Puerto Rico Governor's Newsletter May 2021

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Myriam Z. Allende-Vigo, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Myriam Z. Allende-Vigo, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Governor's Message

It is incredible, a whole year passed, and we are still amid the COVID-19 pandemic with soaring numbers of new cases and hospitalizations. Despite a sound and successful vaccination campaign, the battle against the virus is on and the winner not clear yet. Our physicians continue to be in the front, my congratulations for the hard work and resilience. Our daily clinical practice has changed, bringing new barriers and demands. Although it is true that these challenges possess a threat to our physical and mental health, we are thriving. Members of the chapter have found time to engage in different academic activities sponsored by the chapter. Student members attended a virtual Internal Medicine Residency showcase which was informative and well attended. This activity broadens the opportunities for students that are considering training in Internal Medicine in Puerto Rico, something desperately needed. The chapter also held a much-needed academic activity in which physicians had the opportunity of completing the necessary compulsory education credits to renew their licenses. Attendance to the meeting reached an all-time high of 300 physicians. This was possible because it was a virtual activity. The meeting was a success both academically and financially. During the business meeting, members were informed of the yearly activities and Dr. Milton Carrero was awarded the Chapter Laureate Award. Congratulations to Dr. Carrero, well deserved for his contributions to the field of internal medicine and upholding the ideals of the American College of Physicians. All the chapter's committees have been working hard and soon will have activities for the benefit of all. The pandemic continues, and so our efforts to overcome it.

Myriam Z. Allende Vigo, MD, FACP



Recent Chapter Activities

Virtual Residency Showcase: On March 24, 2021 over 75 IMIG Medical Students participated in the Third Internal Medicine Residency Showcase organized by the IMIG leaders of the four (4) Medical Schools in Puerto Rico. As in previous years, our Governor, Dr. Myriam Allende, presented the opening remarks and discussed the importance of being members of ACP. All seven (7) IM Residency Programs participated in the virtual event.

Annual Meeting: Over 300 physicians participated in the 2021 ACP Puerto Rico Chapter Annual Meeting held virtually on March 26-27, 2021. The scientific meeting presented the 16 CME State Mandated Recertification CME Requirements, 2019-2022 Cycle. This was our Chapter's first Virtual Annual Meeting.

Puerto Rico Chapter Business Meeting: During our Annual Business Meeting held on March 27, 2021, Dr. Allende presented our Chapter's achievements. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and all the challenges that came with it, our membership continued growing, and the Chapter continued providing educational activities and resourceful information to all its members and continued having a strong financial position. Last year the Chapter received the Bronze Chapter Excellence Award in recognition of achieving basic expectations in chapter management and addressing the needs and interests of its members.




Chapter Laureate Awardee

During the meeting Dr. Milton Carrero, FACP received the 2021 Chapter Laureate Award. Meet our Awardee:

Milton Carrero, MD, FACP

Dr. Milton Carrero was born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico. He went to college at the Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez and obtained his Doctor's degree in medicine from the University of Zaragoza. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances University Hospital, Mayagüez Medical Center, where he was recognized as Resident of the Year, and joined the faculty upon graduating. In 1991, he became Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine residency, and Program Director in 2001. He has remained as Program Director for 20 years now. Under his leadership, the Internal Medicine Residency program received an Elite Residency Program Acknowledgement from ACP in 2018 and 2019.

Dr. Carrero was named Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine of the Dr. Ramón Emeterio Betances University Hospital in 2003, a position he still holds. He has been Assistant Professor of Medicine at the UPR School of Medicine and is a Professor of the Ponce School of Medicine. He has served the medical community of the Mayagüez area in many roles, including as Chair of Internal Medicine and Medical Director at San Antonio Hospital, Medical Director of the Mayagüez Medical Center, Assistant Professor of the Family Medicine Residency at Bella Vista Hospital, and member of the Mayagüez Medical Center Governing Board. He has served in multiple hospital and residency committees. He has also served in the Puerto Rico College of Physicians and Surgeons as Vice President and President of the Mayagüez District, General Secretary and President of the Medical Senate.

Dr. Carrero is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and has a certification in Education in Palliative and End-of Life Care. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.

He is a usual attendee at ACP meetings, and has served as member of the Scientific Committee, member of the Board of Directors, and judge in the Research Competitions. His residents are a fixture at ACP meetings, as he promotes attendance, mentors presentations and cheers their Jeopardy team.

