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General Sessions

Sunday, May 6; 8:30-10 am

Allyship in Times of Adversity 

Suzanne Barakat, MD, Oakland, CA 

We often think of diversity and inclusion in the context of recruitment and hiring. But even when metrics are met, the specter of alienation and the opportunity for inclusion exist in every interaction, whether with patients or colleagues. Allyship and advocacy are important pillars of what makes for a diverse and inclusive environment. Why do they matter, and how can faculty members steer interactions towards inclusion, and over time, institutionalize practices and policies that foster an environment that is welcoming and safe for learners and patients?

In order to address these questions, it is important to 1) gain self-awareness about our implicit biases and privileges, 2) develop tools to address difficult encounters that are either experienced or witnessed, and 3) recognize that effective advocacy work is rooted in cultivating allyship—in ourselves, and the places we work. Drawing from her own experiences navigating the ramifications of Islamophobia, Suzanne Barakat, MD, will identify actionable steps to effect change in a residency program and hospital institution. 

Dr Barakat was born and raised in North Carolina, and earned her bachelor’s degree and completed medical school at at UNC Chapel Hill. She is passionate about women’s health, global health, and social justice. Prior to residency, she conducted research on gestational diabetes and postpartum mental health outcomes in low-income Latina women, contributed to a first-of-its-kind mood screener and mental health assessment of Arabic-speaking communities worldwide, and worked at makeshift polyclinics and state hospitals serving thousands of refugees along the Turkish-Syrian border. She recently completed her family medicine residency training at UCSF San Francisco General Hospital, and works as a hospitalist, laborist, and outpatient family medicine physician in Oakland, CA. Dr Barakat serves as board chair for Our Three Winners Foundation, a grant-making agency created to honor the humanitarian legacies of her brother Deah and sisters-in-law Yusor and Razan. She has been outspoken about the role of advocacy and allyship in countering the rising tide of Islamophobia, and has given a TED Talk on the subject.

Monday, May 7; 4:30-5:30 pm

Developing the Moral Obligations of Citizenship

Stephen Black, Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility, University of Alabama 

Institutions of higher education, including schools of medicine and programs in graduate medical education have the unique potential for shaping how learners see the world and define their role in it. Often best situated to offer vision, credibility, and leadership, educators in every setting must participate in helping Americans increase the realm of duties we define as moral responsibilities of citizenship. Considering and deliberately affecting this dimension of medical education is both appropriate and necessary. Learners should find themselves immersed in a community where clinical skills are only one part of a deeper process of developing commitments to the common good.  Especially those joining the medical profession must realize that with the privilege of being better educated than ninety five percent of our nation’s population comes an obligation to understand that everyone's health and potential to thrive is worth fighting for – through direct care, advocacy, and the culture-shaping work of leadership. 

Stephen Black, grandson of US Supreme Court Justice Hugo L. Black, grew up in New Mexico after most of his family left the state in the 1950’s and 60’s following his grandfather’s role in controversial Civil Rights decisions, including Brown v. Board of Education. Despite growing up over 1,000 miles away, he was fascinated by Alabama and the legacy of his family’s commitment to public service in their home state. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School. Following his graduation from law school, he returned to Alabama to join the Birmingham law firm, Maynard, Cooper & Gale, PC. He then served for a brief time as an assistant to the Governor focusing on policy and economic development projects. Encouraged by the enthusiasm of thousands of students he encountered when speaking across the state, he turned his focus to founding and leading the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility at The University of Alabama. He also founded Impact Alabama: A Student Service Initiative (that is currently named Impact America). Impact America is an award-winning nonprofit with programs in Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Florida that provides college students the opportunity to participate in structured service projects designed to promote learning and leadership development.

Tuesday, May 8; 8:30-10 am

Should Family Medicine Educators Be Expected to Do Research? Point-Counterpoint Debate

Jeffrey M. Borkan, MD, PhD, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island/Brown University; David Schneider, MD, MSPH, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Many family medicine departments have limited resources and mentorship to support robust scholarly activity.  Family medicine educators often cite limited time to engage in meaningful research.  However, many institutions require research as part of advancement or as an expectation from the department. In this session, the question of whether family medicine educators should be expected to do research will be debated in a moderated Point- Counterpoint format.  Audience participation is highly encouraged.  The aim of the session is to have an open and constructive discussion that highlights the benefits and downfalls of this “elephant in the room” issue.

