- Message from the Chair
- AAMC Statement on Death of Tyre Nichols
- AAMC Names New Chief Health Care Officer
- CFAS Spring Meeting Approaching
- CFAS Connects: Caring for Older Adults: Clinical, Research, and Training Challenges
- CFAS Rep Profile: Edgar Meyer, PhD
Message from the Chair
Dear CFAS Colleagues and Friends,
As I write this, I am getting ready to join the CFAS Administrative Board on a quarterly call with AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD. Dr. Skorton initiated these calls soon after he joined the AAMC not merely because he wanted to stay in close contact with the leadership of one of the AAMC’s three councils, but especially because he has always identified himself as an academic medicine faculty member and feels a sense of affinity with the work of CFAS. We have benefited tremendously over the years from that relationship, and the openness and generosity of time it has provided to us.
Let me provide one striking example of how direct engagement with Dr. Skorton affects CFAS and our collective work. This month, we sponsored a CFAS Connects session focused on clinical delivery, education, and research focused on the care of older people. The session revealed how CFAS can uniquely address a topic like caring for the elderly. This is an issue of critical importance aligned with academic medicine, with a largely interdisciplinary component that extends well beyond any single specialty area – in this case, geriatrics – and affects a range of specialties, from radiology to OB/GYN to oncology to emergency medicine to psychiatry. All of these specialties were represented in the comments and input during the session, along with the perspectives of scientists and medical educators.
This session arose from a multi-disciplinary CFAS working group that was established when Evelyn Granieri, MD, a longtime CFAS rep from the American Geriatrics Society, noted in conversation with Dr. Skorton that the subject merited attention – not because geriatrics needs special attention, but because the care of older people is one of those topics that cuts across fields, specialties, and disciplines, and has an impact on a wide array of our colleagues in academic medicine. Dr. Skorton took note.
In subsequent conversation that followed within the AAMC, CFAS established a working group to look into the issues, similar to how we have established past working groups that have studied the definition of faculty and the challenges of education related to surgical subspecialties. Similar to those groups, this working group is diverse, featuring input not solely from the geriatricians in our ranks, but also emergency medicine, orthopedics, neurology, palliative medicine, medical ethics, and more. It is an example of how our unique community of diverse members can make a difference that goes beyond our own specialties, disciplines, and institutions. And it began, in part, through a direct connection with AAMC leadership.
While the CFAS Ad Board has a fantastic opportunity to meet regularly with David Skorton and other AAMC leaders through the year, you too will have the opportunity to do so as a CFAS representative. On April 19, from 3 – 4 p.m. (EDT), David Skorton will be joining the CFAS community for a CFAS Connects event structured as an open forum. If past experience is any indication, this will be an engaging and informative session. And all of you will have an opportunity to interact with Dr. Skorton and an array of other AAMC leaders in person at the CFAS Spring Meeting, March 27 – 29, in Salt Lake City. Registration will be opening soon – but please protect those dates.
CFAS is at its best when we are creative and forward-thinking in the work we take on. Our very purpose is to look beyond the silos of our specialties or disciplines, beyond the confines of our academic health centers or the narrow focus of our academic societies to see a greater purpose in the work we do, and to combine forces to make a collective difference in the communities we serve.
I look forward to providing all CFAS reps with opportunities to collaborate and make a difference in the areas that matter to us all, and I especially look forward to being with you in person when we will meet at our spring meeting at the end of March. More on this next month. Stay tuned.
Yours in good health and wellness,
Aviad “Adi” Haramati, PhD
Representing the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health
AAMC Statement on Death of Tyre Nichols
AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and AAMC Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer David A. Acosta, MD, issued a statement on the death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of police in Memphis, Tennessee. “The tragic and wholly unnecessary beating and death of Tyre Nichols brings yet again into stark view the lethal junction between police brutality and racism. For many in the Black and African American community, the risk of harm or death at the hands of police remains a public health risk that is completely unacceptable and preventable. We clearly have not come far enough since the beating of Rodney King, the death of Breonna Taylor, the killing of George Floyd, and far too many others to name.
We call on the medical and public health communities, law enforcement, legislators, and policymakers to come together urgently to enact reforms that will preclude such tragedies from occurring in the future,” wrote Drs. Skorton and Acosta.
AAMC Names New Chief Health Care Officer
The AAMC has named Jonathan Jaffery, MD, MS, MMM, FACP, as its next chief health care officer. Dr. Jaffery had served as chief population health officer at UW Health, the integrated health system of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), and was president of the UW Health Accountable Care Organization. He also served on the faculty of the Division of Nephrology in the Department of Medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. He joined the AAMC on Dec. 31.
