In this edition:
- Message from the Chair
- Third Biennial CFAS Society Summit Concludes
- Registration Opens for Learn Serve Lead: The 2023 AAMC Annual Meeting
- New CFAS Reps Join the Ranks
- Recent CFAS Connects Webinars
- CFAS Rep Profile: Jonathan Constance, PhD
Message from the Chair
Dear CFAS Colleagues and Friends,
I hope all of you are enjoying a family vacation, a getaway, or a period of personal renewal during these summer months. I know the reality for many of us is that we spend a lot of our “down time” preparing for the upcoming academic year, catching up on what we didn’t finish during the academic year, or simply attending to duties that never stop, despite our best efforts to set aside time for ourselves. But regardless of whether it’s a week or a couple of days, I can’t recommend strongly enough to set aside time away from your work and savor the moments with friends and family.
For me and my family, we were fortunate to spend over two weeks overseas in Israel earlier in July, where we had an extraordinary time celebrating our oldest grandson’s bar mitzvah, and connecting with extended family and friends. I made a conscious decision on that trip to do my best to unplug from email as much as I could—not always easy for me, but even the attempt was a big step! When I returned, I was ready for the work that awaited and now feel revived, energized, and ready to move forward with the busy events in the coming months.
Within a few days of returning, I had the honor of presiding over the third biennial CFAS Academic Society Summit, held onsite at the AAMC headquarters in Washington, DC. This every-other-year event brings together executive leaders, staff, and designated representatives of AAMC-member academic societies that make up a large segment of the CFAS constituency. But unlike a CFAS spring meeting or the Learn Serve Lead Annual Meeting, the focus is on the interests of the society staff leadership. We provide them a CFAS experience familiar to you as a CFAS representatives, where they meet with colleagues from other specialties, disciplines, or focus areas, to discuss issues that unite them, to learn from one another, and most important of all, to make connections to expand and enrich their exposure to academic medicine.
The meeting welcomed about 60 attendees – roughly half attended in person at the AAMC with the other half joining remotely via Zoom. In addition to hearing from AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, attendees learned about the many strategic and policy-oriented initiatives of the AAMC that have direct connections to faculty, education, research, and patient care. They additionally got an up-close look at the many data resources and research tools the AAMC makes available to its members along with a detailed look at the government relations and policy-oriented work the Washington-based government relations team is undertaking.
I personally gained so much from reconnecting with many CFAS reps and society executives I know from past events, but I also met several people who are new to CFAS. I always appreciate these opportunities to meet individuals committed to advancing academic medicine, and to underscore the key role that AAMC has in serving as the voice for academic medicine.
As is customary for all CFAS meetings, a detailed summary of the meeting, including PowerPoint slides and online resource, will be available to the whole CFAS community – not only so those who could not be there can learn about what was covered, but also to provide society executives and staff with material to present to their colleagues on what was covered during the meeting. Our member societies are a vital part of CFAS, and the issues of concern to them provide an essential component of the collective "faculty voice."
On a final note, I want to acknowledge one of my CFAS chair predecessors, Scott Gitlin, MD, a faculty member at University of Michigan School of Medicine and a longtime CFAS rep from the American Society of Hematology. Dr. Gitlin was the first to propose that CFAS convene a Society Summit, and worked with the CFAS Administrative Board and AAMC leadership in 2017 to produce the first one in 2019. With the third CFAS Academic Society Summit now behind us, I have no doubt the tradition will continue and only increase in value in the years to come.
Yours in good health and wellness,
Aviad “Adi” Haramati, PhD
Representing the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health
Third Biennial CFAS Society Summit Concludes
On Monday, July 17, CFAS held its third biennial CFAS Academic Society Summit. The idea originated with former CFAS chair Scott Gitlin, MD, of the University of Michigan School of Medicine and CFAS representative from the American Society of Hematology, and has grown increasingly popular over the years as a dynamic and informative forum for academic society executives and staff to communicate directly with AAMC leadership on the issues that matter most to them, and to also hear in more detail how the AAMC can tailor its offerings, advocacy work, and data and research projects to meet their needs.
The forum additionally provides a means for society executives and staff to work together as a group, get to know one another, and share ideas and collaborate on future projects.
This year, there were more than 60 individuals who attended either in person or virtually via Zoom. All told, over 35 AAMC academic society member organizations were represented in the summit. Attendees heard presentations from Frank Trinity, JD, AAMC Chief Legal Officer; Alison Whelan, MD, AAMC Chief Academic Officer; Malika Fair, MD, MPH, AAMC Senior Director, Equity and Social Accountability; Keith Horvath, MD, AAMC Senior Director, Clinical Transformation; and Danielle Turnipseed, JD, MHSA, MPP, AAMC Chief Public Policy Officer. There was also a substantive knowledge sharing discussion moderated by Ross McKinney, MD, AAMC Chief Scientific Officer. That session provided attendees with an opportunity not only to ask in-depth questions of various speakers, but also to share they have been addressing key challenges within their specialty areas and disciplines.
