South Carolina Governor's Newsletter June 2024

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Steve P. Saunders, MBBS, FACP, ACP Governor

Steve P. Saunders, MBBS, FACP, ACP Governor



ACP SC Chapter Members,

I wish to update you on some of the activities that our chapter members have been involved in since our last newsletter. Many of our members attended the annual ACP Internal Medicine Meeting that was held in Boston.

First, let us thank our SC chapter abstract winners (Yianni Protopapadakis DO, Hannah Castles) who represented our chapter in the poster competitions at the Internal Medicine Meeting. Congratulations to Yianni Protopapadakis DO, who won a Resident/Fellow Research Poster Award for his presentation on "Proton Pump Inhibitor Over-Prescription in an Internal Medicine Resident Clinic Prisma Health-Upstate/Univ of South Caro SOM, Greenville, SC."

The convocation ceremony was an exciting event where I had the privilege of walking with two of our new fellows (FACPs), Kizer Stovall MD and Leah Reid MD. Congratulations to these young physicians who continue to strive for excellence in internal medicine.



Advocacy Corner:

The ACP Leadership Day was held in Washington, D.C. on May 14th and 15th. This annual two-day event enables our members from across the country to bring our issues of concern to U.S. lawmakers. The ACP South Carolina Delegation, including two students and two residents, had the opportunity to learn about advocacy and to meet with several SC Legislators. I want to thank everyone who took time off from their busy schedules to advocate to improve the lives of our patients, for our colleagues and the overall practice of medicine.

We advocated for the following legislation:

H.R.2630/S. 652, the Safe Step Act of 2023,
H.R. 2389/S. 1302, the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2023,
H.R. 6545, the Physician Fee Schedule Update and Improvements Act

Quotes from students and residents who attended:

Zoe Sanders, current third-year medical student at the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville—

"It is rare that medical students get the opportunity to participate in advocacy directly and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have been selected for a scholarship to attend this event. My colleagues and I were able to engage with lawmakers directly to advocate for improved healthcare and patient rights. I remain optimistic about the positive changes we can achieve in healthcare and know the advocacy skills I have gained will be invaluable in serving my current and future patients."

Christina Duechle, current third-year medical student at VCOM-Carolinas—

"Medical advocacy is an important part of patient care. This means actively working to influence policies and decisions that improve healthcare quality, accessibility, and equity for all patients. It involves leveraging medical expertise to educate and collaborate with policymakers, contribute to informed legislative processes, and champion the needs of the most vulnerable populations. ACP Leadership Day has significantly amplified this impact by providing a platform for physicians to directly engage with lawmakers, fostering a deeper understanding of the real-world implications of health policy. This annual event empowers medical professionals to advocate effectively, ensuring that patient care remains at the forefront of legislative priorities."

Dr. Ruben Hermann, M.D., current PGY-1 at Aiken Regional Medical Centers—

"As physicians, we are called to be leaders, and our primary duty is to advocate for our patients' well-being, ensuring their voices are heard and their needs are met. We are meeting the call and responsibility to drive a positive change in the lives of our patients."

Pictures from Leadership Day 2024:




Wellness Corner

I have sought your participation in a Physician Wellness Survey that is seeking to obtain important information from you that we plan to utilize for meaningful change. Many thanks to you who have completed the survey. I am asking the other chapter members to donate 15 minutes of your time to help us conclude this important work. You can click here to access the survey. Please note this survey will be closing on June 20th, 2024, so please make sure to submit your feedback by that date.

Let us also congratulate Dr. Poornema Ramasamy, the SC Chapter Wellness Champion who is also an ACP Peer Coach. She was invited to do peer-coaching/counseling at the Internal Medicine Meeting. She would like to share a summary adapted from Breathe Magazine ( called "Embracing your Dark Side":

"Strong emotions like rage, jealousy, fear, greed are natural and leave a trail of destruction. Suppressing them is not healthy and it will lead to more problems like substance abuse, unhealthy relationships, etc.

Instead, start getting to know them.

  1. When such moments arise, learn to identify the changes in the body. Shoulder tension, change in breathing pattern, tightening of muscles of jaw are some of the signs.
  2. Try to give it a form— a color or sketch of that emotion. Seeing it in some form would help register its presence. Then address with gratitude (thank you brain for identifying the emotion) Example: I'm jealous of my partner, instead I should work on strengthening our relationship to feel more secure.
  3. Activities engaging the senses are useful (massaging hands with essential oils, warm drink, gentle yoga and breathing exercises) to engage parasympathetic system to overcome the fight-fright mode.
  4. Avoid self-criticism when you try to practice self-care
  5. Reach out to medical professional or friends for support

It's helpful to think life as a jigsaw puzzle with various shades of dark and light pieces, to make a whole picture. It wouldn't make sense to get rid of dark pieces.

Rumi said "the wound is the place where the light enters you". This can be a powerful reminder not to shy away from difficult emotions, but to turn toward them to move forward with life."



Updates & Reminders

Great news—the Annals of Internal Medicine, Annals of Internal Medicine: Clinical Cases (AIMCC), and ACP Clinical Guidelines apps have relaunched! Open the apps today to discover exciting new features and enhancements.

  • Easier navigation within the website environment
  • Light and dark modes
  • Text magnification
  • Ability to enable notifications.

Please continue to explore the ACP website at There you can find and utilize the numerous resources that are available to members. You can also connect even easier via ACP Connect, a mobile membership app! Download now from the APP Store or Google Play - Log in with your ACP credentials. Directions for downloading the app can be found on the ACP website using the link below:

The SC Chapter Annual Scientific Meeting will be held in Greenville on October 18-19, 2024 at the AC Hotel by Marriott. Additional details to come soon.

I am grateful for your continued engagement in our Chapter. I have two final asks.

  • Share the important work that is happening in our chapter and encourage your colleagues to join and participate.
  • Contact me or the council with questions. My email address is