For his community involvement and humanitarian qualities, Dr. Carrero was chosen for the Humanitarian Award of the Mayagüez Medical Center Faculty.

A Mayagüezan with a life of service to his community, Dr. Carrero has promoted excellence in the practice of Internal Medicine through his dedication to teaching, his leadership as a program director, his involvement in professional organizations and institutions, and his role modeling as a humanistic and compassionate physician. For his achievements, the Puerto Rico Chapter of the American College of Physicians has chosen Dr. Milton Carrero as the Chapter Laureate Awardee for 2021.



ACP @ the Community

Our Board of Directors firmly believe that one of our roles as physicians is to be educators. To that matter the Puerto Rico Chapter decided to partner with Be Healthy Media to create the disease awareness campaign; “Actúa por tu Salud” in which our faculty participated in community educational programs and interviews offered through Facebook Live. As part of the campaign, we have offered interviews on Diabetes Mellitus, Thyroid disease, Osteoporosis, and Organ Donation. This campaign has had over 5,000 views so far. Stay tuned to Be Healthy News and Media in Facebook for more information.



Wellness Corner

We are still in the gray zone transitioning from the COVID pandemic and hoping for a new and better reality.

One of the areas which has had a great impact during this time of chaos is our brain health. Emotions, sleep disturbances, anxiety, stress, social isolation, have a negative impact in our emotional health and the brain's health executive or higher functions. There are things we can improve to achieve wellness, such as the quality of our sleep, thoughts, gratitude, relations, and our physical activity routines.

Think… which practices keep you well in the present?

One of the most important aspects of our brain health is our sleep quality. A good night's sleep is essential to preserve our memory, for an adequate mental and motor response, to balance our emotional responses, our verbal resources, and to a better communication in the professional and family scenarios. Studies on individuals with sleep disorders have shown that this is an important area to care in the prevention of emotional disturbances, neuropsychiatric conditions, accidents, and future cognitive decline.

The cognitive reserve hypothesis tries to explain our brain adaptability to changes related to aging and illness independent of genetics. Studies of old people of the Blue Zones identified the role of a combination of these factors in their longevity and health: strong social interactions, a good night sleep, an anti-inflammatory diet, exercise, contact with nature, low stress, an active mind through learning or practicing new activities. An integration of these wellness practices is important to preserve our cognitive skills late in life.

As part of our chapter's Wellness initiative, we will have several virtual activities during the months of May and June related to Self-Care, Organizational Culture Change for Wellness, Neuroplasticity, and the impact of our thoughts in our brain health. The dates are listed in the Save the Date section. Mark your calendar and join the activities.

“There is Power in Mind-Body Healing.”



Save the Date

May 19, 2021: IM Residents Professional Development Workshop. The IM Residents Committee will have a Professional Development Workshop with topics such as leadership skills and appropriate bedside manners.

May 27, 2021: ACP Organizational Culture Change for Wellness - Happier Connected Webinar

June 5, 2021: Wellness Webinar from 11 am to 12:30 pm entitled Empowering Our Thoughts and Neuroplasticity, with Dr. Teresa Nazario, psychologist, and specialist on the topic.

July 10, 2021: Engaging in IM Clinical Practice: Telemedicine & Contracting. The Early Career Physicians committee will conduct a 1-day activity with the compulsory credits in telemedicine and a briefing on successful contracting.

July 29, 2021: ACP Wellness Webinar – Self-Care

August 26, 2021: ACP – Organizational Small Wins



Get Involved

  • Get involved with the ACP activities and participate in our mission for education and service in Internal Medicine.
  • Your attendance will contribute to the success of our activity and of our ACP Puerto Rico Chapter!
  • ACP Members are encouraged to review the requirements for advancement to Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Do not hesitate to contact us for information at rinavega@rivsmarketing.com


Your Participation is Important!

All that register to participate on Engaging in IM Clinical Practice: Telemedicine & Contracting by June 20, 2021 will enter in a raffle to win a free MKSAP18 digital subscription. Awardee will be announced the day of the meeting.


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Editorial Committee:

Myriam Allende, MD, MBA, FACP, FACE
Melba Feliciano, MD, FACP, FACE
Mrs. Rina Vega