New section

Content Background

New section

New section

Registration is Open for the 2018 CFAS Spring Meeting - EARLY BIRD ENDS MARCH 14!

CFAS’ annual gathering is fast approaching. Register for the 2018 CFAS Spring Meeting now to receive the early bird discount, which expires March 14. The meeting will be hosted at the Westin Chicago River North, Chicago, Illinois from April 19-21, 2018. Programming will focus on how to be effective in advocacy, wellness and well-being, medical education and leadership, among many other topics. In addition to the formal program, we will offer an assortment of networking opportunities, including a night of “dine around” dinners, where you can connect with your fellow CFAS reps at one of many restaurants in downtown Chicago. We hope to see you there!

Resources from Learn Serve Lead: The 2017 AAMC Annual Meeting (LSL)

We have curated the highlights from LSL 2017 in several resources on the CFAS website. The meeting hosted more than 4,500 attendees, including about 130 CFAS reps, who heard from a diverse group of academic medicine leaders and nationally known speakers. CFAS reps made significant contributions by developing and presenting sessions on:

  • Modeling well-being among academic medicine learners and trainees
  • Improving the GME learning environment
  • Addressing bias in academic medicine
  • Considering different models for the fourth year of medical school
  • Defining academic medicine faculty
  • Communicating science and medicine
  • Harnessing research in academic medicine
  • Improving the mental health of students and residents

CFAS Ad Board Update

At the November Learn Serve Lead meeting, the CFAS Administrative Board underwent a period of change as Vincent D. Pellegrini Jr., MD, transitioned from Chair to Immediate Past Chair, Scott Gitlin, MD, became Chair, and Gabriella Popescu, PhD, became Chair-Elect. As Chair, Dr. Gitlin will prioritize outreach to academic societies and bringing leadership training to CFAS reps through a new curriculum that will debut at our spring meeting in April, among other activities.

Dr. Popescu's selection as Chair-Elect reflects CFAS' commitment to the basic science and PhD community. "I believe that my selection signals support for maintaining a strong contingent of basic scientists in academic medicine," said Dr. Popescu. As the future leader of CFAS, Dr. Popescu brings a broad perspective on the current challenges faced by faculty in academic medicine; informed by her experiences as a successful scientist and scholar, and also as a reviewer, mentor, and educator at a research intensive medical school embedded in a large state university system.

In his move from Chair to Immediate Past Chair, Dr. Pellegrini has also become the chair of the CFAS Nominating and Engagement Committee. "It’s always challenging and refreshing to do these kinds of transitions in voluntary organizations. Succession planning is important. I’ve made a conscious and concerted effort to step back from my previous role as Chair and reduce my involvement in the day-to-day operations of the ad board and CFAS. That kind of withdrawal is essential so that the new chair, Scott Gitlin, can pursue his own agenda," said Dr. Pellegrini.

The work of the CFAS Nominating and Engagement Committee is vital to the periodic reconstitution of the ad board and the committee has had a record 19 applicants this year. Dr. Pellegrini anticipates having a slate of new members to present to the ad board at the 2018 CFAS Spring Meeting in Chicago. Those new members will start in November.

Dr. Pellegrini noted the increasing impact CFAS is having both within the AAMC and externally. "I believe that CFAS is coming into its own and this is a good time for us to elevate the position of CFAS within the AAMC. We’re the largest council and we represent the broadest group of constituents. Our reps are also the most representative biopsy of AAMC constituents."

CFAS' position within the AAMC has already netted notable results for faculty. Among the most visible examples of the value of CFAS' representation on the AAMC Board of Directors is a focus on wellness and resilience, which CFAS pushed as a marquee program for the AAMC, said Dr. Pellegrini. "It really is critical because faculty are the life blood of academic health centers. So the fact that the AAMC took up the issue of wellness like it did is emblematic of CFAS’ role and presence." CFAS is also becoming more involved in discussions around governance of academic health centers and how faculty can play important roles in those different governance models.

