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Ready to Go! Learn Serve Lead 2018: The AAMC Annual Meeting

We recently circulated a list of sessions and recommended programming of interest to CFAS reps attending Learn Serve Lead 2018: The AAMC Annual Meeting (LSL) in Austin, Texas, Nov. 2–6. The list includes all CFAS programming, including committee meetings, the business meeting, networking sessions, and other major sessions. CFAS reps once again made substantial contributions to the programming this year, appearing in at least nine breakout sessions on the general AAMC program.

CFAS Administrative Board Transitions

At the close of LSL, three members of the CFAS Administrative Board will rotate off, one member will be renewed for a second term, and three new CFAS reps will take seats on the ad board. Details will be covered at the CFAS Business Meeting on Nov. 2 at 5 p.m., and additional information about all CFAS Ad Board members will be posted on our website and covered in the post-meeting slide set distributed to all reps soon after the meeting ends. 

AAMC Board Focuses on Sexual Harassment in Academic Medicine; CFAS Will Cover Topic at Spring Meeting


At a recent meeting, the AAMC Board of Directors discussed a proposed scope of work that would respond to findings of a National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) report, “Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.” While the AAMC will continue to focus on existing efforts to promote equity and inclusion at member institutions, the Board of Directors has asked AAMC affinity groups, including CFAS, to take responsibility for ensuring that the issue of harassment is being discussed across the spectrum of academic medicine. The AAMC Board of Directors also has determined that gender harassment will be the topic of the June 2019 Leadership Forum. Members will have an opportunity to come together around this issue in Austin, at the Learn Serve Lead keynote address by Anita Hill.

The CFAS Program Committee already had selected sexual harassment as the topic for its opening plenary at the CFAS Spring Meeting in Atlanta in April 2019, along with a cohort of ignite-style breakout presentations on the topic.

2019 CFAS Spring Meeting Call for Proposals Now Open

The call for ignite-style session proposals for the 2019 CFAS Spring Meeting in Atlanta, Ga., is now open. The ignite-style format will feature 4 brief presentations on specific themes followed by Q&A and discussion. The meeting will be held from April 4–6 at the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead. An ignite-style session is quick, lively, and focused, with a limited number of slides that advance rapidly – in this case, about 12 minutes per session, with no more than 10 slides. These will not be ignite sessions in the strictest definition for those of you who may have experienced them elsewhere, but a close approximation. Full instructions are included in the call here.

CFAS Demographic Survey Highlights

Earlier this year, the CFAS Administrative Board sent out a survey to all CFAS reps to get a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of the various demographics and professional experiences represented in our membership. The survey’s findings are already being used in meeting programming, outreach efforts, and other CFAS initiatives and projects. We are grateful to everyone who took the time to participate. An executive summary of the survey's findings is now available and a full report of the survey’s findings will be distributed after LSL.

New Resource: Online CFAS Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit

Over the past year, the CFAS Diversity Committee, under the leadership of Diversity Committee chair VJ Periyakoil, MD, a rep from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), has been developing an online CFAS Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit. That toolkit, which is specifically geared toward faculty members in academic medicine, is now a live webpage on the CFAS website, and features a variety of resources on the topics of diversity and inclusion in academic medicine. We invite you to view the toolkit and send any feedback on how we might improve or expand it to

CFAS Rep Profiles: Catherine Florio Pipas, MD, MPH, and Paul Garcia, MD

Catherine Florio Pipas, MD, MPH, Junior Rep, Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM); Professor of Community and Family Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth; and in-coming CFAS Administrative Board member as of 2018

CFAS: Tell us about the book you just wrote – and why did you tackle a wellbeing and medical education topic?

Dr. Pipas: My book is titled, “A Doctor’s Dozen: Twelve Strategies for Personal Health and a Culture of Wellness.” The book stems from lessons I’ve learned from patients throughout my career. When I was first asked to put these learnings and stories in book form, I was hesitant, feeling the stories reflected only my personal learning experiences. But after two years of reframing and rewriting, I view the book as my gift to everyone committed to their own wellbeing, to those promoting health in others, and to educators committed to delivering wellness curriculum.

