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October 24, 2014

Table of contents

Message from Paul Ramsey

More residency training programs urged at Graduate Medical Education Summit

Dear Colleagues:

Three WWAMI Graduation Medical Education (GME) summits held over the past five years have been an important venue for discussing and planning the future of graduate medical education in the region. These summits attract broad regional and national attendance. While I was sorry to miss the GME Summit held in Bozeman, Mont., Oct. 16-17, this year. I understand from colleagues that a key and recurring message was the clear and urgent need for more residency training programs in the WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) region.

Another key message was the success of the UW Family Medicine Residency Network in helping to build and support family medicine graduate medical education programs throughout the WWAMI region. Recently started programs that are part of the network include East Pierce Family Medicine Residency in Puyallup (2012), Family Medicine Residency of Western Montana in Missoula (2013), Kootenai Clinic Family Medicine Residency in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho (2014), Community Health Care Family Medicine Residency in Tacoma (2014), and Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, Wash. (opening in 2015).

Recent successes in other specialties include the opening of the UW-affiliated Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center Psychiatry Residency Program (2014), the Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency Program (2013), and the UW Internal Medicine Residency Program in Boise (2010).

Several individuals at the GME Summit described the challenges of starting a new residency program — funding, infrastructure development, new set of priorities and responsibilities — in busy clinical practices. However, the successes of these individuals and programs speak volumes.

As we expand our medical student program, it is vital that our students have sufficient residency training programs to enter, especially in specialties and locations that serve WWAMI rural and other underserved populations. The best predictor of practice location is where the residency is completed in combination with the medical school. Finding ways to build and expand residency programs in WWAMI — in particular in family medicine but also in other needed specialties — as well as rural tracks and rotations to serve the workforce needs of our most underserved communities must remain a top priority. For more on the summit and speakers' presentations, see story on HSNewsBeat.


PGRamsey Signature2

Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.
CEO, UW Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and
Dean of the School of Medicine,
University of Washington



IHME announces first Roux Prize winner

Dr. David Guerrero
Rodrigo Guerrero

To highlight innovative ways in which the Global Burden of Disease research can improve health, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at UW launched the $100,000 Roux Prize, named for David and Barbara Roux. David Roux is a founding board member of IHME. Launched in November 2013, the prize drew nominations from around the world. The winner, Dr. Rodrigo Guerrero, the mayor of Cali, Colombia, and a Harvard-trained epidemiologist, was announced in early October and drew press coverage from around the world. Guerrero has worked on the link between gun sales and alcohol with serious crime and has seen the murder rate drop from 126 per 100,000 inhabitants to roughly 58.

After his first term as mayor in 1994, Guerrero went to work with the Pan-American Health Organization and the Inter-American Development Bank, which helped him to replicate the model in some 18 countries throughout the region. Guerrero was re-elected as mayor two years ago.

The IHME's Global Burden of Disease research is the single largest and most detailed scientific effort ever conducted to quanitify levels and trends in health. It involved nearly 500 researchers in 50 countries and examined health trends in 187 countries and 21 regions.

For more on the Roux Prize, see the IHME website. (Press coverage of note: BBC wrote Columbia mayor fights Cali’s murder rate with science. Gabe Spitzer and Tom Paulson of Humanosphere spoke with Guerrero in a podcast titled How the mayor of Cali, Colombia, used science to fight gun violence. And Andrew O’Reilly of Fox News Latino wrote Harvard-trained Colombian mayor uses data and science to drop murder rate.)

Quarterly report of top research awards

The following awards were received from July to September 2014 in the UW School of Medicine. Click here to view the awards.


Clinical Care

Steps proposed to end opioid painkiller deaths

Opioid painkiller-related deaths is an epidemic
Prescription Medicine

Gary Franklin, a UW professor with appointments in neurology and occupational and environmental health sciences, has been reporting on opioid-related deaths for more than 10 years. In an article requested by the American Academy of Neurology, he traces its trajectory and proposes steps that should be taken to bring opioid-related deaths to an end. The article, published Sept. 30 in the journal Neurology, has been endorsed as an official position paper of the American Academy of Neurology.

“We’ve seen more than 100,000 deaths between 1999 and 2010, almost twice as many as U.S. casualties in the Vietnam War,” Franklin said. “In addition, we have millions of people who have become dependent or addicted, who will never be off opioids, and who will never be helped by these drugs.”

