American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®

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New ACP officers to focus on evolving role of internists

From the June 1996 ACP Observer, copyright © 1996 by the American College of Physicians.

ACP's elected officials say that concern about internal medicine's role in the rapidly changing environment of medicine will be the focus of their terms, which began April 27.

President: Dr. Cassel

ACP's new President Christine K. Cassel, FACP, sees a bright future for internal medicine, citing rapid growth in the country's elderly population. "The people who are best trained to provide medical care for the elderly are internists, and it's because of their sub-specialty training," said Dr. Cassel, who is chairman of the Henry L. Schwartz Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. "As a general internist, I have had training in cardiology, critical care medicine and rheumatology. Even internists who haven't had fellowship training still have had more extensive exposure to subspecialty medicine than most physicians in other primary care disciplines."

Dr. Cassel also plans to highlight the importance of internal medicine subspecialists, who have been under fire as medicine tries to cope with a perceived oversupply of subspecialists. "As I look at the aging population," she said, "I see a real need for highly specialized knowledge. It's not necessarily the case that the non-specialist is more cost efficient, because if you don't know what you're looking for, you sometimes order more tests than if you know what you're looking for."

Dr. Cassel noted that the College has an obligation to serve as an advocate on other social issues as well. "The College has developed a strong reputation as an advocate for the fundamental values of patient care," she said, pointing to the paper on care for the uninsured, which was approved by the Board of Governors earlier at Annual Session. "It's been an invisible issue in the national arena, but there are more and more people who have no health insurance at all."

Similarly, she said, the College needs to be involved in creating standards for managed care organizations that want to care for Medicaid and Medicare populations. "These are two very vulnerable populations," she said, "whereas most managed care experience has been with employed populations that are healthier and have less complex problems."

Chair, Board of Regents: Dr. Murray

Jock Murray, FACP, who is beginning his second term as Chair of the Board of Regents, said that one of his main goals will be to promote internists' role as providers of top-notch care in a rapidly changing health care system. "It's a real concern that internists don't get recognized for the kind of service they can provide," Dr. Murray explained. "We want to make sure that patients and those who govern the system recognize that."

While internists have long provided care in niches like geriatrics, palliative care and women's health issues, the profession needs to provide more formal training in these disciplines, he said.

According to Dr. Murray, who is professor of medical humanities at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the College is already addressing some of these concerns by working on training requirements for internal medicine residents. Along with other member organizations of the Federated Council of Internal Medicine (FCIM), ACP has developed a new training curriculum for residents. Dr. Murray said that as a FCIM member organization, ACP has played a major role in developing the new curriculum. Dr. Murray said the review process by all member organizations should be completed within a year.

Chair, Board of Governors: Dr. Zetterman

Ensuring that the internal medicine residency training will best prepare future internists is also one of the goals of Rowen Zetterman, FACP, the new Chair of the Board of Governors. Dr. Zetterman said that he hopes to get ACP Governors more involved in community-based teaching efforts. "The practice of medicine is shifting from the very traditional hospital-based area of care to the office-based area of care," Dr. Zetterman said. "The more students and residents get into general internists' office and observe and participate in care there, the more they will learn about disease."

Dr. Zetterman, professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, said that he also hopes to improve interaction between ACP Governors, members and the national office. He said the Board of Governors is ready to implement ideas on improving these relationships that it has been collecting for the past year. Dr. Zetterman favors having Governors make better use of computer technology to increase communications between themselves and members, and to enhance representation.

Other officers

The following ACP members also took office at Annual Session:

President-elect
William A. Reynolds, FACP

Chair-elect, Board of Governors (second term)
William J. Hall, FACP

Chair-elect, Board of Regents
Harold J. Fallon, MACP

Treasurer (second term)
James L. Borland Jr., FACP

Incumbent Regents (second year of a three-year term)
Whitney W. Addington, FACP
Robert B. Copeland, MACP
John Noble, FACP

First-term Regents
John M. Eisenberg, MACP
Edward H. Shortliffe, FACP
Paul F. Speckart, FACP
Sara E. Walker, MACP

Class Representatives, Executive Committee of the Board of Governors
Robert B. Gibbons, FACP (class of '97)
Jonathan M. Ross, FACP (class of '98)
Derrick L. Latos, FACP (class of '99)
Donna E. Sweet, FACP (class of 2000)

New Governors
Robert C. Aber, FACP, Pennsylvania Eastern
Rodolfo A. Armas-Merino, FACP, Chile
Jamie S. Barkin, FACP, Florida
Werner F. Barth, FACP, District of Columbia
James M. Benge, FACP, U.S. Air Force
Kenneth V. Eden, FACP, Montana
Warren W. Furey, FACP, Illinois Northern
Ralph P. George, FACP, California Southern (Region III)
Rosendo Gonzalez-Gomis, FACP, Central America
Clicerio Gonzalez-Villalpando, FACP, Mexico
Douglas R. Hegstad, FACP, California Southern (Region II)
John J. Hoesing, FACP, Nebraska
Brian T. Hurley, FACP, South Dakota
Stephan L. Kamholz, FACP, New York Downstate II
Daniel S. Klein, FACP, Wyoming
Richard B. Kohler, FACP, Indiana
Joseph A. Kuhn, FACP, Delaware
Carlos H. Ramirez-Ronda, FACP, Puerto Rico
Allan R. Ronald, FACP, Manitoba & Saskatchewan
Bernard P. Shagan, FACP, New Jersey
Donna E. Sweet, FACP, Kansas
George J. Taylor, FACP, Illinois Downstate
Bruce L. Thomas, FACP, Pennsylvania Western
Norman Zuckerman, FACP, Idaho

Governors-elect
James L. Bernene, FACP, Connecticut
James A. Bryan II, FACP, North Carolina
Paul J. Davis, FACP, New York Upstate
C. Gregory Elliott, FACP, Utah
Faith T. Fitzgerald, MACP, California Northern
Lynne M. Kirk, FACP, Texas Northern
James R. Klinenberg, FACP, California Southern (Region I)
Mack A. Land, FACP, Tennessee
Joel S. Levine, FACP, Colorado
John B. O'Connell Jr., FACP, Mississippi
James B. Reuler, FACP, Oregon
Siang Yong Tan, FACP, Hawaii
Steven B. Tucker, FACP, Alaska

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