I’ve been at Dartmouth in different roles for 20 years and my work promoting wellness grew as I graduated in 2011 with an MPH degree. I was sitting among the students listening to the speakers and wondering where the message was in the speech to take a moment and care for ourselves. Our impact on society is based not only on caring for others, but modeling wellness and caring for ourselves. With more and more people feeling the impact of burnout, I felt motivated to share my learnings and write a book. Each lesson in the book is illustrated by patients’ stories, backed by science and inclusive of exercises that everyone can apply in their own lives. A Doctor’s Dozen serves as a wellness curriculum for health professionals and everyone else. I’ve created facilitators guides and supplemental materials for educators which are all available on my website,

CFAS: Talk a little about the work you’ve done in CFAS related to connecting family medicine faculty. How has that been useful and effective?

Dr. Pipas: I’ve been with CFAS through its transition from CAS and I represent the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM). My society’s goals include collaboration across academic medicine professionals, and working within CFAS and the AAMC provides an opportunity to realize that goal. Family medicine goals also include prioritizing population health. The AAMC’s networking opportunities provide resources to support enhanced education, research, practice opportunities, and a healthy workforce – all of which are critical to creating a healthier population.

CFAS: You’re getting ready to join the CFAS ad board – what are you hoping to accomplish in a leadership role within CFAS?

Dr. Pipas: My priorities have been promoting leadership training, fostering cultures of wellness, and advancing processes of improvement. In my mind, all our work is aimed at pursuing population health. The health of the population is dependent on the health of all of its members including students and faculty members. In order to perform optimally for others and achieve the triple aim, we must achieve the quadruple aim – by first prioritizing our own health needs as Thomas Bodenheimer highlights. I am excited to play a part in changing our learning and practice environments to support health care teams as they support patients. I’ve been impressed with the expertise and commitment of CFAS leadership and I’m looking forward to bringing my passions and experiences to the table.

I’m particularly interested in the work of the Faculty Resilience Working Group and defining a wellness competency and developing metrics to measure wellness at all levels form the medical student to the institution.

CFAS: What are some recent accomplishments from the Geisel School of Medicine that would be interesting to CFAS reps?

Dr. Pipas: We have revised our core competencies and curriculum to include leadership training and fostering personal wellness among students. We’re piloting programs for students and faculty using system improvement frameworks to also address individual improvement. Dartmouth is part of a national collaborative grant to better prepare students as physicians, our efforts are focused on a coaching model to enhance self-assessment of knowledge and skills in a longitudinal, four-year program. Students work in partnership with faculty coaches and maintain a portfolio to monitor and address their personal and professional needs. Additionally, I’m excited to be a consultant to Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business as they roll out their wellness series titled, “Heath is Everyone’s Business.”

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

Dr. Pipas: I love to read, write, and journal and have had more time for these as a recent empty nester. Having just published my book, I’m trying daily to “walk the walk” and model wellness strategies in my own life. I’ve enjoyed doing more speaking and am committed to promoting my vision of healthy individuals contributing to healthy communities.

Paul Garcia, MD, Junior Rep; Chief of the Epilepsy Division and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine

CFAS: Tell us about your research into treatment of people with hard-to-treat epilepsy.

Dr. Garcia: I was originally drawn to epilepsy by my interest in how the brain works. Awareness of the life struggles endured by people with epilepsy cemented my commitment to this field. My research is an extension of my interest in doing everything possible to help people who suffer from epilepsy

CFAS: What are some things you’ve learned about faculty development during your time as associate dean for academic affairs at UCSF?

Dr. Garcia: I’ve learned that faculty members are most successful when they are able to pursue what they’re passionate about. Some are great teachers, outstanding clinicians, or insightful researchers, and a few even excel in all these areas. Still, it’s more common for people to have a real passion for one or two academic activities. Increasingly, financial considerations pressure faculty members to emphasize an activity they don’t find rewarding. It takes careful career planning to ensure a sustainable academic path that emphasizes a person’s passion.