The CFAS ad board is comprised of 16 members. There is an ex officio member who serves as a liaison between the Group on Faculty Affairs (GFA) and CFAS. Currently, that person is Maureen Connelly, MD, MPH, the dean for faculty affairs at Harvard Medical School. Ad board members are appointed for three-year terms. Four members are appointed in three staggered cycles so that every year, four members’ terms expire. Once their first terms expire, members are eligible to renew their appointment for a final term of three years before their membership sunsets. In addition to the 12 regular ad board members rotating on and off, there are three leadership positions: chair, immediate past chair, and chair-elect. If you would like to self-nominate or nominate somebody for a position on the CFAS Ad Board, please reach out to

AAMC Advocacy Efforts

The AAMC’s government relations team has made notable efforts in keeping Congress and the administration informed on the important issues to medical schools and teaching hospitals. The AAMC has taken a multi-pronged approach to engaging officials through in-person meetings, emails, phone calls, social media outreach, and personal letter writing. In 2017, the AAMC took out ads on issues like health care coverage and NIH funding in major outlets like Politico and the Wall Street Journal and issued over 40 press statements. More than one hundred op-eds were written on timely issues such as NIH funding and health care coverage. But the most important component of the AAMC’s advocacy strategy is getting faculty members and others in academic medicine to engage locally and in D.C. To assist the AAMC’s advocacy efforts, join AAMC Action, a digital grassroots organization with 274,000 members. You can also visit the CFAS Advocacy webpage, a listing of advocacy resources specifically tailored for faculty members.

CFAS Rep Profiles: Trent Reed, DO, and Rebecca Fisher, PhD

Trent Reed, DO, Senior School Rep; Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

CFAS: Talk about some of the trends in emergency medicine.

Dr. Reed: Shared decision making and having honest conversations with patients about the risks and benefits of tests and treatment options is becoming more prevalent in emergency medicine. Engaging patients in their own health care has been really beneficial to all sides. Also, in light of the opioid crisis, finding sources of non-narcotic pain relief has been a priority in emergency medicine and the medical community in general.

The changing insurance landscape is also a big topic because insurance companies now have their own preferred hospitals, which means there is more insurance-driven decision making. There are circumstances when an insurer won’t pay for a patient’s inpatient care if it doesn’t take place in their preferred hospital – that complicates our planning and the care we can give patients.

Patient safety and quality improvement is a big topic, and with that has come the Just Culture concept, which promotes system improvements over individual punishment. Creating a culture of quality and safety allows people to flag issues earlier with less finger pointing in order to generate conversations around how to make systems better. “Point of care ultrasound” – putting the ultrasound machine in the hands of the bedside providers to answer dichotomous clinical questions – is another beneficial trend that increases the efficiency of our examinations and care. The use of advanced practitioners in emergency department is another rising trend.

CFAS: Tell us about your research.

Most of my research is focused around medical education with simulation and technology. I’m one of the assistant deans for education, specifically simulation education, at Stritch School of Medicine, so much of my research energy is directed there. One of the areas I’m involved in is simulation-based mastery learning, which is a form of competency-based education. We are studying how students translate the skills they learn from simulations to bedside patient care. In basic science, there’s the concept of taking research from the bench to the bedside, and that’s exactly how we are thinking in medical education: we want to take the knowledge learned from simulations and translate it to real world patient care.

I am also involved in inter-professional research in team training using TeamSTEPPS which was developed by the Department of Defense and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). It’s the form of team training that we use to train medical, nursing, and pharmacy students. In addition to focusing on the team training concepts of TeamSTEPPS, we have been able to combine it with strong clinical content and improve students’ knowledge and performance in stroke care while not weakening their team training gains. We have also begun to employ our educational approach with practicing providers.

CFAS: What are the opportunities for collaboration and partnership between the AAMC and the DO community?

Dr. Reed: A development that is very beneficial for DO/MD collaboration is the ACGME merger with the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). As a result of the merger, as of 2020, all residency programs will be certified under one governing board. DO graduates have always had access to ACGME residencies but MD graduates were unable to match in AOA residencies. With the single accreditation system, now MD graduates will have residency options that were historically closed to them. Some residency slots will be designated with osteopathic recognition which will be available for DO graduates and MD graduates who have demonstrated some level of understanding of osteopathic principles and practice.

