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News Briefs

From the June 1998 ACP Observer, copyright © 1998 by the American College of Physicians.

Regent nominations due Aug. 3

As part of the College's ongoing efforts to include members in the nominations process, the 1998-99 Nominations Committee is seeking candidates for Regent positions that will become vacant in 1999. All nominations are due Aug. 3.

Candidates for the positions should possess excellent leadership qualities and be able to represent the College in diverse areas. The Nominations Committee particularly welcomes nominations of women, ethnic minorities, international medical graduates and practicing physicians. All nominees must be a Fellow or Master.

Although only a few Regent positions become vacant each year, all nominations will be given careful consideration by the Nominations Committee. Each nomination must include a letter stating why the candidate is qualified and contain the following information:

  • a brief description of his/her current activities;
  • special attributes that the candidate would bring to the Board of Regents;
  • previous and current service in College-related activities;
  • service in organizations other than the College (medical and nonmedical); and
  • a curriculum vitae.

For more information about the nominations process, call Patricia Carter at 800-523-1546, ext. 2815, or send e-mail to pcarter@acponline.org. Send nominations to Nominations Committee, Attention: Patricia Carter, ACP-ASIM, 190 North Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, Pa. 19106-1572.

ACP joins 'Campaign for Coverage'

The College has become a national partner of the "Campaign for Coverage ... A Community Health Challenge," a national effort to reduce the number of Americans without health insurance by the end of 1998. The program challenges hospitals and health systems to expand health care for the needy in their communities. As a national partner, ACP is encouraging its chapters to work with local health care organizations to create solutions. During National Hospital Week in early May, the campaign was publicized in advertisements in newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. To date, the campaign has helped more than 950 hospitals and health systems have extended coverage to more than 1.5 million uninsured people.

Dues bills delayed

Looking for your dues bill? Because of the pending July 1 merger with the American Society of Internal Medicine and the incorporation of many new member files into our databank, this year's bills have been slightly delayed and will be sent out in July. There will be no increase in national dues for 1998-99.

New ACP books offer help using SI units, reviewing literature

ACP has released two new books to help physicians negotiate two common, time-consuming activities.

"SI Units for Clinical Measurements" provides a comprehensive overview, including tables, on the use of Systeme International de Unites (SI). The book helps physicians use SI units instead of the presently-used metric units for clinical measurements and reporting. It outlines the historical development of SI units in American medicine, indicates the proper SI units for use in clinical medicine and explains how to convert metric units to SI values. The 368-page publication costs $29 for ACP members.

"Systematic Reviews: Synthesis of Best Evidence for Health Care Decisions" helps health care providers assemble, prepare, understand and use the best available medical research evidence. The book provides summary information on the two million-plus articles published each year in more than 20,000 biomedical journals. The 128-page publication costs $19 for ACP members.

To order either publication, call ACP Customer Service at 800-523-1546, ext. 2600.

Associates Council promotes community service

ACP's Council of Associates is exploring ways to get residents more involved in community service initiatives.

Most recently, a Council survey of Associates found that many residents like community service but feel that there aren't enough opportunities. In the survey, respondents said that doing community service helped them develop stronger patient-physician relationships, bridged the gap between communities and physicians and increased access to health care for the indigent population.

The survey also found, however, that participation in community service activities tends to decrease over time. While 80% of survey respondents said they were involved in community service during medical school, only 43% said they were still involved by the time they were in residency. In part, this may be because of fewer community service opportunities; while 62% of respondents said there were community service opportunities when they were medical students, only 24% said that there were similar opportunities when they were residents.

The survey is the Council's latest effort to promote community service efforts among residents. At this year's Annual Session in San Diego, the Council presented Ilana Kutinsky, ACP Associate, and Jeffrey Bedlion, ACP Associate, with awards for their work in community service. The Council will make a call for nominations for next year's Community Service Award early this summer. More details will be announced in a future issue of ACP Observer.

Discount dues available for senior members

ACP's Membership Department would like to remind internists that the College offers special dues to its retired members.

Once members turn 65, their ACP dues rate automatically drops one level. For U.S. members, this typically means a discount of about $120.

In addition, physicians over 60 who have retired may lower their dues in one of two ways: pay the lowest dues rate—equivalent to an Associate's rate—and continue to receive all member benefits, including all publications; or have their dues waived and opt not to receive ACP publications that are part of the regular membership benefits packet. Other membership benefits such as discounts on ACP products, however, are retained.

For more information about membership dues, call APC Customer Service at 800-523-1546, ext. 2600. Requests to reduce or waive member dues must be made in writing and sent to: American College of Physicians, Customer Service Department, 190 North Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, Pa. 19106-1572.

ACP sponsors National Depression Screening Day

ACP is sponsoring the eighth annual National Depression Screening Day (NDSD), which is scheduled to be held Oct.8. The purpose of NDSD is to help physicians detect unrecognized, significant depression in their patients.

As part of the day's activities, physicians can receive a short screening test developed by the Harvard Medical School department of psychiatry and the NDSD program, as well as educational brochures, flyers and a video about depression. The screening test is a 10-question form that patients can complete in the waiting room.

"The College has been concerned about the high proportion of patients with depression who elude diagnosis, since depression is a debilitating disease that is eminently treatable," said Herbert S. Waxman, FACP, the College's Senior Vice President for Education.

Other supporters of the program include the AMA, the National Mental Health Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Nurses Association. For more information and educational materials, call 281-239-0071.

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