Rhode Island Governor's Newsletter March 2024

Rhode Island Chapter Banner

Kwame O. Dapaah-Afriyie, MBchB, FACP, ACP Governor

Kwame O. Dapaah-Afriyie, MBchB, FACP, ACP Governor


Governor's Welcome

Spring is almost here; a time to embrace the freshness of this new season with excitement and vigor.

We are all keenly aware of the crisis in the field of Primary Care. Many of us have encountered the challenges associated with finding Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) for our patients, friends and sometimes, ourselves. We appreciate our Advanced-Practice Providers in alleviating this PCP shortage. There have been many discussions and efforts to manage this shortage; most recently the suggestion that Clinical Pharmacists assume an increasing role in primary care. This is laudable, in so far as current collaborative relationships are enhanced rather than an attempt for clinical pharmacists to assume the role of PCPs. Clinical Pharmacists, although medication experts, are not trained as diagnosticians, a necessary skill for medical practitioners.

The pivotal role of Clinical Pharmacists augmenting patient care in collaboration with other healthcare professionals is highly recognized both locally and nationally. As such, many of our large medical practices such as Brown Medicine Inc., and those affiliated with Lifespan and Care New England healthcare systems have engaged clinical pharmacists through collaborative practice agreements for holistic patient care.

As someone with adequate knowledge about the positive role of ambulatory clinical pharmacists in Rhode Island, I agree with the concern raised about "scope creep" and its potential effect on patient safety. This core message of the recent position taken by AMA, (AMA Recovery plan for American Physicians) has been shrouded by negative comments from some stakeholders. The potential negative effects of the increasing commodification and commercialization of physicians' role have been stated on many occasions, by Dr. Darilyn Moyer, CEO and Executive Vice-President of our professional organization - ACP.

Several measures have been adopted to address the PCP crisis at the state and national levels. Nonetheless, more needs to be done without cannibalizing the PCP role. I support leveraging all available resources to increase access to primary care without sacrificing our uniqueness on the altar of the current PCP predicament. Physician engagement and alignment with other professionals are the pillars of collaboration to achieve set goals.

We need to continue with our ongoing educational and research activities, advocacy, and networking. These are the goals of our annual meetings. Our Co-chairs have worked to ensure we have an impactful educational time at our upcoming annual meeting on March 20, 2024.



Chapter News

Committee Highlights: Health and Public Policy Committee

The Committee is under the leadership of Drs. Kenneth Chen and Jonathan Leviss.

In January, a virtual meeting was held to discuss Reproductive Justice in Rhode Island. The discussion was led by Jocelyn Foye, Executive director of The Womxn Project- Furthering Human Rights in RI.

The committee is spearheading our chapter's efforts to join other supporting organizations to ensure the passage of the Health Care Provider Shield Act. Senate bill 2262, House bill 7577. 11 other states including MA and CT have passed such bills.

Committee will be having a virtual meeting in the summer at which Dr. Michael Fine ( Former Director of RI Department of Health) will talk a about Healthcare for All in RI.


A. Dr. Sagar Patel has been accepted into the 2024 ACP Health Policy Internship program: The ACP Health Policy Internship provides a multifaceted opportunity to learn about the legislative process, health policy, and advocacy in organized medicine.

B. New fellows: Drs Jenna Iannuccilli, Vazgen Martirosian and Mahmoud Mowafy.



Council Meeting

The Governor's Council voted to have in-person meetings only in the Summer and to continue using the Zoom format for three other virtual meetings. The next Governor's Council meeting will be held on March 27th .



Annual Meeting

The Annual Chapter meeting is scheduled for 03/20/2024.

Thanks to the Co-Chairs: Dr Jennifer O'Brien, Dr Alisa Merolli, Dr Karen Woolfall-Quinn, Jinen Thakkar for work done so far, and to our members who have volunteered to be speakers and many others who are working tirelessly on the necessary preparations.

