

As part of ACP's Well-being and Professional Fulfillment initiative, ACP has launched a collection of resources aimed at helping members improve their emotional well-being, ACP's I.M. Emotional Support Hub offers curated resources and information to protect physicians' emotional health and sustain ACP members' ability to care for those in need.



Hot Topics

A virtual memorial celebrating the life of Faith T. Fitzgerald, MD, MACP will take place Saturday, March 12, 2022.

Nominations Open: Richard Neubauer Advocate for Internal Medicine Award –nominations due Monday, April 4, 2022.




Committees: Looking to get involved? Our Membership, Awards and Nominations Committees (and a few others) are looking for new members to join and get involved. If you have a special interest and/or a talent that you would like to share, please contact our Executive Director, Carmelina Raffetto.



Get Involved in Councils!

Early Career Physicians: Neelardi Misra, MD has been chairing the ECP council these past two years and is looking forward to holding quarterly sessions and getting our ECP involved more in our chapter.

New Council of International Medical Graduates: We are excited to announce the newly established IMG Council. Co-chairs: Xin-nong Li, MD, FACP and Jagmohan Jandu, MD. Dr. Feruza Abraamyan has volunteered to help with communications and building a strong website for our IMGs.

Resident/Fellow: Want to be more involved? Want to share your needs and experiences with us. Currently Dr. Isaure Hostetter is chair of the Residents Council.

Student Council: Your California Student Council is chair by Emily Siegel with Janie Hu and Sara Toouloui.



Save the Dates

April 28–30, 2022 ACP Internal Medicine – Chicago, IL
May 17–18, 2022 – Leadership Day on Capitol Hill
October 8, 2022 – Abstract and Doctor's Dilemma Competition (in person) Location TBD
October 29–30, 2022 – Virtual All-California Chapters Meeting



Story Tellers

Thank you to Dr. Kwabena Adubfour for his submitted poem:


Remember this always and with every patient encounter.

The patient never came to see the stiff ware encased in the EHR.
Your healing codes were never written in bits and bytes.
Your language has never been binary.
It has always been rich and extraordinary.
Remember who you are.
You are the true software.
You are more than a doctor.
You are a healer filled with dignity and kindness.
Your software is a heart unmatched.
A brain that cannot be replaced by AI.
For your operating systems are not filled with ones and zeros.
Your operating systems are built on the rich tapestry of love and empathy and compassion.
A software language seeped in intermingled nerves and nano amounts of neurotransmitters.
A software language beautifully arranged with unimaginable grandeur and complexity.
You are beautifully created.
You are not the stiff ware labeled EHR.
Turn around. Face your patient.
Listen quietly.
Listen to really listen
and be mindful of every complaint
whether they be shallow or deep.
Be in attendance. Be present.
Palpate and marvel in every pulse, every breath sound.
You have 10 to 20 minutes. Use it.
Relegate the stiff ware to the minor leagues.
You are a major player in these healing arts.
Remember who you are – the true software.

Internal Medicine Residency Program
Dignity Health Saint Joseph's Medical Center, Stockton, CA

Story tellers, poem writers, artist, etc., do you have a story you wish to share with your colleagues? Send your stories to our Executive Director, Carmelina Raffetto, at