Iowa Governor's Newsletter January 2020

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William J Yost, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

William J Yost, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


A Few Words from the Governor

As we are just around the corner from the Iowa caucuses and are collectively inundated with political ads and surveys, I find myself thinking more about political advocacy. Regardless of which side of the aisle we identify with and vote for, I think it's essential for us as individuals and as a profession to advocate for the patients we serve. Many of the issues are bipartisan. It's often extremely challenging to find the time to take part in advocacy; we all have busy lives, consumed with the care of our patients, administrative demands and responsibilities, and possibly research and teaching obligations. And we all have lives outside of medicine. I think it's critical that we seek the integration of our personal and our professional lives in order to reduce the risk of burnout and keep our own health and our family's well-being as a high priority.

That said, I also firmly believe that there is no one better qualified or placed to advocate on behalf of our patients than we are. We all entered this profession in order to care for patients. No one is better qualified, more highly trained, or better situated than we are to accomplish this truly noble purpose. I fully recognize the obstacles that exist: the demands of patient care, the seemingly endless list of tasks that are the by-product of an electronic medical record, the administrative obligations and duties, and the equally important obligations and duties to ourselves and to our families. Advocacy can seem like simply one more task. I ask you to carefully consider this, and to quote someone wiser than me, “If not us, then who?” If we as a profession and as individual physicians do not take this on in some way, at some level, we are going to be saddled with the system others impose upon us. The struggle is worth it.

Please consider getting involved in advocacy in some way, whether local, state or federal. Whether you choose to join advocacy efforts at the state capitol or in Washington, DC, or write letters and make telephone calls to our legislators, you can make a meaningful difference. Watch the newsletter for updates on our own advocacy efforts, and if you have any comments or questions for your ACP state chapter leadership, just drop me a note or give me a call.

For more information on advocacy, try this link.

We are all in this together.




You may be aware that every year our Chapter recognizes the second year resident in every internal medicine program in the state of Iowa who achieves the highest score on the annual ITE-IM. The ITE-IM is administered annually in the late summer, and internal medicine residents from all four of our programs spend an entire day testing their knowledge in a highly structured format. Residents and programs eventually receive detailed reports that include their individual and program strengths and weaknesses. A low stakes exam in the sense that it may not be used for purposes of promotion or graduation, it is, nonetheless, an enormously helpful tool to both individual residents and program directors.

The second year resident who achieves the highest score in a program also receives $500 in vouchers from ACP to be used to purchase educational materials. In the event of a tie, which happens on occasion, the award is shared equally.

I'm pleased to announce the winners from each program:

  • Allie Ladd, MD, Mercy One, Des Moines
  • Katharine Lasley, DO, Mercy One, Mason City
  • Molly Ropte, DO , University of Iowa-Des Moines (tie)
  • Lizzie Wendl, MD University of Iowa-Des Moines (tie)
  • Craig Rosenstengle, MD, University of Iowa

Again, congratulations to all!



And More Congratulations!

I am very pleased and proud to announce to you all that we have two new Masters in our midst! The American College of Physicians awards this prestigious recognition to physicians who have demonstrated exemplary achievement in the profession, those who have truly risen to the top through their professional accomplishments. To quote ACP,

“ACP Bylaws state that Masters shall be Fellows who have been selected because of “integrity, positions of honor, eminence in practice or in medical research, or other attainments in science or in the art of medicine.” Masters must be highly accomplished persons demonstrating eminence in practice, leadership, or in medical research. Evidence of their achievements can come from many types of endeavors such as renown within their field and/or ACP chapter, research, education, health care initiatives, volunteerism, and administrative positions. The Master must be distinguished by the excellence and significance of his or her contributions to the field of medicine.”

To put this in some perspective, the Iowa Chapter has 9 Masters out of nearly 600 members. So, it is with the greatest pleasure that I formally announce the addition of two more Masters to that august group:

Donald Brown, MD, MACP – Any one of us who attended the University of Iowa for our medical education knows Dr. Brown, and remembers him with fondness and the greatest respect. Dr. Brown has been at the University of Iowa in the Cardiovascular Division for nearly his entire career. He is a Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, has received numerous awards and accolades for his teaching, and has taught countless medical students and residents the art of cardiovascular diagnosis and the interpretation of electrocardiograms, in addition to the subtleties of the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease to generations of residents and fellows. It's hard to imagine anyone who has had as much impact on generations of learners at the University of Iowa; no one has had greater impact. Moreover, he is the very epitome of our profession: kind, decent, humane, and altruistic, he has made a great impact on physicians and patients in the state of Iowa.

Christine Sinsky, MACP – Dr. Sinsky is a general internist who has also made a substantial difference in the lives of her patients as well as her colleagues. Dr. Sinsky completed her medical education at the University of Wisconsin and her residency training at the Gundersen Medical Foundation in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She joined Medical Associates in Dubuque, Iowa, where she practiced for over twenty years, and made a meaningful difference in the lives of countless patients. Dr. Sinsky has translated her extraordinary abilities from the bedside to a national stage, and has become one of the leading and most important voices on the subject of burnout in our profession. Currently the Chair of the ABIM Foundation, she is also the Vice President of Professional Satisfaction at the American Medical Association. Dr. Sinsky is in high demand nationally and internationally as a speaker and thought leader in this very important domain. She has been instrumental in raising national awareness of the impact that wellbeing of the health professional has on the overall performance of the health care system. She has made, and continues to make, a great impact on the health and wellbeing of countless patients and the physicians who care for them.

I know you join me in congratulating both Dr. Brown and Dr. Sinsky!



A Reminder to Members

Consider attending the Annual Internal Medicine Meeting of the ACP this year. The session will be held in Los Angeles April 23-25, 2020. If you have ever been to an Annual Internal Medicine Meeting, you know what I'm talking about – there is, in my opinion, no better meeting for internists and subspecialists alike. The enthusiasm for medicine is real and in the air. You will have the opportunity to hear the best teachers and clinicians in the United States provide updates in their fields, explore clinical controversies, demonstrate diagnostic reasoning skills, and provide summary reviews of important topics. You can, if you wish, attend workshops to improve diagnostic or bedside procedural skills. You will see colleagues and often former classmates from all over the country and from down the block. It is easily the most energizing and clinically valuable conference I attend.

You may choose to attend the ACP Doctor's Dilemma® competition, one in which our own University of Iowa team will compete. You may browse through the abstracts and poster presentations, and see clinical vignettes illustrating amazingly good cases, research that has been done by students, residents or fellows, and other poster presentations of quality improvement and patient safety initiatives.

And if you've never been, well, I encourage you to see for yourself.

Please visit ACP Online for more information on the 2020 Internal Medicine Meeting.

If you do choose to go – and I hope you will – stop by our reception. I'll buy you a beer.

William J. Yost, MD, FACP
Governor, ACP Iowa Chapter