One of our student-driven research projects is developing an osteopathic elective here at our allopathic medical school which will hopefully be a means for our graduates who took the elective to identify other care options for their patients and expand the referral system for osteopathic manipulative treatment. Also, the elective will allow the students to demonstrate an introductory level of understanding of osteopathic principles and practice. We at Stritch School of Medicine worked with my alma mater, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM) to develop the elective. The elective involved a flipped classroom format where the students would first watch asynchronous videocasts and take readiness assurance quizzes. Then, once armed with that knowledge, students would participate in several hands-on skill sessions which were livestreamed from UNECOM in Maine under the guidance of Dr. Frothingham. He and his team would discuss and demonstrate osteopathic skills then locally DO faculty at Stritch would facilitate the students applying the skills. We were able to research this educational intervention and will be presenting the success of it regionally and nationally prior to manuscript submission.

Another area of robust collaboration between the AAMC and the DO community could be in finding non-narcotic solutions for pain to mitigate the opioid crisis. Osteopathic manipulative treatment increases options for patients suffering from pain.

CFAS: What are some recent accomplishments or initiatives at Stritch School of Medicine that would be interesting to fellow CFAS reps?

Dr. Reed: The Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine has a great emphasis on diversity and the array of benefits it provides. I have noticed this topic and others repeatedly come up at CFAS meetings which are relevant to Stritch. Another topic is increasing the connection between hospitals and medical schools which is coming to fruition at Stritch. One means by which we are solidifying this bridge is by leveraging technology to expand CME and faculty development programs into the hospital. We’re also working hard to formalize a faculty mentorship process.

There are other ways we are bridging with the hospital through quality improvement (QI), particularly by having students engage in quality and safety projects at the hospital, which also makes students more marketable once they graduate. Another example is providing students with earlier access to EHRs, which gives them early training and exposure which translates to a head start in establishing their own future practice.

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

Dr. Reed: I love family time. I have three kids and I spend time with them and my wife whenever I’m not working. I try to keep active with interval training and lifting plus doing various fitness activities with my kids like sports, circuit training, and running.

Rebecca Fisher, PhD, Junior Society Rep, American Association of Anatomists (AAA); Associate Professor, Basic Medical Sciences, University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix

CFAS: As a society rep for the American Association of Anatomists (AAA), how do you think CFAS can enhance its outreach to academic societies?

Dr. Fisher: Establishing relationships with society executive directors is crucial and can create an awareness of the value of CFAS membership and the opportunity it presents to communicate the concerns of societies to the AAMC leadership.

CFAS: How can CFAS continue to provide value to the basic science community?

Dr. Fisher: Researchers, including basic scientists, have a number of different concerns or priorities depending on their academic appointment. Some are heavily involved with curricular design and education and others are focused on bench research. It’s important for CFAS to acknowledge that diversity because the basic science community is not a uniform group that has the same concerns or priorities. One thing that is particularly valuable to me and other basic scientists is the broad interdisciplinary forum that CFAS creates where people who would never meet in other settings can not only meet but collaborate. Through CFAS, you can see the common ground that bridges disciplines.

CFAS: Tell us about your research interests.

Dr. Fisher: I study the function and evolution of the musculoskeletal system. I’m interested in how animals move and exploring questions about form and function. I’m currently part of a multi-institutional collaboration to study octopus anatomy in order to develop a soft-armed robot. The project is funded by the Office of Naval Research and it’s been very exciting to collaborate with engineers and material scientists. As the biologist on the team, I’m providing data on the morphology of octopus arms as well as how they are controlled by the octopus’ central and peripheral nervous systems. Interestingly, even detached octopus arms are capable of sensing and acting upon stimulation. We would like to design a robot with decentralized control so that it would be capable of sensing its local environment and responding to it without input from human operators.

CFAS: What are some recent accomplishments or initiatives at your institution that would be interesting to fellow CFAS reps?

Dr. Fisher: I’m a member of the Diversity Committee at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix and we just rolled out a strategic plan to bolster diversity and inclusion in the college. I’m also on the AAA’s Diversity Task Force and we’ve developed a strategic plan to ensure that AAA initiatives reflect the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Now that I’m a tenured associate professor, one of my main long term goals is to advocate for diversity on a national level. This issue is personally meaningful to me as my mother is a first generation Mexican American.

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

(Dr. Fisher laughs) I really enjoy having a puppy. He’s over a year old and spending time with him is great.