Also on the podium was Valerie Dandar, AAMC director of Medical School Operations Research, who presented on a range of research tools and data resources and publications available to the CFAS community on everything from faculty salary by specialty to faculty engagement data. The session additionally covered the process for requesting custom data reports, which over the years has been an important element of CFAS member benefit.
This was the first iteration of the Academic Society Summit presented in a hybrid format, enabling people who were unable to travel to the AAMC’s Washington, DC, headquarters the opportunity to actively engage in the majority of the day’s programming. We would like to thank the many people who attended and engaged in the great conversations that made this meeting such a success and we look forward to addressing the priorities identified at the summit as we develop future CFAS programming. Summary materials of the Summit will be available on the CFAS website in the coming days and will also be distributed via the CFAS listserv.
Registration Opens for Learn Serve Lead: The 2023 AAMC Annual Meeting
The AAMC’s premier learning and networking event, Learn Serve Lead (LSL), will be held this year in Seattle, Washington from Nov. 3-7. As always, there is significant CFAS-oriented programming at this meeting, particularly on Friday, Nov. 3, when all CFAS committees will meet, in addition to a special meeting with the AAMC Council of Deans and Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems. That first day will also feature the CFAS Business Meeting, followed by the opening reception for the LSL meeting. Throughout the LSL program, there will be other opportunities to meet with CFAS colleagues, including a reception, a new rep orientation session, knowledge sharing session, networking breakfast, and close to a dozen main-program breakout sessions featuring CFAS rep speakers and CFAS-oriented topics. In September, we will send all CFAS reps a listing of all those sessions and a suggested agenda. Register now to take advantage of early bird rates.
New CFAS Reps Join the Ranks
Beginning in January of this year, AAMC staff have reached out to medical school members that have not had full representation within CFAS in an effort to get them to name new reps. As a result, there has been a notable increase in the number of CFAS school reps, with many coming from larger medical schools that have historically been underrepresented in CFAS. The process sought to fill rep positions where previous reps had either termed out or changed positions, leaving an opening, or in schools that had named only one rep where two could be named. Since this effort began have seen the following results:
- 48 schools have added new reps
- 84 new reps have joined CFAS ranks (including new society reps)
- Schools that had been underrepresented in CFAS named a first or second rep, including Harvard Medical School, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, University of Chicago Division of the Biological Sciences, and the Pritzker School of Medicine
If you have any questions about the representative status of your school (or society) or if you wish to learn more about the process of naming reps or replacing reps whose terms have expired, please send a note to Stephen Barry (email@example.com) or Eric Weissman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Recent CFAS Connects Webinars
In the past months, several CFAS Connects community forums have provided updates on an array of CFAS and AAMC initiatives, including the AAMC’s legal advocacy on issues that impact academic medicine. On May 24, CFAS Connects featured a presentation on the new CFAS Committee for Faculty as Medical Educators (FAME) from the chair, Lily Belfi, MD, and vice chair Shirley “Lee” Eisner. Drs. Belfi and Eisner are both members of the CFAS Administrative Board. A recording of the session and a written summary are available on the CFAS Resources page.
On June 21, AAMC Chief Legal Officer Frank Trinity, JD, joined CFAS Connects for an in-depth discussion on some of the pressing legal challenges that the AAMC and academic medicine are navigating, including the recently decided Supreme Court case on race conscious admissions and state level judicial developments on the issues of abortion and gender transition care. Due to the sensitivity of some of the conversations, only a written summary of this webinar is available online.
And on July 20, CFAS Connects returned with a session, “The Real World of the CMO,” where CFAS reps heard from Roberto de la Cruz, MD, Chief Clinical Officer for Parkland Health in Dallas, Texas, the primary teaching site for UTSW, faculty member at UT Southwestern, and a steering committee member of the AAMC Chief Medical Officers Group. Dr. de la Cruz discussed the role of the executive physician and opportunities for faculty alignment with hospital clinical leadership.
In addition to providing an overview of the CMO role, Dr. de la Cruz engaged in an open dialogue with the CFAS community on intentional leadership building, aligning faculty priorities within care delivery, and the intersection with wellbeing, DEI issues, career advancement, and other topics. The session was co-moderated by CFAS Chair-elect Nita Ahuja, MD; and new UT-Southwestern Rep James “Brad” Cutrell, MD. There was rich conversation not only on the interplay between clinicians and hospital officials, but also in the role hospital leadership has regarding medical education and research. A recording of the session and a written summary will be made available on the CFAS Resources page in the coming days.
Note: CFAS Connects will be taking the rest of the summer off and will resume programming Sept. 21, 2023, with a conversation with Robert D. Simari, MD, executive vice chancellor for KU Medical Center, on faculty leadership pathways. More details on that coming soon.
Upcoming CFAS Connects schedule (all times are 3 – 4 p.m. ET):
- Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023
- Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023
- Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023
- Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024
- Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
- Wednesday, March 20, 2024
- Thursday, May 23, 2024
- Wednesday, June 19, 2024
- Thursday, July 25, 2024
CFAS Rep Profile: Jonathan Constance, PhD
Dr. Constance is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Department of Pediatrics at the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine at the University of Utah; and Junior CFAS Representative for the American College of Clinical Pharmacology.
