It's Academic: August 2017

August 2017 

Leadership Opportunities Available on ACGME Committees 

If you’ve ever wanted to take a hands-on role in shaping the future of your specialty or of medicine in general, openings are available on 11 review committees of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Board of Medical Specialties’ Board of Emergency Medicine.  

Qualified American Medical Association members are invited to seek nomination for the following review committees:    

  • Dermatology (requires board certification by American Board of Dermatology and MOHS training),
  • Family Medicine,
  • Internal Medicine (requires board certification by American Board of Internal Medicine in rheumatology),
  • Medical Genetics and Genomics,
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology,
  • Ophthalmology (requires expertise or fellowship training in retina),
  • Orthopaedic Surgery (requires expertise or fellowship training in the orthopedic subspecialties of oncology or the spine),
  • Pathology (requires expertise or fellowship training in pediatric pathology),
  • Psychiatry,
  • Radiation Oncology,
  • Surgery,
  • American Board of Emergency Medicine,
  • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, and
  • National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.    

Eligibility requirements and application forms are available on the American Medical Association website. Vacancies on national leadership boards are routinely posted on this website. You can check back for possible future openings in your field of expertise. 

The deadline to apply for these vacancies is Sept. 11. 

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AMA Service Designed to Assist Residencies With Core-Competency Education

Residency can be a stressful time in young physicians’ careers: They are putting the knowledge they received at university to work, while learning to treat patients in a clinical setting and adjusting to practice management skills like electronic health records, and billing and coding.

Add to that possible relocation, student debt, family planning, and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competency requirements, and the demands on residents can seem overwhelming.

This is why the American Medical Association launched a series of online educational tools to help residents easily complete their core-competency requirements.

AMA’s GME Competency Education Program, formerly the Introduction to the Practice of Medicine, is a series of online courses designed to be engaging and easy to use, AMA said. The courses, which are five to 20 minutes long, contain interactive videos and graphics that mirror real-world experiences. 

“Residents can keep track of completed courses and obtain their own printable certificates verifying they passed the post-assessments,” AMA said in a statement. “With 24-hour access and content optimized for mobile devices, residents can complete courses and assessments at their convenience.”

The program also was designed for institutions to use, saving them time and resources while ensuring that residents are meeting requirements.

The 33 course modules were developed with input from subject-matter experts from around the country and cover five of the six topics within ACGME’s requirements: patient care, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, and system-based practice. The sixth requirement, medical knowledge, typically is addressed during clinical education.

Institutions can select courses that meet their program’s needs and easily analyze and track individual residents’ progress via a dashboard.

The Texas Medical Association’s Resident Video Library also offers convenient, on-demand access to information the newest physicians need to survive residency and the business of medicine knowledge they want to successfully transition into active practice. This is a members-only benefit offered by TMA.

Find more information about AMA’s GME Competency Education Program on the AMA website or by emailing gcep[at]ama-assn[dot]org

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Baylor College of Medicine Receives Federal Funds to Improve Physician Diversity 

As medical schools nationwide work to address health disparities and to recruit more minority physicians, two departments at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston have received federal grants that will be applied to those efforts. 

Baylor’s Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion and Equity, and the Department of Family and Community Medicine have been awarded a five-year, $3.3 million grant from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration. The departments will use the funds to develop the Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research, which will promote diversity in medicine by focusing on programs aimed at undergraduate students, fellows, and faculty, the college said. 

“We are excited about this funding opportunity that serves as a catalyst to advance the College’s strategy to enhance infrastructure and foster synergy among our faculty, staff, trainees and students who are leading health equity research and educational endeavors,” said Alicia D.H. Monroe, MD, Baylor’s provost and senior vice president for academic and faculty affairs.   

Baylor was one of 13 U.S. institutions — and one of three in Texas — to receive a grant through the administration’s Centers of Excellence program. The other two Texas grants were for dentistry programs. 