Dr. Jaffery succeeds Janis Orlowski, MD, who retired earlier this year after an esteemed career serving patients, health systems, and the broader academic medicine community. In his new role, he will lead the AAMC’s work at the intersection of academic medical centers and health care delivery systems with a focus on innovations to improve care. The chief health care officer works closely with constituents from AAMC member institutions, federal agencies, and partnering organizations with a mission to enable teaching hospitals to provide access to high-value, high-quality patient care, sustain their academic missions, and remain financially stable.
Dr. Jaffery previously served as the chief medical officer for the state of Wisconsin’s Medicaid program and as a 2010–11 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow, he worked for the Senate Committee on Finance on a variety of issues related to delivery system and payment reform. He is a board-certified nephrologist and a member of several professional organizations, including the American Association for Physician Leadership and the American Society of Nephrology, and he is a fellow of the American College of Physicians. Since 2018, Jonathan has served as a commissioner on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).
CFAS Spring Meeting Approaching
The CFAS Spring Meeting, taking place in scenic Salt Lake City, Utah, March 26 – 29, is fast approaching and the CFAS Program Committee has been hard at work evaluating a number of great session proposals and finalizing the meeting schedule. A CFAS Connects session on February 22 from 3 – 4 p.m. ET will provide more information on what CFAS reps need to know before they attend the meeting.
Registration will be opening soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to provide you with a scheduling overview of the meeting as you make your plans.
Monday, March 27
7 – 8:30 a.m. CFAS Ad Board Meeting
8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Committee Meetings, Cohort 1 – Refreshment Area
9:30 – 9:45 a.m. Break – Refreshment area
9:45 – 10:45 a.m. Committee Meetings, Cohort 2 – Refreshment Area
10:45 – 11 a.m. Break – Refreshment area
11:00 a.m. – Noon Concurrent premeeting session: CFAS New Rep Orientation. Concurrent premeeting leadership session: Optimizing the Faculty Experience: Aligning Mission to Action (Developing Your “Personal Brand”)
Noon – 12:30 p.m. Grab-and-Go Lunch
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Concurrent premeeting leadership session: How to Be an Effective CFAS Rep: New Reps and Seasoned Reps Alike. Concurrent premeeting leadership session: Strategic and Alternative Pathways to Academic Leadership
1:30 – 2 p.m. Cookies and Coffee Welcome and Networking Reception
2 – 2:15 p.m. Welcome to the CFAS 2023 Spring Meeting
2:15 – 3:30 p.m. Opening Plenary: Faculty Thriving in Academic Medicine: From Mission Impossible to Mission Accomplished
3:30 – 3:45 p.m. Break
3:45 – 5 p.m. Plenary Session: Intention to Action: Leveraging Well-being Initiatives to Support Researchers, Educators, and Clinicians
5:15 – 6:30 p.m. Welcome Reception – Posters
6:30 – 8 p.m. Dinner on your own
Tuesday, March 28
6 – 7 a.m. Optional Wellness Activity: Walk/Run
7:30 – 8:45 a.m. Open Networking Breakfast – On the Fly Table Topics (?)
8:45 – 9:45 a.m. Plenary session: Unintended Bias – How to Reduce the Risk, but When It Happens, How to Respond – or, the ROI of Inclusion
9:45 – 10 a.m. Break
10 – 11 a.m. Plenary: Trends and New Directions for Salary and Opportunity Equity in Academic Medicine – (no break)
11 – 11:45 a.m. Concurrent session 1: “The Voice of the Learners: Critical Care for Medical Student and Residents”
Concurrent Session 2: “Stopping the Bleed: the ROI of Research: I couldn’t sleep at all last night”
11:45 – 1:15 p.m. CFAS Business Meeting and Luncheon
1:15 – 1:30 p.m. Break
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Leadership Plenary and Community Forum
2:30 – 2:45 p.m. Break
2:45 – 3:45 p.m. Ignite Sessions on Mission Alignment
3:45 – 4:45 p.m. The Big Picture of Mission Alignment: A Conversation with Michael Good, CEO, University of Utah Health, Executive Dean, Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine, Senior Vice President for Health Science
4:45 – 5 p.m. Break
5 – 6 p.m. CFAS Knowledge Sharing Session and Reception
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Dine-a-Round Dinners
Wednesday, March 29
6 – 7 a.m. Optional Wellness Activity – Walk/Run
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Networking Breakfast
8:30 – 10 a.m. Mission Accepted: Sustaining Faculty for Success as Medical Educators
10 – 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Closing Plenary: Recognizing and Embracing the Tension in Our Community
11:15 – 11:30 a.m. Meeting Wrap Up, Closing Thoughts, and Adjourn
CFAS Connects: Caring for Older Adults: Clinical, Research, and Training Challenges
CFAS Connects returned on January 19 to feature presentations from Evelyn Granieri, MD, MPH, MSEd, the senior CFAS rep for the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and an Emerita Professor and chief of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Aging at Columbia University Medical Center, and Andrea Schwartz, MD, MPH, the junior CFAS rep for AGS, a geriatrician, an assistant professor of epidemiology, and director of the Aging and End of Life Care Theme at Harvard Medical School. Drs. Granieri and Schwartz discussed the current landscape of geriatrics in the United States after the pandemic and highlighted the need for reform in how the nation cares for its elderly in light of clinical, research, and training challenges.