Abstract notifications have been sent out to all members. Let's continue to work with our students and residents to highlight the interesting clinical cases and research activities in our residency programs and clinical practices.



Mentorship Zone

What are we learning? Who are we learning from? Who are we transferring insights to?

Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

The one who waters will also be watered.

Mentorshop zone

I reached out to some of our experienced colleagues to have them share pertinent insights which will be beneficial to our medical students, residents, and Early Career Physicians.

Brief background:

Yul D. Ejnes, MD, MACP, is an internal medicine specialist who received his medical degree from Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1985 and completed his internal medicine residency training, followed by a year as Chief Medical Resident at Rhode Island Hospital. He is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

A founding partner of Coastal Medical, Inc., Dr. Ejnes is a former member of its Board of Directors. Dr. Ejnes is a Past Chair of the Board of Regents of the American College of Physicians (ACP), the nation's largest medical specialty organization. He served as Chair from 2011-2012. Dr. Ejnes was Governor of the Rhode Island Chapter of ACP from 2002-2006 and chaired the national Board of Governors from 2006-2007.

In April 2012, Dr. Ejnes became a Master of the American College of Physicians (MACP). In addition to practicing full-time, Dr. Ejnes is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He is the immediate past chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Board of Directors, which he joined in 2016, and is a member of the ABIM Foundation Board of Trustees.

Why did you choose to specialize in Internal Medicine?

I went into medical school thinking that I would become a pediatrician. While I enjoyed my pediatrics clerkship, internal medicine brought with it deeper one-on-one relationships with patients that last many decades. My exposure to many positive role models who practiced general internal medicine plus the breadth and variety of the discipline attracted me to a generalist/primary care career instead of pursuing a subspecialty.

What are the 2-3 major factors that have helped you in this profession?

Without question, the relationships that I referred to in the previous question sustain me. Next to that, diversity in my professional life has been helpful. While my core activity is taking care of patients in my office, I've had the privileges of teaching medical students and residents, serving on selection advisory committees for the PLME and the internal medicine residency, helping to establish a successful group practice, and participating in local and national professional organizational activities. The activities outside of patient care have introduced me to colleagues from all over the world and opened doors that would not otherwise have been possible.

I'm a strong believer that physicians should have and use their agency in whatever environment they work in. Whether it's serving in your practice's governance (which is possible whether you are an owner or employee), volunteering to serve in our professional societies, or taking part in advocacy activities, to name a few examples, we can and should work to improve the system as a whole as well as the small part of it in which we practice. And you never know, some of those engagements can lead to bigger things, such as leading a national organization. Plus, it is a way of improving career satisfaction and decreasing burnout risk.

What has kept you in this profession amid the challenges?

At least once a day, a patient will ask me if I'm retiring. My answer is a variation of "Every day I get to catch up with old friends and get paid for it. Why would I retire?" Without a doubt, longevity brings with it the dividend of special relationships with patients, which revitalizes me. To be allowed to be a part of their lives that is much more than a transactional relationship with a professional is a gift that keeps me coming back and makes up for many of the frustrating moments.

Any thoughts you want to share...

I was asked to speak to a group of internal medicine residents in another state and as part of my talk, I came up with 5 tips that I used as the foundation for much of the talk. They were:


Learn how to say no and when to say yes.

Care for yourself but don't take care of yourself (in other words, get your own doctor)

Build relationships – patients, colleagues, family - to combat loneliness.

Get out once in a while!



From National ACP


Listed below are the resolutions to be reviewed at the Spring BOG meeting. The resolution listing with full text is available here. We will be discussing these at the next Governor's Council meeting on March 27th . Kindly send your input to me or to a Council member.

