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    CFAS Rep Bulletin December 2022

    • Message from the Chair
    • Learn Serve Lead 2022 Summary
    • Scott Gitlin, MD, and Rich Eckert, PhD, Honored with AAMC Distinguished Service Member Award
    • CFAS Rep Profile: Richard Korentager, MD
    • Get Ready for the CFAS Spring Meeting

    Message from the Chair

    Dear CFAS Colleagues and Friends,

    The last time I wrote in this space, I expressed my anticipation and excitement for Learn Serve Lead 2022: The AAMC Annual Meeting (LSL). While it’s now behind us, I do not think we can overstate the tremendous success and impact of this meeting, which brought together nearly 4,500 of our colleagues in academic medicine. Not only was it the first large-scale meeting the AAMC has held in three years, but it was the first time the CFAS community convened in one place, in person, since 2019, and many of us were excited to be together.

    We already know by some metrics that the meeting was a success. From my vantage as a member of the AAMC Board of Directors, I’ve learned that the evaluation report revealed attendees were extremely engaged with the marquee events – beginning with the opening plenary on civil discourse with Robert George and Cornel West. I, personally, greatly anticipated this event and couldn’t have been more pleased by how it went. Later in the meeting, we heard from Imani Perry just days before learning that her recent book, South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of America, the basis of much of her presentation, received the National Book Award for nonfiction.

    Overall, there was more “good stuff,” but in my mind, the best part was what we – CFAS – achieved at this meeting. In all, CFAS played a role in the development and presentation of 11 sessions on the main program. CFAS reps were out in force on podiums throughout the Music City Center in Nashville as speakers, moderators, panelists, and session facilitators. All of the sessions we had a hand in creating were well attended and many were filled beyond capacity, with attendees lining the walls to hear the faculty perspective on issues as diverse as managing education through the COVID-19 pandemic, interfacing with academic health center leaders to ensure the faculty perspective is heard, enabling opportunities for faculty development, creating curriculum around challenges surrounding gender identity, exploring the “great resignation” in health care, understanding the academic publishing environment – and many others.

    While there were around 100 “official” CFAS representatives at the meeting, the impact we had on those in attendance went way beyond our representatives. In one time slot of the meeting, there were three CFAS-originated concurrent sessions occurring, where each room had more than 300 attendees. We touched literally thousands of people at this meeting (faculty, deans, and other institutional leaders) with the issues and themes that are most important to all of us as faculty.

    Eric and his team have provided a PowerPoint summary highlighting several sessions throughout the meeting and capturing the essential points that you will want to share with others. The purpose of this summary is to provide a tool for all of you, as CFAS representatives, to report back to your society peers, faculty colleagues, and other groups, such as departments, faculty councils, or academic societies, with what you took away from the meeting. The summary is understandably long after this eventful meeting – but it’s presented as a file you can edit. You should feel free to focus on the areas most appropriate to your organization or school and make whatever edits you see fit.

    But what’s impressive, and what I hope you are letting your colleagues back home understand when you share this material, is the significant impact we are having on the overall academic medicine community. This is due directly to your creative ideas, active involvement, and your willingness to bring your experiences to the table.

    The holidays are now upon us, and many of us are getting ready to visit family and friends, or welcoming others into our households. Whether you are hosting an event or just taking some time off to relax and recharge with a new calendar year around the corner, I wish you all a very joyous Holiday season – and I am deeply grateful for the engagement and contributions so many of you make so we can see the true progress and success of CFAS.

    Yours in good health and wellness,

    Aviad “Adi” Haramati, PhD
    CFAS Chair
    Representing the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health

    Learn Serve Lead 2022 Summary

    With the conclusion of the AAMC’s first in person annual meeting since 2019, the AAMC has provided online summaries that capture the content of plenary sessions and other LSL highlights. Videos of the plenary sessions are available as well as written summaries and a variety of AAMCNews accounts of key sessions:

    Additionally, CFAS has created summary PowerPoint and PDF presentations specifically for CFAS reps and other faculty members to adapt for their own needs should they wish to present the highlights of the meeting and the benefits of engagement with CFAS and the AAMC at their home institutions or societies.

    These summary materials for CFAS reps can be found on the CFAS Resources webpage. The summary is in PowerPoint form, and you are able to edit it as you wish to match the needs of your institution, society, or audience. Feel free to delete slides that aren’t relevant for your purpose, or modify or add other content to highlight important facts for you audience. If you have any questions about the PowerPoint or if there is additional information you need, please reach out to Eric Weissman at eweissman@aamc.org.