Baylor’s Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training and Research will work to improve health care diversity by collaborating with other undergraduate institutions to recruit minority applicants, and by facilitating faculty-, fellow-, and student-mentored research on minority health issues, among other initiatives, the college said.  

TMA’s Texas Medicine magazine looked into diversity among the Texas physician workforce in its July issue, specifically how medical schools like The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School are working to recruit more black and Hispanic students. 

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Stay Up to Date on a Physician’s “Duty to Report”  

As health care continues to evolve in an era of rapid communication, how can information about unprofessional conduct and disciplinary issues be better used to protect patients?

That was the topic of discussion at a summit the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) hosted in Washington, DC, earlier this year.

The summit was intended to bolster FSMB’s formal position statement, issued last year, on “duty to report,” which outlined the responsibility of physicians, hospital and health organizations, insurers, and the public to provide information to state medical boards on patient safety, physician impairment, and professional misconduct.

Conversations at the summit focused on two broad topics:   

  • Individual behavior: “Impediments that can keep physicians, nurses, office staff — and even patients and families — from stepping forward to report unprofessional conduct or share other information that could impact patient safety”; and
  • System issues: “How key data is currently shared and what is getting in the way of better access to, and usage of, data. Discussions included comparisons of the similarities and differences in system approaches across various communities in health care — from physician organizations to hospitals.”   

Participants identified eight areas to better identify and report disciplinary issues, including cultural change in the workplace, access to better tools and resources, greater focus on prevention and proactivity, and reassessment of data use.

A summary of the summit, titled Duty to Report: Protecting Patients by Improving the Reporting and Sharing of Information about Health Care Practitioners, is available on the FSMB website.

“The observations and recommendations in this summary are intended to help advance both dialogue and action on a topic of great importance in our health care system,” FSMB Chair Gregory B. Snyder, MD, said in a statement. “Improving the conditions for patient safety and public protection requires transparency and openness in the reporting and sharing of information.”

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Data Show Point of Diminishing Return for High Number of Residency Applications

Is it possible for a fourth-year medical student to apply to too many residency programs?

According to new research from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the answer is yes.

“There is a point — known as the point of diminishing returns — at which submitting one additional application results in a lower rate of return on the applicant’s likelihood of entering a residency program,” AAMC said in a statement.

For the study, researchers looked at data from applicants to select specialties through the Electronic Residency Application Service between 2010 and 2015. They specifically studied the relationship between the number of programs a student applied to, United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 scores, and the likelihood of matching.

Researchers found that emergency medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, otolaryngology, and pediatrics all had a point of diminishing return.

“For example, U.S. MD applicants to emergency medicine residency programs with a USMLE Step 1 score higher than or equal to 234 had an 80-percent chance of matching if they applied to about 18 programs,” the AAMC statement said. “Additional applications beyond this point did not increase an applicant’s chance of entering residency.”

The data are not meant to provide a “magic number” for residency applications, the association said. Instead they can be used to guide discussion between students and advisers.

“It’s part of the overall effort in the transition to residency to help applicants get information applying to programs strategically,” said AAMC Executive Vice President Atul Grover, MD, PhD. Students should consider grades, goals, letters of recommendation, and other qualifications when applying to programs.

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Anesthesiologist Who Helped Tackle Indiana HIV Outbreak Confirmed as U.S. Surgeon General

Indiana anesthesiologist Jerome Adams, MD, who has pledged to take on the nation’s opioid epidemic, was confirmed as the nation’s 20th surgeon general this month.

“To be confirmed as the 20th U.S. surgeon general is truly an indescribable honor” said Dr. Adams, who previously served as Indiana’s state health commissioner. He also served as staff anesthesiologist and assistant professor of anesthesia at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he completed his medical degree.

“The addictive properties of prescription opioids [are] a scourge in America and it must be stopped,” Dr. Adams wrote in his nomination committee statement. “I bring to this discussion a unique perspective, and a proven track record of bringing together various groups to address the problem.”

