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In this edition:

Message from the Chair

Dear colleagues,

I trust my message finds you well and with some excitement for a new academic year. Despite the obvious and unexpected challenges we are all facing, our schools are again opening their doors to a new cohort of learners. Their eagerness and thirst for knowledge inspires many of us afresh to offer them the best possible experience.

In CFAS as well, we are adapting to the new reality of virtual meetings and distance learning. Conversations within the CFAS Administrative Board and with many of you have made clear the need for new, more dynamic and sustained means of engagement. I want to tell you about two ways the Administrative Board aims to maintain cohesion and a sense of community within CFAS, and to assist you with your challenging role as a strong and bidirectional communication link between your institution or society and the AAMC.

First, the CFAS Program Committee has been exploring means to establish regular opportunities for CFAS representatives to convene. To this end, we have initiated a series of free monthly WebEx meetings, CFAS Connects, which will alternate between webinar and community forum formats. The kickoff is planned for August 27, 2020 at 3 p.m. ET when we will have our CFAS Business Meeting. If you have not done so already, please register here to attend, and stay tuned to invitations for subsequent monthly occurrences. To suggest topics, volunteer your expertise, and trust us with your feedback, please contact CFAS Chair-elect and CFAS Program Committee Chair Adi Haramati, PhD. The intention is to create opportunities to discuss current challenges, solutions, and opportunities for progress.

Second, and very intimately related to the CFAS Connects initiative, the Administrative Board is exploring ways to reenergize ongoing work through our open CFAS Committees. As you know, except for the Nominating and Program committees, whose work is formally dictated by our Charter, all other committees are open for participation to all CFAS reps. In the past, we all had the opportunity to walk into committee meetings during the November Learn Serve Lead AAMC Annual Meetings or the CFAS Spring Meetings. This will not be possible for the immediate future. Instead, we encourage you to directly contact the chairs of the committees you want to engage with or contact Eric Weissman so you can receive call-in information for upcoming committee meetings. As with many organizations, most CFAS work happens within committees and this activity has resulted in useful resources over the years, such as the CFAS Faculty Resilience Committee’s popular Well-Being in Academic Medicine website and the CFAS Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s online toolkit to help support faculty engage in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at their institutions.

In summary, I share with you my excitement over the opportunities for renewal that the still fresh academic year offers, and I invite you to join us during the following months to make CFAS Connects and our Committees a success in our common goal to be the voice of faculty in academic medicine.

Stay well, friends,

Gabriela K Popescu, PhD
CFAS Chair, 2019 - 2021

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AAMC Steps Into Leadership Role Amid Pandemic

Concerned over the government’s faltering response to the pandemic and the rising number of hospitalizations and deaths this summer, the AAMC has stepped into a leadership role and released The Way Forward on COVID-19: A Road Map to Reset the Nation’s Approach to the Pandemic, outlining 11 evidence-based immediate and long-term actions to guide the country out of the pandemic. Immediate actions include the following:

  • Remedying critical supply and drug shortages
  • Increasing availability and accessibility of testing
  • Establishing national standards on face coverings
  • Establishing and enforcing national criteria for local stay-at-home orders and reopening protocols
  • Establishing national criteria for K-12 school reopenings and convening a working group to study different approaches by mid-August
  • Immediately expanding health insurance through COBRA
  • Begin planning now to prioritize distribution of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine
  • Addressing and resolving health care inequities
  • Informing, educating, and engaging the public

Longer-term actions include broadening health insurance and strengthening public health infrastructure. Also, the new AAMC Research and Action Institute, under the leadership of Atul Grover, MD, PhD, released Consensus Guidance on Face Coverings in the absence of any coordinated national policy.

And as protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery consumed the country and stirred discussion on racism and police brutality, AAMC President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and AAMC Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer David A. Acosta, MD, issued a statement, saying, in part, “Over the past three months, the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the racial health inequities harming our Black communities, exposing the structures, systems, and policies that create social and economic conditions that lead to health disparities, poor health outcomes, and lower life expectancy.”

Many CFAS member societies and other organizations have since signed onto the statement and the full list of signatories as well as the complete statement is available on the CFAS website. The AAMC has curated a collection of articles and resources to assist member institutions, constituents, and the public in learning more about and exploring the complex issues and strategies to combat racism and make health care more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Also, MedEdPORTAL, one of the AAMC’s journals, has a collection on anti-racism in medicine.

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“CFAS Connects” Monthly Webinar Series Kicks Off August 27

In light of the cancellation of all in-person AAMC meetings over the course of the upcoming year, the CFAS Program Committee, with input from the CFAS Administrative Board and other CFAS committees, will develop a series of CFAS Connects WebEx conferences open to everyone in the CFAS community through June, 2021. Kicking off this series will be the virtual CFAS Business Meeting, led by CFAS Chair Gabriela Popescu, PhD, on Thursday, Aug. 27, 3–4 p.m. ET.

To ensure that the most reps can participate in these webinars, we will alternate them monthly by day (Wednesdays and Thursdays) but all will be in a 60-minute slot from 3–4 p.m. ET, allowing a reasonable window for reps to participate, regardless of time zone. We plan to record all or most of these events and make them available on our website for later viewing if someone is unable connect in real time.