CFAS: Where do you see neurology heading in the future based on your research interests?

Dr. Garcia: We are on the cusp of seeing good treatments for people with previously untreatable conditions like muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, and dementia. For all of these conditions, we are gaining a better understanding of the underlying disease processes and are developing treatments that appear promising in animal or early human studies.

CFAS: What are some recent accomplishments from UCSF that would be interesting to CFAS reps?

Dr. Garcia: As a large state school, we emphasize diverse missions including research, specialty care, and primary care. So it has been rewarding to maintain a strong reputation for educating trainees who want to pursue any or all of these goals. We have launched the new Bridges Curriculum (currently starting our third class) that will allow students even greater flexibility in pursuing their passions. Also, school leadership is actively promoting diversity and inclusion by launching a “Differences Matter” initiative, which has already resulted in positive change. Additionally, the Dean's Diversity Fund provides financial support to outstanding, underrepresented junior faculty members.

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

Dr. Garcia: I live three blocks from the university, so my work and leisure time are often intertwined. When my sons were growing up, I pursued hobbies that enabled me to be at home with them, such as gardening and keeping bees. I especially enjoy raising subtropical plants like passion fruits.

Society Profile: The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM)

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) is an organization primarily comprised of physicians who practice hospice and palliative medicine, with palliative medicine physicians representing 85-90% of AAHPM’s members. Other members include physicians-in-training, nurses, chaplains, and social workers. AAHPM emphasizes the interdisciplinary and team dimensions that are necessary for excellent care for seriously ill patients and their families.

“One of the most important things AAHPM does for its members is create and support an active community of physicians and practitioners. There are 40 distinct communities within the academy. Councils, special interest groups, and forums create smaller, connected networks that help members navigate and access one another within the academy,” said Steve Smith, executive director and CEO of AAHPM.

The academy also focuses on quality improvement and research, provides its members with resources on how to advocate for research funding, does public awareness and public policy work to advance end of life care, and provides career development support to those in fellowship training and leadership and career development training for faculty members in academic health centers.

In terms of the academy’s public policy work, Smith said AAHPM updates its priorities each year and works on both federal and regulatory issues. One long standing priority is expanding the hospice and palliative care workforce, and AAHPM has worked with the U.S. House to pass a bill that would do that. Unfortunately, there are no GME funds going to hospice and palliative care because it’s a relatively newer specialty, so AAHPM is working to secure more funding to address significant workforce shortages. In fact, many hospice and palliative care fellowships are funded by philanthropy, said Smith. Through the last decade, the academy has partnered with the several foundations to offer more resources for fellowship training programs in hospice and palliative medicine.

Another issue facing hospice and palliative care providers, which the AAHPM is working to address, is accessibility. “Physicians practicing hospice and palliative medicine always have patients and their families top of mind, so they’re interested in making sure patients and families with serious illnesses have access to quality palliative care. A lot of the quality of care depends on where you live and how early you’re able to get care,” said Smith. To that end, AAHPM focuses on how palliative care can be accessed, and the importance of incorporating palliative care with disease-directed therapies very early in the illness trajectory in order to best serve those with serious illnesses. Having hospice care at the end of one’s life makes a big difference in a person’s quality of life, so AAHPM strives to ensure all physicians and health professionals develop the necessary skill sets to give patients the best care possible at the end of their lives.

“As millions of Americans are living longer with serious illnesses, it is incredibly important for all medical students to attain basic palliative competencies as a core part of the medical school training. The AAHPM is ideally situated to provide excellent support for any palliative training projects of interest to the AAMC and CFAS,” said VJ Periyakoil, MD, a CFAS rep from AAHPM and associate professor of medicine at the Stanford University Medical Center.