What needs to be done, Franklin said, is first to get doctors to avoid using opioids to treat patients' chronic non-cancer pain and instead use non-narcotic pain medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., ibuprofen), graded exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy. If physicians must prescribe opioids, they should be certain that the therapy is working, improving not only the patient’s pain symptoms but also their physical functioning, Franklin said. And if patients do not substantially improve by the time they reach daily a dose equivalent to 80-120 milligrams of morphine a day, they should refer the patient to a specialist. For more on the story, see HSNewsBeat.


Center for Leadership and Innovation in Medical Education (CLIME) funds scholarships

The UW School of Medicine Center for Leadership and Innovation in Medical Education (CLIME) selected seven proposals for a total of $25,000 in funding as part of its mission to support innovative medical education scholarship. Research and curriculum proposals were received from 19 investigators across eight departments in the UW School of Medicine, as well as one from the UW School of Public Health. Ten faculty members from the medical school served as reviewers.

The funded projects represent a diverse range of specialties, targeted trainees, learning context, research methodologies, and impacts on local and national medical education. The investigators will come together as a community to discuss their ongoing scholarship during the monthly work-in-progress meetings.

2014-2015 CLIME-funded proposals

  • Thomas R. Egnew, UW clinical professor of family medicine. “Suffering where art thou? Exploring medical student perception of medication education regarding suffering” (Co-investigators: William R. Phillips, UW Theodore J. Phillips endowed professor in family medicine; Peter R. Lewis, professor of family and community medicine at Pennsylvannia State; and Kimberly Myers, associate professor of humanities at Pennsylvania State).
  • Caroline Jeanette Hurd, UW clinical assistant professor of medicine. “An interactive learning module to improve communication in crucial conversations.” (Co-investigator: Anthony Back, UW professor of medicine).
  • Kari Keys, UW assistant professor of plastic surgery. “Microsurgical technical skills simulation curriculum.” (Co-investigators: Jeffrey Friedrich, UW associate professor of plastic surgery; Isaac Bohannon, UW assistant professor of otolaryngology; Jason Ko, UW assistant professor of plastic surgery).
  • Amanda Kost, UW assistant professor of family medicine. “Medical student perceptions of giving feedback to faculty during third-year clerkships.” (Co-investigators: Heidi Combs, UW associate professor of psychiatry & behavioral sciences; Eileen Klein, UW professor of pediatrics; Lynne Robins, UW professor of biomedical informatics and medical education; Patricia Kritek, UW associate professor of medicine).
  • Somnath Mookherjee, UW assistant professor of medicine. “Peer observation and feedback of bedside teaching.” (Collaborators: Daniel Cabrera, UW clinical instructor of medicine; Christy McKinney, UW clinical assistant professor of medicine).
  • Jennifer S. Pitonyak, UW assistant professor of rehabilitation medicine. “Examining pedagogy in a clinical conditions course: strengthening curricular alignment and interprofessional education (IPE).”
  • Neil Uspal, UW assistant professor of pediatrics. “Impact of a structured just-in-time intervention on trainee laceration repair performance.” (Co-investigators: Jennifer Reid, UW assistant professor of pediatrics; Anita Thomas, UW fellow in the Department of Pediatrics).

For more information or to join CLIME, visit the CLIME site.

Leo Morales speaks at UW Network of Under-represented Residents and Fellows (NURF) reception

A reception held August 16 at the UW Waterfront Activities Center was an opportunity for residents, faculty and staff to meet UW School of Medicine Chief Diversity Officer Leo Morales. Hosted by NURF (Network of Under-represented Residents and Fellows), the reception was well-attended. After a short presentation by Dr. Morales, the group held a discussion about diversity at the UW. For more information about NURF, see the UW Medicine site.


WWAMI Regional News

Montana WWAMI celebrates entering 2014 class with White Coat Ceremony

2014 WWAMI Montana White Coat Ceremony

Along with friends and families, 30 first-year medical students representing 21 communities from across the state were formally welcomed as Montana WWAMI’s entering class of 2014 on Oct. 3 during the White Coat Ceremony at Montana State University. The students came from the small communities of Monarch, Guilford, Galata, and Pine Butte, and the larger cities of Billings, Missoula, Great Falls, and Bozeman.

Hosted by Martin Teintze, Montana WWAMI first-year director and assistant dean, and Jay Erickson, Montana WWAMI clinical assistant dean, the ceremony featured the presentation of white coats and stethoscopes to each student. The alumni and friends of the Montana WWAMI Education Program provided the white coats while the UW School of Medicine Alumni Association provided the stethoscopes. Mark Whipple, UW associate professor of otolaryngology and a graduate of Alaska WWAMI, gave the keynote speech.