Society Profile: Society of University Otolaryngologists (SUO)

The Society of University Otolaryngologists (SUO) represents academic physicians in ENT and anyone involved in clinical care, research, education pertaining to academic otolaryngology. SUO’s members include faculty, residents, program leaders, coordinators, chairs, chiefs, and learners. SUO is closely affiliated with the Association of Academic Departments of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, which supports chairs and chiefs, and the Otolaryngology Program Directors Organization which supports residency program directors. Overlapping interests is reflected in a combined meeting program which occurs once annually. SUO’s annual meeting is unique in and of itself because it is more of a faculty development and education program, and the only setting where physicians can come together to discuss the role of education in ENT.

SUO is led by an executive council which includes a past president, current president, president-elect, treasurer, secretary, and two other members. In the last couple of years there has been an effort to advance diversity among the applicants to otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. SUO is also spearheading an initiative to evaluate how it might develop a regional boot camp system to support early technical and clinical learning by junior residents in a way that’s consistent across the country.

SUO is interested in issues that broadly affect academic medicine. The society anticipates seeing an increasing commitment of time in its meeting programming to understanding the business of health care, especially population health, and value based reimbursement. According to Mona Abaza, MD, SUO’s representative to CFAS and a member of the CFAS Administrative Board, otolaryngology needs to be proactive in educating others about the specialty’s impact on population health because people don’t always think about the population health impact of communication deficits or sleep apnea, for example.

Otolaryngology is also facing the ongoing issue of how to optimize the learning environment. Each generation has its own interests and methodologies of learning and SUO realizes the need to keep up to date on that, said Dr. Abaza. “We need to be backfilling our knowledge around pedagogy. And in regard to leadership, we need to have effective models of academic leadership as it relates to academic development and educational program development, as well as vibrant clinical programs that sustainably address all three missions.”

Howard W. Francis, MD, MBA, professor and chief of the Division of Head and Neck Surgery and Communication Sciences at Duke University Medical Center and the current president of SUO, noted the value for academic societies in being connected with the AAMC through CFAS. “The AAMC is an incredibly important organization because it sets the tone for how we meet the contemporary needs of our learners and changing healthcare landscape. There is great alignment between both organizations’ goals we need to better expose our memberships to each other.”

Dr. Abaza agreed, saying that the benefit to SUO, a smaller society composed of a couple hundred people, is the opportunity to be more aware of larger national issues and to have a voice in those issues. Dr. Francis also explained that SUO benefits from the AAMC’s resources around faculty development, diversity and wellness, for example, which are national priorities.

Since SUO is a surgical subspecialty, all the mergers and acquisitions are having a significant effect on its constituency. According to Dr. Abaza, CFAS’ work around defining faculty is vitally important to academic otolaryngology, since so many institutions are buying hospitals. CFAS and the AAMC address other important issues to SUO as well, particularly with regard to GME and NIH funding.

Accessing AAMC Data

The AAMC collects a wide variety of data that is of interest to faculty members working in academic medicine. On the main AAMC homepage, there is a “Data” tab at the top of the page. Hovering your mouse over this tab will reveal the option to access the AAMC’s Faculty Roster, which is the AAMC’s comprehensive database on faculty demographics. Clicking on the “Data” tab will also lead you to several resources covering topics ranging from the physician workforce, to applicants, students, and residents, to medical schools and teaching hospitals. At the bottom right of the page, you will also see that you have the option to request AAMC data.

Also of interest is the AAMC Faculty Salary Report, which has been updated to include 2016-2017 data. The salary report is offered at a discounted rate to CFAS reps with an account on The discounted price is $40.00 for a yearly subscription to the data (without the member discount, the cost is $1,100.00). For more information about AAMC data, you can find a comprehensive list describing all of the AAMC’s surveys and data collection efforts here.

CFAS News and Society Outreach

As we continue to strategize about how to enhance the value our council provides to its member societies, we have identified the potential for CFAS News to serve as a vehicle for bringing society issues and events to the fore. CFAS News is among the AAMC’s most popular and widely read publications and has a broad reach, going to roughly 5,000 academic medicine professionals each week. In CFAS News, we particularly emphasize the people of academic medicine and their contributions to public discussions around the issues of academic medicine, as well as the ever-popular “and finally” humor items. We always invite CFAS reps to submit items for consideration to about society news, initiatives, meetings, and events.

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.

New section