Dr Borkan  is a primary care educator, researcher, clinician, and advocate whose career has bridged two fields (family medicine and medical anthropology), both in the United States and abroad. He joined the Department of Family Medicine at Brown University as professor and chair in
2001, after having been the vice-chair of Behavioral Science at Tel Aviv University, and the coordinator of a national Family Medicine Practice Based Research Network. He received his BA from the University of Michigan and his MD and PhD at Case Western Reserve University.  He completed family medicine residency at the University of Washington and was a fellow in Social Medicine at Harvard.  At Brown, Dr. Borkan has worked with a broad coalition to spearhead the growth and development of the Department of Family Medicine, the sole family medicine department in the State (and the site of training for two-thirds of the family physicians in Rhode Island). His research interests include medical education, health policy, and primary care—using qualitative and mixed methods techniques. He has been active in Rhode Island and national health care policy, including chairing the Rhode Island Primary Care Physician Advisory Board, serving as president and chair of the Association of Departments of Family Medicine, and the Council of Academic Family Medicine. Dr Borkan was appointed as assistant dean for the Primary Care- Population Medicine program starting in the 2013 academic year. 

Dr Schneider is currently chairman of the department of Family and Community Medicine the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Before joining UT, he was chair of Family and Community Medicine at Saint Louis University. Prior to Saint Louis University, he was on the faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio where he served as director of medical student education, residency program director, and vice chairman.  He has served as chair of the American Academy of Family Physicians Commission on Public Health, and president of the Texas Academy of Family Physicians.  He has worked nationally to strengthen health professions education on violence and abuse as the founding president of the Academy on Violence and Abuse, and was chair of the National Health Collaborative on Violence and Abuse. His research interests have focused on medical education and the health effects of violence and victimization, and the use of opioids in chronic non-malignant pain.   

Wednesday, May 9; 9:45-11am

The AMA and STFM: Shaping the Future of Medical Education, the Health of the Public, and the Health of Physician Practices

David O. Barbe, MD, MHA, American Medical Association 

The Amercian Medical Association (AMA) and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) share many common interests across a broad cross section of topics including undergraduate and graduate medical education, maintenance of certification / CME, and medical ethics (guiding professional development), improving the health of patients and populations with particular emphasis on diabetes, uncontrolled hypertension and the opioid epidemic (improving chronic care), and promoting tools, resources and pursuing an advocacy agenda that facilitates professionally satisfying and sustainable physician practices (tools for the field). These three broad areas are the AMA’s three areas of strategic focus with significant resources devoted to shaping the future in these areas. This session will review the current state of these three broad areas, explore gaps between current state and a better future state, and highlight what the AMA and other professional organizations are doing to address these gaps. 

Initiatives to be discussed include the AMA’s Accelerate Change in Medical Education initiative, physician and patient facing initiatives in partnership with other national organizations directed to reducing the progression of pre-diabetes to Type 2 diabetes and identification and more aggressive treatment of uncontrolled hypertension, development of practice tools and resources to help physicians perform successfully in the value based payment environment (including MIPS), and advocacy efforts with public and private payers and regulators to improve quality payment programs and reduce administrative burdens such as prior authorizations.

David O. Barbe, MD, MHA, a practicing family physician from Mountain Grove, Mo., is president of the American Medical Association. He has been a member of the AMA Board of Trustees since June 2009.  He also served on and chaired the AMA Council on Medial Service where he led development of AMA policy related to coverage of the uninsured, including insurance market, Medicare, and health system reform. He received his MD and Master of Health Administration degrees from the University of Missouri–Columbia.  He completed family medicine residency in Wichita, Kan.  Following residency, Dr Barbe returned to his hometown of Mountain Grove and established a solo practice in traditional family medicine, including obstetrics and endoscopy. Over time, He expanded his independent practice to two clinics and several physicians. After 15 years in independent practice, he merged his group with Mercy Clinic, Springfield, Mo., a 650-physician multi-specialty integrated group.  In his role as vice president of regional operations for Mercy, he is directly responsible for five hospitals, 75 clinics, and more than 200 physicians and advanced practitioners.



Copyright 2018 by Society of Teachers of Family Medicine