Part of the ceremony included presentation of the George Saari Humanitarianism Award to LeeAnna Muzquiz, a WWAMI graduate from Montana. The award honors Montana WWAMI physicians and students who best exemplify the professionalism and humanitarian characteristics of the late Dr. George Saari, whose compassion combined with clinical excellence demonstrated the interconnection of the art and science of medicine.

Muzquiz, an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, works for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in the Tribal Health Department where she is now a medical director and a full-time physician. Her interests in medicine include adolescent medicine, women’s health and diabetes, as well as teaching and mentoring. She is also active in the areas of health policy and advocacy.



Elizabeth Bridges

Elizabeth Bridges

Elizabeth Bridges, a clinical nurse researcher at UW Medical Center, has been named by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) as its 2015 Distinguished Research Lecturer.

The award recognizes nurses whose program of research significantly influences high acuity and critical care. With more than 30 years as a critical care nurse, Bridges is best known for her research and teaching related to the integration of hemodynamic data into clinical practice and the care of critically ill and injured patients, especially under unique and austere conditions.

For more information, see the AACN press release.



Richard Shugerman: Bruce C. Gilliland Award for Excellence in Teaching of Residents and Fellows

Richard Shugerman

Richard Shugerman, professor of pediatrics and co-director of the Department of Pediatrics WWAMI programs, has been awarded the Bruce C. Gilliland Award for Excellence in Teaching of Residents and Fellows. The late Dr. Gilliland was a UW professor of medicine and laboratory medicine known for his skill, compassion and selfless dedication to teaching. The Gilliland Award is presented annually to an individual actively engaged in clinical and didactic training or in the implementation of a graduate medical education curriculum. The recipient must have shown evidence of excellence over time and must have served for at least three years within the UW School of Medicine as a teacher of residents/fellows.

Shugerman served as the director of the pediatric residency program at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s from 1992 until April 2014 when he assumed his new responsibilities. Under his leadership, applications to the residency nearly quadrupled, and four resident pathways were developed (global, domestic underserved, research and Alaska primary care). The residency was ranked fourth in the United States in a recent poll by U.S. News & World Report, and received the Academic Pediatric Association’s National Education Award in May 2014 in recognition of the innovative pathways inspired by Shugerman.

Many of Shugerman’s colleagues wrote letters nominating him for this award. In one letter of nomination, a colleague wrote: “He is a teacher, a role model, a mentor, a leader, a friend, and someone we would all like to emulate. I feel extraordinarily fortunate that he has chosen to share these gifts with me and other trainees at the University of Washington.” For more information about the Gilliland Award, see the UW Medicine site.

Eric Konnick: College of American Pathologists Leadership Development Award

Eric Konnick

Eric Konnick, UW molecular genetic pathology fellow in the Department of Laboratory Medicine, was recognized by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) Foundation with a Leadership Development Award at the CAP's annual conference, which took place Sept. 7-10 in Chicago.

Winning the award enables Konnick to attend the CAP Policy Meeting in Washington next year. "Because of the numerous changes underway in our field, this is a critical time for pathologists," said Konnick. "Engaging with our representatives on Capitol Hill is necessary to help us transition to new care paradigms and provide the best care for our patients."

For more information, see the CAP press release.


Upcoming Events 

Volunteers needed for free health clinic at Seattle Center, Oct. 23-26

Healthcare professionals and other volunteers are invited to participate in a Free Health Clinic for underserved and vulnerable populations. The clinic is produced in partnership with the humanitarian organization Remote Area Medical and more than 30 health, human service and civic organizations. Volunteers can donate their time one or more days during the four-day clinic.

The clinic will provide dental, vision and medical care to as many as 1,000 patients each day. All services are free to patients. Clinic patients will receive treatment on a first-come, first-served basis with no income, insurance, citizenship or eligibility requirements. At this time, the greatest need is for ophthalmologists, chiropractors/osteopaths, radiologists, X-ray/EKG/ultrasound techs, foot care specialists including podiatrists, and overnight support of patients waiting in line. Volunteers are also needed to help with food preparation and serving.

In conjunction with the clinic, a two-day HealthFest will take place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Seattle Center Armory. At this event, clinic participants and the general public can learn about health insurance navigation and enrollment, receive information about nutrition, fitness and screening programs, and connect with local health, human and social service providers.

If you are interested in volunteering at the Free Health Clinic, contact Julia Colson at SKCClinic@seattle.gov or visit www.seattlecenter.org/volunteers. For more information about HealthFest visit http://seattlecenter.org/healthfest/.

