Chief Academy Convenes in San Antonio

The 2015 Chief Academy convened in May on the campus of the University of Texas Health Science Center - San Antonio, marking a move for the meeting from its seven-year home in Chicago. Dr. Vineet Mishra, Director of Mohs Surgery and Procedural Dermatology as well as Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Texas Health Science Center – San Antonio, was co-chair and co-course director along with Dr. Ashish Bhatia and Dr. Jeffrey Hsu.

The intensive weekend workshop was first designed by dermatology program directors, department chairs, and former chief residents to provide a comprehensive overview in the elements of being an excellent chief resident. It includes instruction and discussion on leadership, administration, conflict resolution and management, and tools to further dermatologic medical education.

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Dr. Mishra explains, “the future of our specialty depends on providing the best educational opportunities to our residents. By bringing together chief residents from various programs, the Chief Academy provides a unique platform to allow for open discussion that breeds camaraderie amongst the attendees and adds a powerful educational value in the process.”

This year’s Chief Academy registered a little under 50 chief residents, nearly a dozen faculty members, and 3 course directors. Faculty members ranged from private practice to academics, Mohs surgery to pediatric dermatology, and west coast to east coast. The meeting started off with a reception with Tex-Mex cuisine at the Hotel Contessa followed by a boat tour of the Riverwalk. The next day, the presentations were given and discussions held at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center, where Dr. Mishra’s clinic is housed. 

“The position of the chief resident is important in molding the residency program. The chief resident, at times, will need to fill in when other residents are out, facilitate communications between faculty and other residents, and help set the standard. If done properly, this will improve camaraderie within the program and allow for a better experience for everyone involved,” Dr. Mishra said.

Get Involved with Grassroots Advocacy: AADA Resident Scholarship Opportunities

The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) is holding its 2015 Legislative Conference on September 27-29 in Washington, DC where dermatologists and patient advocates from across the country will join together in to present a united voice to Congress about dermatology’s most pressing issues.

The 2015 conference, which will be held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC, offers participants the opportunity to attend advocacy training sessions taught by health policy experts, discuss dermatology issues with colleagues, and become a trusted and influential voice with members of Congress. Attendees will learn about issues and legislation that could affect the specialty’s future, receive expert advice on how to get your message heard by legislators, and help advance AADA’s legislative priorities by meeting directly with members of Congress and their staff to voice dermatology’s concerns. Attendees do not need to be experts on health policy, the legislative process, or the legislators themselves.

The AADA awards several scholarships to residents who commit to year-long involvement in AADA grassroots advocacy. The AADA covers all expenses to attend the conference for each scholarship recipient. To apply for a dermatology resident scholarship, visit the AADA’s resident scholarship website (http://bit.ly/1JFxyw4). Applications are due by Friday, July 31, 2015.

For questions about the resident scholarship, email Abigail Osborne at aosborne@aad.org.

AMA Medical Education Initiatives Update

The American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a policy to ensure medical students receive necessary hands-on clinical experience using electronic health records (EHR). The new policy calls on the AMA to work with medical school accrediting bodies to encourage medical schools and residency and fellowship training programs to teach students how to use electronic devices in the exam room and at the bedside in an effort to improve patient care as well as increase the accuracy of communications. The policy also encourages the AMA to support medical student acquisition of hands-on experience in documenting patient encounters and entering clinical orders into patients’ EHRs, with appropriate supervision. As part of the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education initiative aimed at reshaping medical education in the US, AMA work currently is underway with a consortium of 11 leading medical schools to develop innovative models that incorporate EHR training into undergraduate medical education. Based on research and the future outcomes of this strategic work, the new policy also calls for determining the characteristics of an ideal software system that should be used at medical schools and teaching hospitals that offer teaching EHRs.

The AMA also adopted policy reaffirming the need for increasing medical residency slots and expanding funding sources for graduate medical education (GME) to improve access to health care. The new policy addresses the many valuable ways that physicians-in-training contribute to the health and well-being of the general public in both the US and around the world during their residency, including providing care to underserved areas and at-risk populations. Through the new policy, the AMA will advocate for continued and expanded GME funding from federal, state, local and private sources. Specifically, the AMA will advocate for federal funding for the National Healthcare Workforce Commission, established under the Affordable Care Act, to provide the nation with data and health care workforce policy that supports the value of GME to the nation as a whole.

Over the last year, the AMA has adopted numerous policies calling for the modernization of GME, including increased funding for medical residency slots, development of innovative practice models and residency positions that reflect societal needs. Most recently, the AMA has urged support of two federal bills—the Creating Access to Residency Education (CARE) Act, which would expand funding for graduate medical education and improve access to health care for patients in underserved areas, and the recently introduced Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2015, which would also help increase the number of residency slots and address physician shortages.