    Scott Gitlin, MD, and Rich Eckert, PhD, Honored with AAMC Distinguished Service Member Award

    At LSL, two CFAS reps received the AAMC’s Distinguished Service Member Award, annually given to a handful of AAMC constituents in appreciation for their outstanding contributions to the AAMC through years of service. Scott Gitlin, MD, and Richard Eckert, PhD, were both acknowledged during the Joint Councils Leadership Session, though Dr. Gitlin received his award last year, but it was announced in person this year.

    Scott Gitlin, MD, is assistant dean for graduate medical education and professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. He has served as both a CAS and CFAS representative from the American Society of Hematology since 2005, participating in the transition that CAS made to CFAS in 2013, and being named to the first CFAS Administrative Board.

    Dr. Gitlin became CFAS Chair-elect in 2015, and then CFAS Chair in 2017. In that period, he additionally served on the AAMC Board of Directors for four years. As CFAS chair-elect and Chair of the CFAS Program Committee, Dr. Gitlin created a faculty professionalism curriculum open to CFAS representatives who attended the council’s spring meetings. He also laid the groundwork for a more collaborative relationship between CFAS and the AAMC’s Group on Faculty Affairs (GFA), which culminated in the successful joint CFAS & GFA virtual spring meeting in 2021.

    In related work, Dr. Gitlin actively served as a liaison between CFAS and the GFA, regularly engaging with the GFA through its steering committee and sharing information back to the CFAS Administrative Board. His collaborative approach made the success of the 2021 joint meeting far easier than it otherwise would have been, leading to a shared purpose in the work of the two groups. As CFAS Chair, Dr. Gitlin professionalized and standardized the CFAS committees by creating succession plans and policies and launching a “core membership” model. His approach preserved the CFAS culture of an open committee structure while also creating much-needed accountability within each committee to ensure work goals were achieved.

    Richard Eckert, PhD, is the John F.B. Weaver Professor and Chair at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and the chair of the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the School of Medicine; associate director of basic science research, and deputy director of the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center.

    Dr. Eckert has been a stalwart booster of CFAS for many years from his vantage as both a society representative for the Association of Medical and Graduate Departments of Biochemistry and as a school representative for the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

    While serving on the CFAS Administrative Board, Dr. Eckert co-chaired both the CFAS Advocacy Committee and what used to be the Basic Science Committee, until he assumed the role of chair and lobbied to change its named to the Biomedical Research and Education Committee (BREC), which he chaired until the conclusion of the LSL meeting in November.

    The committee name change exemplifies Dr. Eckert’s vision and understanding of the purpose of CFAS. Rather than having a committee that primarily focused on the interests of basic scientists, Dr. Eckert sought a way to be more inclusive and bring additional voices to the conversation in a deliberative way that maintained the interests of the basic sciences in academic medicine while bringing a more professionally diverse (and a more personally diverse) group of people to the table. Dr. Eckert rotated off the CFAS Administrative Board this past November.

    CFAS Rep Profile: Richard Korentager, MD, FACS

    Professor of Plastic, Burn and Wound Surgery at the KU Medical Center at the University of Kansas. Dr. Korentager represents the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons.

    CFAS: What are the important issues facing academic plastic surgeons today?

    Dr. Korentager: Academic plastic surgeons face many of the same stresses that others in academic medicine face. Surgeons in general are feeling a mixed message from our institutions because we’ve just come through a pandemic and have tremendous struggles with burnout, but because the clinical mission now supports the academic mission, there’s also a huge amount of pressure on surgeons and plastic surgeons to take on more cases to generate more revenue. This puts us in positions with limited resources and we’re pushing to get more cases done with those limited resources, while at the same time being expected to teach.

    In the past, clinicians didn’t have many teaching responsibilities in the early phases of medical education, but now we teach in undergraduate and graduate medical education, which is good, but it’s a lot of work added on to what we already have to do. And academic plastic surgeons also have to do research, which is an additional responsibility not shared by other plastic surgeons. All these responsibilities make for long days and a lot of after-hours work.

    At many institutions plastic surgeons are just part of a division, not a full department, which makes it harder for their voices to be heard in their institutions. Fortunately for me, at KU Medical Center, plastic surgery is a full department, so I can make our concerns heard more readily. Since plastic surgeons don’t “own” any particular part of the body, we tend to be innovators and pioneers, leading other specialties to follow what we do. So we feel a lot of pressure to continue to find ways to innovate and push forward. A lot of what we do represents a bit of a support role to other specialties. Breast cancer treatment is an example.