Lecture on birth defects in Iraq, Oct. 27

Co-sponsored by the UW Global Health Resource Center, this Discover Series lecture will feature Dr. Muhsin Al-Sabbak, a gynecologist at Basra Maternity Hospital. After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the nation’s cities have witnessed increasing rates of congenital birth defects and cancers. Public exposure to neurotoxic metals has been discovered in children and residents of Fallujah and Basrah, two cities in central and southern Iraq. Dr. Al-Sabbak’s talk, “The Epidemic of Birth Defects in Iraq: Conversations with an Iraqi Doctor,” will provide an opportunity to hear the story firsthand. It will also provide an opportunity to build research and clinical ties in order to address the pressing health needs of the Iraqi population. For more information, see the event flyer.

Science in Medicine New Investigator Lecture, Oct. 29

Beth Buffalo, a UW associate professor in physiology and biophysics, will be lecturing on “Neural Signals for Exploration and Navigation in the Medial Temporal Lobe.” The lecture will take place from 12 noon - 1 p.m. in Room K069 Health Science Building (K wing). See the flyer for more information.

2014 Allan S. Hoffman Lecture, Oct. 30

The 2014 Allan S. Hoffman Lecture — “Reinterpreting the Genetic Code: from Polymers to Proteomics” — will be given by David A. Tirrell, the Ross McCollum-William H. Corcoran professor of chemistry and chemical engineering and director of the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology. Tirrell’s research interests lie in macromolecular chemistry and in the use of non-canonical amino acids to engineer and probe protein behavior. His contributions to these fields have been recognized by his election to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His lecture will address the genetic code and new developments that have fostered a more unified view of the chemistry of natural and synthetic macromolecules that have provided a basis for powerful new approaches to materials design and to temporally and spatially resolved analysis of biological processes. The lecture will take place from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., in the Health Sciences Building, Room T-625, on the UW campus. A reception will follow. Contact Shirley Nollette at 206.685.2002 or nolletts@uw.edu for more information.

Zoobiquity 2014 Conference: “Human and Animal Health in a Changing Global Health Environment,” Nov. 1

Zoobiquity 2014 is a collaboration among several institutions including Woodland Park Zoo, the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, both at Washington State University; the UW School of Public Health, UW Medicine and the UW School of Medicine; and the Zoobiquity Research Initiative at UCLA.

Health professionals and students representing a wide variety of interests in the welfare of humans, animals and the environment will have the unusual opportunity to interact.

This is a continuing medical education conference and will explore clinically important overlaps between diseases occurring in humans and animals (e.g., obesity, asthma, uterine fibroids and abuse as well asglobal environmental change leading to outbreaks of infectious diseases). The conference will also include case discussions and rounds at Woodland Park Zoo.

Peter Rabinowitz, UW professor of environmental and occupational health, who heads the new Center for One Health Research is one of the conference organizers. For details and links to register, see the conference site.

Grant writing workshop, Nov. 18-19. (Registration closes Nov. 3)

The Institute of Translational Health Sciences is offering an interactive grant-writing workshop designed for junior faculty who are preparing grant applications to the NIH. Cost: $150. To register, click here.

Science in Medicine New Investigator Lecture, Nov. 5

Susan Ferguson, UW assistant professor in psychiatry and vehavioral sciences, will be lecturing on "Deconstructing the neural circuits that regulate addiction and decision-making." The lecture will take place from 12 noon - 1 p.m. in Room K-069 Health Sciences Building (K-wing). See the flyer for more information.

Medical team volunteers needed for Seattle Marathon, Nov. 30

UW Medicine has opportunities for medical and administrative volunteers at the Seattle Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 30. Led by Mark Harrast, Seattle Marathon medical director, our medical teams will manage seven stations along the course and two at the finish line.

More than 10,000 runners are expected to participate in the marathon and half-marathon races during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Volunteers can sign up for all-day, morning or afternoon shifts. A medical team orientation will take place Tuesday, Nov. 25, in the evening. Medical team members include physicians, nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, medical assistants and techs, as well as students in these fields and administrative staff. They will be well equipped to handle both routine and complex medical ailments common to endurance events. These include strains and sprains, muscle cramps, blisters and abrasions, hypothermia, heat stroke, and exercise-associated collapse, including from cardiac and metabolic disorders.

If you are interested, please complete the Seattle Marathon Medical Team Volunteer RegistrationFor more information, contact Mia Coleman at miac@uw.edu.

Continuing Medical Education

Visit Continuing Medical Education for information on upcoming classes.


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