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Message from the Chair

Dear CFAS Colleagues and Friends,

I write this message to you as I reflect upon the extraordinary month of April we just experienced. For the first time in decades, several religious holidays coincided this month, creating a sense of shared spiritual experiences across communities. The pleasantness of balmy spring weather, the timing of Spring Break, and the occasion of Earth Day also provided a universal opportunity to reflect on the planet, the climate and its challenges, as well as the joys of being human and enjoying nature. For me and my family, celebrating Passover meant family gatherings of parents, children, and grandchildren in a meaningful context with excellent food and drink. What could be better?

For CFAS, this month we experienced an extraordinary Spring Meeting, which despite its virtual format, managed to engage, provoke, and inspire all of us. While I, like so many of you, miss the face-to-face interaction of an in-person meeting, I agree with the sentiment so many of you have expressed: this was perhaps the most engaging and enriching virtual meeting I have attended.

As chair of CFAS, I was very proud and delighted with what we achieved together. But the real credit goes to Nita Ahuja, in her capacity as CFAS chair-elect and Program Committee chair, and to the outstanding members of her committee. I also want to congratulate the many speakers, moderators, session chairs and hosts from CFAS, the Council of Deans, and the AAMC. There was much to hear and learn in each session. Kudos to all of you for creating such a timely, content-rich, and interactive program. I look forward to seeing how we build on what was discussed and continue to advance the issues so relevant to academic faculty.

Specifically, I feel we need to further define the imperative and best practices of shared institutional governance – an important theme that carried through much of our meeting. We need to delineate and model how we, the faculty, connect with our leaders, including deans and CEOs, to ensure that sound and thoughtful decision-making preserves the core missions of academic medicine. We need to examine how our work is evolving in classrooms, laboratories, and clinical settings, and how our efforts remain valued and recognized; how we interact with one another as faculty in our home institutions and within CFAS; and how we strengthen and foster the faculty community and enhance our wellbeing and build resilience.

In short, we have much work to do.

Our Spring Meeting helped highlight some of the issues and realities that we, the faculty in academic medicine, face each day as we teach, discover, care for those in need, and engage with our communities. I am resolved as CFAS chair to continue to represent your views and advance the common goals all of us share.

But right now, I am grateful for what we experienced in April and look forward with great anticipation to what lies ahead.

Yours in good health and wellness,

Aviad “Adi” Haramati, PhD

CFAS Chair

Representing the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health

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2022 CFAS Virtual Spring Meeting Summary

The 2022 CFAS Virtual Spring Meeting concluded on Wednesday, April 13, and explored the theme of “strengthening the faculty community.” Each of the three days looked at that theme from three perspectives. Day one explored it from an institutional angle, day two from within the faculty community itself, and day three looked at the theme in the work faculty does with CFAS and the AAMC.

An evaluation report is being created based on the data collected from attendees, but anecdotally, the meeting was among our most successful CFAS spring meetings and many attendees commented on the sense of community and comradery built during the virtual event.

This year’s spring meeting featured the largest number of deans and health system executives as either participants or speakers, including nine deans of medical schools and CEOs of hospitals or health systems. There was a total of 137 registrants, nine ignite session presentations featuring CFAS rep speakers, updates from all eight CFAS committees, and 25 first-time CFAS attendees.

Thank you again to all the members of the CFAS Program Committee and so many others who contributed their efforts to ensuring this was one of the most successful spring meetings yet! Summary resources, including a PowerPoint recap of the meeting’s key takeaways, are being posted online on the CFAS homepage and the CFAS Resources page.

In response to comments we received during the meeting, we are sharing two summaries – one our traditional detailed summary and the other a much briefer, higher level overview which would be more easily scanned and emailed to recipients. As always, the purpose of these summaries it to provide reps with the tools to share with their sponsoring organizations - either schools or societies – the work of CFAS. We encourage you to use these slides however you see fit. While the downloadable slides are in a PDF format, if you would like the slides as PowerPoints to edit and adapt as needed for your school or society audience, please request the PowerPoint file by emailing Eric Weissman at eweissman@aamc.org.

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U.S. Doctors, Hospitals, and Medical Students Stepping Up to Help Ukraine

AAMCNews described how physicians, hospitals, and medical students are volunteering to help people affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since WWII. The piece specifically highlighted Team Rubicon, a U.S.-based group that sends “first responders, military veterans, and health care professionals — often from academic medical centers — to provide medical aid in dire conditions. Since early March, more than 50 volunteers have served in Ukraine, Poland, and Hungary, helping the wounded and displaced.”

Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Penn Medicine, School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University (USU), Johns Hopkins Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, the University of Maryland Medical System, Mass General Hospital, and University at Buffalo (UB) Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences are among the AAMC member institutions who are either donating much-needed supplies or have staff members volunteering in various capacities to help the people of Ukraine.

AAMC Chief Health Care Officer Janis Orlowski, MD, urged those who seek to help to do so through established groups like the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders due to the many challenges involved.

“We don’t want people to just show up. We want to make sure they are contributing in ways that make the most sense, such as through groups like the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders. These groups are experienced in logistics for supplies and personnel, diplomacy, and emergency response in devastated areas. They also provide the training required so that volunteers become part of the solution and not a problem in an unfamiliar area,” said Dr. Orlowski.

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CFAS Rep Profile: Patricia Balthazar, MD

Patricia Balthazar, MD, Assistant Professor, Abdominal Radiology & Imaging Informatics, Emory University School of Medicine; Junior Society Rep for the American College of Radiology

CFAS: Please tell us about your research.

Dr. Balthazar: I’m a health services researcher interested in health disparities, patient outcomes, and digital health technology. My goal is to ultimately reduce health inequities, particularly as they pertain to medical imaging. My prior research has encompassed the impact of information-technology tools in translational patient-centered care; appropriateness of imaging utilization; trends and drivers of imaging utilization and radiology clinical practice patterns; and ethics and bias in research.

CFAS: What are some of the most recent trends in diagnostic radiology?

Dr. Balthazar: Over the past few years, we have seen a tremendous growth in artificial intelligence and machine learning tools. Despite early concerns by some that AI would replace radiologists, the specialty has embraced the technology and these tools have been most commonly used for non-interpretive tasks to help radiologist in their day-to-day work. Some even classify AI as a new radiology “modality.” Other recent trends include remote reading (home workstations and remote trainee read outs, which have experienced exponential growth since the pandemic); greater awareness and mobilization regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion; and concerns about the environment and the specialty contribution to the carbon footprint.

CFAS: As a member of the CFAS Diversity and Inclusion Committee, what are some of your interests in the DEI space?

Dr. Balthazar: I’m interested in promoting diversity in the radiology workforce and medicine in general. Radiology remains a male-dominant field, ranking third among clinical specialties with the smallest proportion of female full-time faculty (30% women), behind only orthopedic surgery (19% women) and surgery (26% women). Women represent only 26% of diagnostic radiology residents and 20% of interventional radiology residents, according to a 2018–2019 AAMC data. I’m also interested in promoting health equity for our patients.

CFAS: Are there any recent accomplishments or initiatives at the American College of Radiology that would be interesting to other CFAS reps?

Dr. Balthazar: The American College of Radiology, in partnership with other radiology groups, has made multiple free resources available to medical students and educators:

1) STARS - Standardized Tool for Assessing Radiology Students, which provides medical schools with a national, web-based question bank to assess students in their radiology courses.
2) Radiology TEACHES - Radiology-Technology Enhanced Appropriateness Criteria Home for Education Simulation, which addresses the gap in curricula on appropriateness criteria and cost of imaging examinations through use of case vignettes to simulate the process of ordering imaging studies.
3) Medical Student Curriculum, which provides medical educators with free resources to build a radiology curriculum.

Another accomplishment has been the tremendous progress in recent years on the DEI space, which is summarized in the ACR’s 2019 diversity report.

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

Dr. Balthazar: As a foodie, I enjoy trying new restaurants around Atlanta. Whenever possible, I also love traveling (especially to visit my home country, Brazil) and spending time with friends and family.

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CFAS Connects Relaunching

CFAS Connects, our monthly online CFAS community forum, took a break in April given our spring meeting, but will be returning May 25 from 3 – 4 pm EDT. The schedule has shifted slightly. Updated appointments and a Zoom link will be mailed to all CFAS reps shortly.

The May event, which will be sponsored by the CFAS Program Committee, will explore key findings from the 2022 CFAS Spring Meeting, including a debrief of the conference and the evaluation report, prioritization of some of the most pressing themes raised during the meetings, and a discussion with the community about the next set of critical topics the council should address in its ongoing work.

Even if you were unable to attend the CFAS Spring Meeting in April, we urge you to attend this session since a goal of the conversation will be determine some of the key topics and issues for CFAS to address in the coming year based on themes we’ve explored in the previous year. Your input really matters!

Please come with your ideas, perspectives, and reflections on your recent experience as a faculty member. And to review past CFAS Connects session, summaries and recordings are available on the CFAS resources page.

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Tell Us How You’re Doing

During the pandemic, we ask you to 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.

Previous Editions:

March 2022  |  February 2022  |  January 2022

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