Spring 2024 BOG Resolutions

Resolution 1-S24. Developing Educational Programs to Train Internal Medicine Physicians in the Care of Sexual and Gender Minority Persons (Sponsor: Vermont Chapter; Co-sponsors: Japan, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and South Dakota Chapters)

Resolution 2-S24. Training the Physician Workforce on Battling Misinformation (Sponsor: Council of Early Career Physicians)

Resolution 3-S24. Updating ACP Policy on ABIM MOC Process (Sponsor: Kansas Chapter; Co-sponsors: District of Columbia, Nebraska, and New York Chapters)

Resolution 4-S24. Improving the Experience of International Medical Students (IMS) and International Medical Graduates (IMG) Seeking Clinical Observerships and Letters of Recommendation in the United States of America and Canada (Sponsor: Class of 2027; Co-sponsors: Arizona, Delaware, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont and Western Pennsylvania Chapters)

Resolution 5-S24. Advocating for Continued Coverage and Physician Discretion of Colon Cancer Screening (Sponsor: California Northern Chapter; Co-sponsors: Class of 2025 and Council of Early Career Physicians)

Resolution 6-S24. Advocating for Vaccination Incentives (Sponsor: Colorado Chapter; Co-sponsors: Southern California II, District of Columbia, Kansas and Virginia Chapters)

Resolution 7-S24. Requesting that CMS Reimburse for Shingrix Vaccinations Administered in Physicians' Offices (Sponsor: District of Columbia Chapter)

Resolution 8-S24. Approaching Physician Suicide as a Problem Requiring Healthcare System Change (Sponsor: Maryland Chapter; Co-sponsor: New York Chapter)

Resolution 9-S24. Acknowledging the Individual Right to Decisional Privacy (Sponsor: Minnesota Chapter)

Resolution 10-S24. Updating ACP Policy to Support Physicians Pursuing Collective Bargaining and Unionization (Sponsor: Oregon Chapter; Co-sponsors: Class of 2025; Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, and New York Chapters)

Resolution 11-S24. Developing Policy to Address the Creation of State-level Prescription Drug Affordability Boards (Sponsor: Illinois Chapter)

Resolution 12-S24. Streamlining Longitudinal, Uninterrupted Access to Critical Health Services that Support Daily Activities and Safe, Independent Living for Patients with Neurodegenerative Diseases (Sponsor: Pennsylvania Chapter)

Resolution 13-S24. Unifying Inclusive United States Graduate Medical Education (GME) Stakeholders to Accelerate a More Effective Action Strategy to Address Primary Care Physician Shortages and Misdistribution (Sponsor: Pennsylvania Chapter)

Resolution 14-S24. Reducing the Risk of Medical Workplace Violence (Sponsor: District of Columbia Chapter)

Resolution 15-S24. Requesting that ACP Strengthen Associated Policy and Advocate for NASEM Recommended Processes around the Development of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Sponsor: Alaska Chapter)

Resolution 16-S24. Educating the Public about the Appropriate Identification of Healthcare Professionals in Clinical Settings (Sponsor: New York Chapter; Co-sponsors: BOG Class of 2025; Illinois Southern, Montana, Southern California II, and Pennsylvania-Eastern Chapters)

Resolution 17-S24. Promoting and Developing Initiatives Related to Narrative Medicine (Sponsor: California Southern III: Co-sponsors: Class of 2025; California Northern, California Southern I and Japan Chapters)

Resolution 18-S24. Supporting our Military Membership at the American College of Physicians by Developing a Special Dues Category for Active Members of the U.S. Armed Forces (Sponsor: Arizona Chapter; Co-sponsors: Class of 2027; Georgia and Ohio Chapters)

Resolution 19-S24. Applying Chapter Dues for Members, FACPs and MACPs Rejoining ACP (Sponsor: Michigan Chapter; Co-sponsor: Class of 2026)

Resolution 20-S24. Addressing the Environmental Burden Associated with American College of Physicians Publications (Sponsor: Vermont Chapter; Co-sponsors: Japan, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington Chapters)

Resolution 21-S24. Creating Policy to Guide the Selection of Future ACP Annual Scientific and BOG Meetings (Sponsor: New York Chapter; Co-sponsor: New Mexico Chapter