    CFAS: Please tell us about your involvement in physician wellness and coaching.

    Dr. Korentager: I’ve always been interested in these subjects, but my interest crystalized probably 6-7 years ago. I was in the inaugural class of Stanford’s chief wellness officer course and that gave me a great foundation. I got involved with Jeff Janis in 2018 and one of the big legacies of his presidency was to start a wellness taskforce for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). I co-chaired that task force with him and have been working with ASPS over the years to develop wellness programs and increased awareness of these issues.

    I’ve also spoken about wellness around the country and, as I went through this journey, I felt there was a lot of need for executive coaching, so I started a coaching course at the beginning of the pandemic through a group called Surgeon Masters. I completed that and I’m working toward a certification with the International Coaching Federation. I do a lot of coaching with medical students and faculty and the next step for me came unexpectedly about 6 months ago when the executive vice chancellor of our medical center called on me to develop a wellness task force for the medical center.

    I’ve been working on this task force for about 6 months now and we’re having our first annual wellbeing conference in March. We’ve been populating our committees and our goal is to come up with interventions that really make a difference. The medical center task force for wellness is unique because it’s not just physician centric. We need to do things at our institutions that show that we value everybody, from the plastic surgeons to the janitors.

    CFAS: What are some recent initiatives or accomplishments from the KU Medical Center that would be interesting to other CFAS reps?

    Dr. Korentager: We’re trying to pull together a lot of the disparate activities happening around the campus related to wellness. Right now, we have a coaching interest group that’s become active and we’re growing a list of people who could serve as coaches in this group. We’re also taking a special interest in leadership development.

    Sometimes in academic centers, people get comfortable in positions and stay for decades, and I think it’s important to have term limits, but we also need to have the proper leadership training and mentoring to get new people to step into these roles seamlessly. We’re starting to do a better job with this at KU Medical Center.

    At KU Medical Center, we also have an active competency-based, experiential curriculum.

    CFAS: Please tell us about your research.

    Dr. Korentager: I’ve been involved with burn and breast reconstruction research. More recently, I’ve gotten more involved in education research, wellness research, and research into burnout.

    CFAS: As a society rep for the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons, how do you think CFAS could continue to improve its outreach to academic societies?

    Dr. Korentager: I had never heard of CFAS before and I was interested, so I got in contact with Eric Weissman early on during the pandemic. When I was on the board of the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons I said at one of their meetings that we were not represented in CFAS and everyone looked at me and said, “what’s that?” After explaining the benefits of membership in CFAS, I was able to get support and recognition of the importance of being in CFAS and I’m giving a report at our next board meeting on this topic.

    One of the things CFAS could do is reach out to societies that aren’t as involved and see if there are CFAS reps that have alignment with those societies. CFAS leaders could also reach out to present at one of those societies’ academic meetings or talk to their presidents.

    CFAS: What do you like to do in your free time?

    Dr. Korentager: I’m married and have two kids – one is a junior in high school and the other is in 8th grade. I love to spend time with them and go to their sporting events. I also love tennis, scuba diving, and traveling both for surgical education and training and for pleasure.

    Get Ready for the CFAS Spring Meeting

    Save the date for the 2023 CFAS Spring Meeting in scenic Salt Lake City, Utah, from March 26 – 29! We know many of you are excited to build on the momentum created during LSL to further explore the topics that were raised and potentially find solutions to some of the most important issues facing faculty in post-pandemic academic medicine. More details on the meeting, along with information on how to register, will be coming soon.

    CFAS staff, including Stephen Barry, Anne Berry, Alex Bolt, and Eric Weissman wish all of you a happy holiday season and a productive and successful New Year. We look forward to continuing to work with all of you in 2023!

    Tell Us How You’re Doing

    Please keep the lines of communication open so we can provide you with the resources and information that would be most useful. It is helpful for the AAMC to understand in detail what is happening on the ground at the medical schools, teaching hospitals, and academic societies we serve. Please email Eric at eweissman@aamc.org, or call directly at 301-437-2572 with updates or feedback from your perspective. You can also reach out with questions or comments to CFAS Communications Specialist Alex Bolt.

    If you are looking for information about CFAS, find what you need on our website, from the names of CFAS leaders, to updates on committee and working group initiatives, to upcoming offerings and meetings, and finally, current and previous editions of CFAS News.
    Do you have an article or study coming out? A new promotion or professional accomplishment? Let us know and we'll feature it in an upcoming edition of the CFAS Rep Bulletin.