Thanks to its membership in the AAMC through CFAS, AAHPM is able to add its voice to the AAMC’s ongoing advocacy efforts to address the broader physician shortage and many other areas of mutual interest and concern. “Because we have a significant stakeholder group that works in academic medicine, we need to have a connection and voice there through CFAS. We also value and appreciate the resources that are gained through access to the AAMC. Some representatives for AAHPM are very engaged in CFAS, with Dr. Periyakoil serving on CFAS’ Administrative Board,” said Smith.

Dr. Periyakoil also commented on the benefits of membership in CFAS, noting that CFAS offers a wealth of expertise in all issues related to faculty affairs. “Through CFAS, we have wonderful opportunities to meet other faculty representing their professional societies, which allows for swapping of best practices and ideas related to medical education and faculty support. As a CFAS rep, I am able to bring these ideas back to AAHPM and foster a dialogue between the two organizations.” The academy also has an internal council of academic leaders who help guide some of AAHPM’s public policy decisions, which have included adding the academy’s name to a number of AAMC sign-on letters.

Tweet Chats at AAMC and CFAS Meetings

At the 2018 CFAS Spring Meeting in Chicago, the CFAS Communications Committee debuted the first CFAS Twitter competition, which gave awards in three categories: funniest tweet, most thought-provoking tweet, and “fastest thumbs.” At the upcoming Learn Serve Lead 2018: The AAMC Annual Meeting (LSL), we plan on continuing and expanding these kinds of social media activities in the form of “tweet chats.” (No need to be a social media aficionado; a basic working knowledge of Twitter will suffice.)

This is part of an effort, launched by CFAS Communications Committee chair Amy Hildreth, MD, to encourage robust and community-led virtual discussion and engagement at LSL and future CFAS spring meetings. So when LSL starts November 2, please feel free to tweet away using #AAMCCFAS and #AAMC18. More details and instructions about tweet chat topics, Twitter competitions, and other social media engagement activity will be sent out during the meeting.

Update on the AAMC’s Standardized Video Interview (SVI) Initiative

The AAMC’s Standardized Video Interview (SVI) operational pilot project is making steady progress and ultimately aims to help program directors more efficiently navigate what has become a daunting flood of applications coming in every year. The SVI is an online interview where residency applicants record audio and video responses to six questions that display as text prompts. Applicants have up to 30 seconds to read and reflect on each question and up to three minutes to respond to each question. The only things required to complete the interview are a computer, tablet, or smart phone and an internet connection.

The SVI is not meant to replace in-person interviews or Standard Letters of Evaluation (SLOEs), rather it is meant to supplement Board scores and academic metrics to help program directors make more informed selections of which applicants to invite for in-person interviews. The SVI provides objective, standardized information about applicants’ standing on Knowledge of Professional Behaviors and Interpersonal and Communications Skills - two critical ACGME competencies. Currently, applicants’ scores and access to their videos are being provided to programs based on whether the applicants released the ERAS application to those programs. Click here for more information about the SVI.

CFAS Reps Invited to Submit Op-Eds for Consideration in AAMCNews

CFAS reps and all AAMC constituents are invited to submit topical op-eds to AAMCNews for consideration. Thought pieces from faculty members on timely topics are always eagerly sought, provided there is a coherent position on a specific issue. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Anything submitted must be in an op-ed format and shouldn’t be overly academic.
  • The piece must be between 750-900 words.
  • If the author has credentials that make them knowledgeable on the topic, that will help their chances of getting the piece published.
  • Authors must be writing about a well-defined issue with a clear solution and there should be some kind of institutional context – for example, it should touch on what their institution or other institutions are or are not doing about something that is relevant to the main topic.
  • The perspective must be coming from a medical point of view.

If you believe your piece meets these criteria, please send any submissions to AAMCNews, at

Have you had a recent professional accomplishment? Let us know, and we’ll feature it in the next edition of the CFAS Rep Update!

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 ideas or suggestions for the newsletter? A recommendation for a CFAS rep or member society to profile? All of your ideas are welcome. Please send them to

Previous Editions:

July 2018 | March 2018

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