Dr. Adams gained national prominence in 2015 for his work in slowing an HIV outbreak in rural southeastern Indiana connected to users injecting the prescription opioid Opana. Under Dr. Adams’ guidance, a needle exchange program was put into place, and a “one-stop shop” was set up in Scott County where residents could get disease testing and sign up to receive health insurance.

During confirmation hearings, Dr. Adams also pledged to put science ahead of politics, saying it has to be done in a “sympathetic and empathetic way.”

“I always want to lead with science … but I also want to listen to what stakeholders are saying and what patients are saying,” he said, according to USA Today

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Population Health Is Key Topic at AMA Medical Education Conference

Although Philadelphia’s Jefferson College of Population Health was launched in 2008, the study of populations and their overall health is nothing new.

In fact, health services research has been taking place for at least five decades.

“So what have we learned in 50 years? A bunch of things,” David B. Nash, MD, dean of the college told the American Medical Association. “Among them: Socioeconomics are the most important determinant of health, doctors respond to economic incentives, there’s waste in the system, and we could reduce that waste and transfer those resources to health and wellness.”

Dr. Nash will be the keynote speaker at AMA’s ChangeMedEdTM 2017 National Conference taking place Sept. 14-16 in Chicago. The conference is described as a way to bring together “innovators from medical and health professions, education, health systems and related fields to transform the way future physicians are trained.” Registration is open until Aug. 31.

During his keynote address, Dr. Nash will detail his work in population health and its future in medical education. He said reducing waste and improving health and wellness can begin at the undergraduate medical education level. 

“The most powerful force for change is the marketplace,” Dr. Nash said. “We are facing a market that is demanding these types of changes. And the students — in a very positive way — they want this content in the medical school curriculum.” 

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Register for TMA’s Fall Conference

Registration is now open for the 2017 TMA Fall Conference, which is scheduled for Sept. 15-16 at Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa. This free member benefit lets you reconnect with colleagues and learn more about what’s new in Texas health care. 

This year’s programming will feature a recap of the 85th Texas legislative session. It also includes a discussion of the long- and short-term effects of abuse and neglect and other adverse childhood experiences, as well as an overview on the new law surrounding telemedicine.

Register today and make your room reservation at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines. For more information about the conference, visit the TMA Fall Conference webpage.  

Questions? Email the TMA Knowledge Center or call (800) 880-7955 Monday through Friday, 8:15 am to 5:15 pm CT.  

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This Month in Texas Medicine 

The August issue of Texas Medicine takes a comprehensive look at how medicine fared during the regular session of the Texas Legislature. The wins for medical education included a clearer pathway for two possible new medical schools, and a law ensuring that medical school graduates have more options for residency positions. Other victories in the regular session included opening up surprise billing mediation to more patients, a groundbreaking new definition of telemedicine, a statewide ban on texting and driving, and a prohibition on discrimination against physicians based on maintenance of certification. The magazine also looks at how the success of organ donation has created a seemingly never-ending discrepancy between demand and supply.

Check out our digital edition of Texas Medicine.

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Texas Medicine RSS Feed

Don’t want to wait for Texas Medicine to land in your mailbox? You can access it as an RSS feed. Once there, you can download an RSS reader, such as Feedreader, Sharpreader, Sage, or NetNewsWire Lite. You also can subscribe to the RSS feeds for TMA news releases and for Blogged Arteries, the feed for Action.

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E-Tips RSS Feed

TMA Practice E-Tips, a valuable source of hands-on, use-it-now advice on coding, billing, payment, HIPAA compliance, office policies and procedures, and practice marketing, is available as an RSS feed, the same way you get the Texas Medicine RSS feed.  

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This Just In ...

Want the latest and hottest news from TMA in a hurry? Then log on to Blogged Arteries.

It's Academic is designed for physicians in academic settings. For more information about TMA’s efforts on behalf of medical education and academic physicians, visit the TMA Council on Medical Education’s Subcommittee for Academic Physicians page and advocacy page on the TMA website.

Please share with your colleagues who are not TMA members and ask them to join.

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Last Updated On

September 11, 2017

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