Notably, the conversation focused on how the issue extends well beyond the geriatrics specialty, and affects a wide array of other clinical specialties and also education and research topics. CFAS reps during the Zoom session shared extensively on how their work is directly affected by caring for older adults, and how it also affects the training of the next generation of physicians and scientists.
A recording of the session, including resources shared during the session, and a written summary are available on the CFAS Resources webpage. The next CFAS Connects session will be February 22 from 3 – 4 p.m. ET and will provide CFAS reps with important information about the CFAS Spring Meeting, taking place in Salt Lake City, Utah from March 26 – 29.
CFAS Rep Profile: Edgar Meyer, PhD, MAT
Dr. Meyer is the senior CFAS rep for the American Association of Anatomy (AAA) and Director of the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences in the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Graduate Studies in the Health Sciences.
CFAS: What are some of the newest trends in neurobiology and developmental science?
Dr. Meyer: One trend in neuroscience currently is the study of psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin and MDMA derivatives on the treatment of neurological and mental health disorders (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, etc.). Many of the other trends in neuroscience involve advances in computer technology; these include explorations into the interfaces between neural tissue and implant devices, higher resolution as well as more portable MRI machines, incorporation of artificial intelligence (AI) into daily clinical practices, and new radiotracers for positron emission tomography (PET) scans with the potential for early detection of Alzheimer disease and treatments for other neurodegenerative diseases.
Similarly, with advances in technology, I would say that molecular biology and genetics will be playing a tremendous role in the future of the health sciences as human knowledge of the human genome expands. Treatments curtailed to individuals’ genetics are likely to be the norm of the future of patient care. As a result, developmental biology, given its molecular basis for the most part, will likely become even more relevant for students of medicine in particular, with prospects of treatments for congenital diseases or even genetic measures that might prevent them from ever occurring.
There are other trends in the anatomical sciences in general. The two main trends I see are the increases in studies in clinical anatomy, regarding how knowledge of the human body and its structures—again using technology—can better inform and improve the accuracy and precision of surgical and other clinical procedures (e.g., determining average or typical locations of nerves for enhanced delivery of analgesics for pain, etc.).
And the other trend is in the proliferation of studies in anatomical sciences education. In other words, more and more research is being invested in studies exploring what teaching modalities and interventions improve students’ learning and instructors’ teaching of anatomy, especially as contact hours in the discipline decrease, thus necessitating the need for more effective ways to deliver content for better retention and retrieval. Virtual anatomy technologies (VR, AR, XR) are just one area of anatomical sciences educational research.
CFAS: Please tell us about your research.
Dr. Meyer: My research has involved educational research in the anatomical sciences, specifically the development and implementation of virtual anatomical models and then the examination of possible learning gains by students when using such models. From my own experiences and what I have read in the literature, I certainly feel that virtual anatomy has a place in anatomical sciences education—its main role being to supplement both traditional (e.g., lecture, cadaveric dissection, prosection, etc.) and other more innovative forms of instruction (e.g., PI, TBL, CBL. PBL, etc.).
I have desires to explore new areas of research, given my current role as a director of the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences Program, a post-baccalaureate program at my current institution, the University of Mississippi Medical Center. I would like to investigate new methods of orienting, advising, and mentoring post-baccalaureate students, especially those from underrepresented and underserved populations, and any resultant changes and improvements in success outcomes (e.g., matriculation into health degree programs, retention and average or above-average performance in those programs, entrance into their career paths of choice, satisfaction in their career paths of choice, other measures of success in their career paths of choice, etc.)
