Sorry about the delay folks, since we were supposed to announce the cases on Monday 12/1, but because of a technical glitch it took a little longer to get the scores together. I am hopeful that the official announcement will come by Wednesday at the earliest, Friday at the latest. The cases submitted were great so it is a tough crowd to choose from.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008

AAHPM Case Conference Submissions Now Open

Hey all you students of palliative medicine, your chance to present at a national conference is here! The 3rd and last call for submissions for the AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly has opened (Oct 1- Nov 3rd). This call is for professionals-in-training from any discipline to submit a clinical case for a 20 minute presentation. I am very glad to be a part of this for the 5th year now, and grateful to the AAHPM and HPNA for their ongoing support.

Go here now to submit your case or cases!

On a personal and historical note:

I am somewhat sad though because it will be my last year being involved with case selections and presentations. It has grown over the past 5 years, and I need to move on and let other people take the helm. Personally I think these case presentations are one of the great hidden gems of the Annual Assembly; great, fast, focused presentations and national speaking experience for newer members to the field.

Since this is my last year with the case conferences, I wanted to share a bit of the history of how it came into existence, because I think it demonstrates how persistence, teamwork, and the AAHPM's willingness to take a risk made a big difference.

So in 2004, the Professionals-in-Training Special Interest Group (PIT-SIG) formed* and made a list of goals to help junior members of the Academy get more involved. We had a lot of ideas at the inital brainstorming session with Chad Farmer, Lynn Bunch, Brian Murphy, Laura Morrison, KJ Williams, Annette Geisler, and others. But one idea that stuck out the most was an opportunity for palliative medicine fellows to present at the Annual Assembly.

I remember very clearly going up to the (then) new president David McGrew, with all the confidence I could muster and introducing myself as a palliative medicine fellow, and newly elected chair of the newly formed PIT-SIG and that we would be submitting a proposal for a reserved slot for fellows to present. Only after I finished talking to him did I realize how...ummm forward that was.

The first year
we had 13 submission and 5 presenters in a single 90 minute slot. We had a smattering of people there, but it was a start. In 2008, we had 61 submissions and 9 presenters in three 60 minute slots. The case conferences have benefited from the involvement from many people at the AAHPM including: Angie Forbes, Karen Nason, Mary Beth Benner, and Julie Bruno.

Thanks to all of the people who have helped to select cases and moderate the conferences: Giovanni Elia, Kelli Gershon, Laura J. Morrison, Solomon Liao, Christine Ritchie, Lynn Bunch, Pam Fordham, Susan Block, Dick Stephenson, and Drew Rosielle.

*That's a whole other story

Cross-posted to the Pallimed blog
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Friday, October 10, 2008

The Role of the PIT-SIG Blog

The PIT SIG Blog has been awful quiet, but there are a surprising number of subscribers to the blog both RSS and email. If there are things you would like to see on this blog, please feel free to leave a comment.

The PIT-SIG once had a very active email list, which has also quieted down. Communication amongst fellows in such short and small programs is critical to creating a community. So whether it is Facebook, a blog, a list-serv, find out who your other fellows are and make a community. I would encourage the new fellows to get together to figure out if there are issues important to you in the Academy, so that you have an agenda at the Annual Assembly when you all get together.

It is very easy to not get involved but you can accomplish a lot as a group with good communication and organization.

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It is a good time to be a part of the PIT-SIG

Yes, dear members of the PIT-SIG, it is a good time to be in Palliative Medicine, to be member of the AAHPM, and to be a part of the PIT-SIG.

First, we would like to thank you for your loyalty and for your interest.

Then, introductions:
The Chair: Giovanni is a former Urogynecolgist who fell in love with Hospice and Palliative Medicine, completed a Fellowship at San Diego Hospice in 2007, and stayed there as staff.

The Vice-Chair: Jessie is a third year Internal Medicine resident and soon-to-be Infectious Disease fellow at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Her primary clinical and research interests are in HIV and palliative care.

We had the opportunity to meet many of you at the AAHPM annual assembly and were energized by your enthusiasm and ideas. To continue the momentum established in Tampa we have identified five key areas of interest for the coming year:

1) Participation: We would like to see PIT-SIG representation across committees and task forces of the Academy. The official application deadline was March 1st, but there are still ways to get involved. So, if you are interested, send your CV and your preferences to the Academy any time. If you have suggestions or areas you would like to be involved, let us know. Also, with your help, this blog can be a sounding board for all of us. We encourage comments, case presentations, clinical dilemmas, short essays or articles on pertinent issues. It would also be great if we could have a link to this blog from the AAHPM home site: we’ll see.

2) Education and Mentorship: We are working on a program that will allow medical students to visit centers of excellence in Palliative Medicine across the country. Stay tuned for more details!

3) Networking: The small size and newness of our specialty makes meeting colleagues from institutions outside our own especially important. One suggestion from the PIT-SIG meeting attendees in Tampa was to have a PIT-SIG social event early on during the annual assembly. Also, Giovanni, coming from the West Coast, found it very inconvenient to get up early for the PIT-SIG meeting at 7:30am. So he is launching his personal crusade to have the PIT-SIG meeting scheduled in the afternoon. We are also looking for electronic means, such as this blog, for keeping PIT-SIG members connected throughout the year.

4) Research: Every year, the PIT-SIG leadership selects cases for presentation at the annual assembly case conference. Many of the submissions come from PIT-SIG members. We encourage you to apply for this and other opportunities, such as poster and papers sessions, to present your work.

5) Spreading the word: Of course, we are all committed to teaching other students, residents, fellows, and colleagues what Palliative Medicine is, how much fun we have practicing and studying it, and most importantly, how much our patients benefit from our teamwork. As upcoming leaders in a new and growing field, we have the responsibility of continuing this tradition.

In order to further develop these areas of interest, we need your help. We want the enthusiasm for our specialty that was palpable during the annual assembly to continue throughout the year. If you would like to get involved in the PIT-SIG, please let us know.
We look forward to hearing from you.


Giovanni & Jessie
Thursday, February 28, 2008

AAHPM 2008 Review

Well the 2008 AAHPM conference is over. Many new members came to the PIT SIG meeting to discuss an agenda for next year. Hopefully within the next few days the Chair, Giovanni Elia of Sand Diego Hospice and newly-elected Vice-Chair, Jessica Merlin, of U Penn will be letting you know what they have planned for the year and how you can help.

The case conferences went very well. The speakers presented some fascinating cases and the audience received them very well.

The call for case conferences is for AAHPM 2009 is open October 1-November3, 2008. Look here for more announcements as that gets closer.
Friday, February 08, 2008