CFAS: Tell us about your research.
Dr. Constance: My research is focused on understanding the consequences of drug interactions in children diagnosed with cancer. A major emphasis of my research program is on the mechanistic basis of drug interactions which can interrupt the activity of lifesaving chemotherapy. To do this, my studies take a translational science approach whereby ‘real world’ patterns of drug use as well as concentration data are applied to in vitro models of cancer. We maintain an active childhood-cancer focused biorepository which allows us to collect detailed population-specific information regarding biomarker and drug concentrations.
Ultimately, by knowing where resistance can occur, it can be avoided and patient outcomes improved.
CFAS: You are a member of the CFAS Biomedical Research and Training Committee. Could you explain the benefits for CFAS reps of getting involved in the work of a CFAS committee?
Dr. Constance: I still consider myself to be a new CFAS society rep, but with enough experience now to recognize the value of CFAS committee involvement for my society, my institution, and my own career development. Joining a CFAS committee deepens and enriches the experience of service by adding opportunities to become informed on issues concerning the AAMC and CFAS and to then share these perspectives with my home society’s leadership and membership. Likewise, becoming involved with a CFAS committee provides more opportunities to share my society’s mission with CFAS and the AAMC. I currently serve as the Junior Representative for the American College of Clinical Pharmacology. As a college, our society emphasizes clinical pharmacology education. Education on therapeutics and human health is of course of central importance for medical trainees and professionals. Therefore, close alignment exists between AAMC CFAS and my society for many topics and it is at the committee level these topics can be discussed with more depth and nuance.
CFAS: As a society rep, how do you think CFAS can continue to add benefits for its society members?
Dr. Constance: Two key and related ingredients come to mind for society members to benefit from CFAS - at least as it relates to the part of a society representative. These are communication and a conducive environment for meaningful dialog. On both, my experience at CFAS has been extraordinarily positive – shoutout to the extraordinary Eric Weissman here. CFAS communication via the website, slide decks, the CFAS Rep Bulletin, and meeting reviews are all invaluable resources for reps to communicate back to their societies, and these are provided after every meeting. This level of effort on behalf of CFAS augments the in-person or virtual meeting experiences to ensure reps are getting a current and comprehensive picture of what is happening at the AAMC and in CFAS.
Secondly, the atmosphere of CFAS is one of welcome – this is especially true for the leadership. Right from the start, Drs. Adi Haramati and Nita Ahuja have made my introduction to CFAS a warm one. CFAS is well ordered to be the place where important conversations that impact our professional society and academic medicine can happen. I should also mention, I’ve been fortunate to have been taken under the wing of the former American College of Clinical Pharmacology CFAS representatives, who by the way, are now affiliate CFAS members - Drs. Vera Donnenberg and Jim Burris - as well as ACCP’s President and Senior Representative to CFAS, Dr. Dionna Green. Getting their insight and counsel has impressed upon me the important role CFAS society reps have. It helps too that the AAMC and CFAS meetings include going out for fun, which included visiting the famous Station Inn in Nashville for an unforgettable evening of bluegrass music!
CFAS: Can you tell me about your experience speaking in a session at the 2023 CFAS Spring Meeting – could you please give me a couple sentences summarizing what that experience was like for you and what you took away from it?
Dr. Constance: I was invited by Dr. Nita Ahuja and Eric Weissman to co-moderate the session entitled “The Big Picture of Mission Alignment: A Conversation with Michael Good” and this took the form of a fireside chat. Dr. Good happens to be my boss’s boss’s boss. So, no sweat, right? In truth, it was a terrific experience all the way through. From working with Dr. Ahuja to craft questions, listening to Dr. Good’s responses, and then to reflecting on what was said with my colleagues. The big issues facing academic medicine from a junior faculty member can seem remote or beyond our capacity to change. Indeed, they may very well be that, but opportunities such as this provide insight into what our institutional leaders are facing and how they are thinking about these challenges. This gives one a chance to see where they can become a part of the solution.
CFAS: What are some of the recent trends in clinical pharmacology?
Dr. Constance: The field of clinical pharmacology is broad and dynamic enough that this is a difficult question to answer briefly. One ever more frequent topic of conversation among my colleagues that seems to span the field is how real advances in AI have the potential to change the work we do in dramatic ways. We recognize profound changes may be in the offing across the spectrum of translational and clinical pharmacology, drug discovery and development, clinical trials for drug safety and efficacy, and beyond to the optimization of therapeutics in everyday scenarios. At this moment of uncertainty, there seems to be more excitement and a sense of optimism than trepidation.
CFAS: What do you like to do in your free time?
Dr. Constance: Where I live in Utah, we are nestled right into the Wasatch mountains, and this is a great place for recreation – and work, too. In fact, much of the year I commute to my office/lab on world-class, single-track mountain bike trails. I try to get outside when I have free time to be with friends and family – or just to be alone. If I get stuck inside, it is always easy to find a good book.
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 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.