CFAS Webinar Dates and Times

  • Thursday, Aug. 27, 3–4 p.m. (CFAS Business Meeting)
  • Wednesday, Sept. 30, 3–4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 29, 3–4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 18, 3–4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 17, 3–4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 20, 3–4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 25, 3–4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 24, 3–4 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 22, 3–4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 19, 3–4 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 24, 3–4 p.m.

All webinars will be announced in the weeks before with an online registration link including topic, speakers, and date and time. If you have programming suggestions please reach out to CFAS Chair-elect and Program Committee Chair Adi Haramati, PhD.

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CFAS Administrative Board Election

All active CFAS reps should have received email messages asking them to vote in elections of new CFAS Administrative Board members. If you have not received these messages, please contact Eric Weissman. This year, there will be two members rotating off the Ad Board, two members up for reappointment, and two new members joining if approved through election. Each year, the CFAS Administrative Board has four members who either rotate off the Ad Board or are reappointed for a second three-year term. Every other year, CFAS reps are asked to vote on naming a new CFAS chair-elect. The goal is to provide regular, annual intervals to refresh leadership of the council, and let you, as CFAS reps, put your name forward or nominate a colleague to help lead the organization.

The CFAS Nominating and Engagement Committee, chaired by CFAS Immediate Past Chair Scott Gitlin, MD, of the American Society of Hematology, normally would have presented a proposed slate of the new CFAS Administrative Board at our spring Business Meeting in San Diego to be approved through a vote of acclamation. The results of the election will be announced during the virtual CFAS Business Meeting on Thursday, Aug. 27.

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CFAS Committee Profile: The Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Founded in 2016, the CFAS Diversity and Inclusion Committee is chaired by VJ Periyakoil, MD, director of palliative care, education, and training at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the CFAS rep for the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The committee strives to support and supplement the work that the AAMC advances on the issues of racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Among the committee’s primary goals is supporting faculty members from diverse backgrounds and creating a more inclusive environment within CFAS.

The committee pioneered the online resource, CFAS Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit, which is hosted on AAMC.org and provides resources for faculty members in academic medicine on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The committee has co-hosted multiple tweet chats on diversity, equity, and inclusion that were influential and received broad attention and engagement on Twitter. The committee also facilitated an unconscious bias workshop with Cook Ross at the 2019 CFAS Spring Meeting, where attendees had the opportunity to participate in active learning sessions on unconscious bias.

Currently, the committee is strategizing on how to provide support for faculty of color in a virtual format due to the requirements of social distancing. The committee is also considering reworking its structure to add a co-chair and liaisons to other AAMC groups.

“Looking into the future, the committee has been moved to collaboratively create an agenda that will strive for lasting change because of the pandemic’s impact on communities of color, police brutality against Black Americans, and structural racism in general. As a first step to reinvigorate the committee and redirect it to be responsive to the current environment, I’m looking at a proposal to potentially reposition the committee as the ‘Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI)’ committee,” said Dr. Periyakoil.

The committee hopes to collaborate with the CFAS Program Committee to leverage one of the upcoming CFAS Connects webinars to host a listening circle or similar interactive approach that brings CFAS colleagues together for candid discussion on where we came from, where we are, and how we can move forward in a way that is reflective of the advancement of all faculty members in general and Black faculty members specifically.

Your feedback and suggestions for the Diversity Committee are welcome. Feel free to send your ideas and suggestion to Dr. Periyakoil at periyakoil@stanford.edu.

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What’s Happening with Learn Serve Lead, the AAMC’s Annual Meeting?

The AAMC will hold its Learn Serve Lead Annual Meeting this year as a virtual event, Monday, Nov. 16 – Wednesday, Nov. 18. Registration is expected to open later this month. A diverse slate of speakers will delve into how COVID-19 has changed our medical schools and teaching hospitals and transformed the way we do our work. Presenters will also dig deep into existing racial injustices in society and within health care and provide a space for dialogue about ways to combat racism.

Some of the speakers on tap include:

  • Ibram X. Kendi, PhD, bestselling author of “How to Be An Antiracist” and Director, Center for Antiracist Research, Boston University
  • Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Anthony Fauci, MD, NIAID Director
  • Anne Schuchat, MD, Principal Deputy Director, CDC

A full list of speakers and more information on the meeting is available on the AAMC website.

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AAMC Sign-on Letter for GME Funding

Earlier this summer, CFAS circulated an AAMC sign-on letter to member societies asking them to contact congressional representatives asking that they include the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act (H.R. 348/ H.R. 1763) in the a COVID-19 emergency supplemental bill. The following member societies were signatories to that letter:

  • American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training
  • Association of Academic Physiatrists
  • The Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health
  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • American College of Academic Addiction Medicine
  • Association of Medical and Graduate Departments of Biochemistry
  • Society for Academic Emergency Medicine
  • American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP)
  • Society of General Internal Medicine
  • American Association of Chairs of Department of Psychiatry
  • AAHSL
  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
  • American Association for Anatomy
  • Society of Academic Associations of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine (SAAAPM)
  • Association of University Professors of Neurology
  • American Neurological Association

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Tell Us How You’re Doing in Response to the Pandemic

During this unprecedented public health crisis, 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 Weissman at eweissman@aamc.org, or call Eric 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.

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