CFAS: As a rep for the American Association of Anatomists (AAA), what are some ways you believe CFAS could continue to improve its outreach and offerings to academic societies?
Dr. Meyer: CFAS has already done such a great job of providing sessions for representative faculty to learn from and with one another, especially during the pandemic when stress levels were at an all-time high. CFAS is certainly an excellent group that fosters an environment for healthy discourse concerning best practices in liaising between society members and institutional faculty and staff. It is also a great group for sharing resources, such as those benefitting junior-senior faculty mentorship and faculty well-being.
As a CFAS representative for the AAA, I believe CFAS should certainly continue providing its current resources and sessions for faculty, but there are three additional ways in which I could see CFAS expanding its outreach and impact. First, having been involved in a number of committees regarding the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion, I can see CFAS as a diverse and inclusive group that could be involved in curating and sharing resources that instruct and aid faculty in promoting and improving diversity, equity, and inclusion at their institutions within their courses, divisions, departments, programs, centers, schools/colleges, and/or campuses.
Secondly, I can see the potential for CFAS to take advantage of the opportunity to encourage its faculty to construct templates and other foundational materials that would aid other organizations, perhaps even outside of medicine, in establishing seminar councils of their own with similar roles and missions. In this regard, CFAS could be an exemplar for the creation of other councils of its kind for other fields in the United States and Canada—and maybe even in other parts of the world internationally.
Thirdly, CFAS can serve as an authoritative body for effecting changes in faculty advancement and success, such as in facilitating paradigm shifts in medical education and in setting new or improved standards for promotion and tenure within organizations as examples.
CFAS: What are some recent accomplishments or initiatives at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine that would be interesting for other CFAS reps to know about?
Dr. Meyer: As many CFAS reps already know, LouAnn Woodward, MD, our current vice chancellor for health affairs (the highest executive leadership role at our academic health center) also serves as the chair of the AAMC Board of Directors. In this role, she has a platform where she can bring attention to some of the greatest needs and initiatives within the state of Mississippi as a whole, as far as health care in concerned.
One need that has spurred innovation is the primary care shortage among Mississippi’s rural population. Because Mississippi is such a rural state, telehealth has been a necessity for reaching patients that live in extremely rural areas—often at distances too far to drive regularly to be seen by primary care providers. In fact, UMMC’s Center for Telehealth has been a leader in the field for over a decade, even well before the physical-distancing policies incurred by the COVID-10 pandemic. UMMC was named a National Telehealth Center of Excellence by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, one of the only two programs in the nation to receive such an honor.
Sadly, when most people think of Mississippi, they also think of its abysmal health statistics. Mississippi has the highest rates of many chronic diseases which contribute to some of the highest per capita increases in health care expenditures. These realities make access to health care for rural Mississippians a paramount concern. Therefore, increasing the recruitment of future physicians from populations in rural Mississippi is essential. These examples have wider relevance because low access to health care and high rates of disease are common problems in other rural states and provinces in the United States and Canada (Lasser et al., 2006; Disler et al., 2020).
These daunting statistics are an incentive for health science professionals and students at UMMC to invest human capital and educational resources into initiatives to improve the overall health care of Mississippians as a vital UMMC mission. Therefore, UMMC employs synergistic coordination among outreach, postbaccalaureate, and interprofessional programs to increase the number of physicians, other health care professionals, and health scientists not only for Mississippi but also for other areas where they can be applied. These programs include the Mississippi Rural Physicians Scholarship Program, the Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program, the Exploring Healthcare Pathways Program, and the post-baccalaureate program I direct to name a few.
CFAS: What do you like to do in your free time?
Dr. Meyer: Admittedly, I am sucker for the humanities. I love to write poetry and I enjoy reading high fantasy literature. I am a certified teacher in Koru Mindfulness, so I try to practice mindfulness regularly while also providing optional mindfulness sessions for my students. As a classical studies and biology double major in college, I love ancient Greek and Latin and I enjoy finding ways to incorporate these aspects of the humanities into my courses that I teach.
In addition, I love the power of film in telling stories, so I enjoy watching and discussing movies with friends over dinner. Furthermore, I am religious in the sense that I am a practicing Catholic, so I enjoy attending Mass on Sundays and attending my regular young-adult small group sessions on Tuesday evenings. But most importantly, I have an appreciation for rituals and the common patterns in world religions, so I enjoy engaging in interfaith dialogue as a practice for helping educate others about different religious and spiritual traditions and dispelling misconceptions about these traditions that people including myself might have.
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 email@example.com, 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.