Concierge Medicine: A Market Based Solution for the Primary Care Shortage?

By Haoming Qiu (Johns Hopkins University, MD Candidate)

Reimbursement schemes that favor interventional care over preventive care have contributed to a growing shortage of primary care physicians in the United States. Numerous studies have shown that a lack of primary and preventive care worsens patient outcomes and increases healthcare expenditures by delaying care until an illness has reached a critical stage. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is a concept that is self evidently true. Yet, for the past thirty years there has been an inexorable decline in the ratio of primary to specialty care physicians in this country. At the heart of the issue is the simple fact that primary care physicians must work longer hours for less pay than specialty physicians thus inducing generations of American medical students to choose the latter instead of the former. (1)

Countless measures have been proposed to equalize pay between primary care and specialty care physicians but as of today a huge chasm still remain. This has led to the extreme situation today in which even people with insurance (especially Medicaid and Medicare) have trouble finding primary care physicians. Even those who are lucky enough to have a doctor must spend hours waiting for an appointment that can last as little as 5 minutes. The result? More frustrated and sicker patients and untold costs to society in terms of direct medical expenditures and indirect productivity lost.

Fig.1. In a classic market based economy, there will be higher supply and lower demand as prices increase until an equilibrium price is reached such that supply equals demand. Note that this price Pe results in the greatest quantity of services produced and consumed.

In a simple market based economy, a shortage in the supply of primary care physicians would cause prices to rise until there is sufficient supply to meet demand (Fig 1). However, because much of medical system in the US is controlled by third party payers (i.e. insurance companies and the government) prices are not free to change. Instead, a complex mechanism of negotiations and legislations are required to change the amount of money a doctor can charge for his services. In the case of primary care, inability or unwillingness to raise primary care reimbursements on the part of the third party payers has caused a mismatch in the supply and demand of primary care physicians: a classic market disequilibrium. (Fig 2).

Fig 2. In a non-market based economy such as our healthcare system, prices are determined by an outside party such as the government through its control of Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement levels. Artificially low prices cause a scarcity of supply versus demand. This results in a decreased production of services resulting in market disequilibrium. Note that the artificial low price leads to decreased provision and access to services compared to the market equilibrium in Fig 1.

Concierge medicine has arisen precisely because of this scarcity in primary care. The excess demand for primary care relative to the supply has allowed many primary care physicians to impose a surcharge on their patients. Patients pay a retainer fee of usually several thousand dollars per year to their doctors for the privilege of remaining in the physician’s care. In return, the patient is promised better access to care in which they can get current day or next day appointments or can speak to their doctors via cellphone 24/7. The appointment with the doctors is also more comprehensive since doctors are able to receive higher payment for the visit. Thus, concierge practice is beneficial to both patients and doctors. (2) Additionally, because better primary care prevents disease, concierge practices also decreases cost to the medical system as a whole.

Critics of concierge medicine argue that as a greater number of primary care physicians join concierge practices, there will be even less physicians available to see patients who are unable to afford the retainer fee. They argue that discriminating on the ability to pay is not compatible with the ethics of the medical profession.

Fig 3. Concierge medicine allows physicians to raise their price through charging patients a retainer fee. Higher prices attract new doctors into the field thus increasing supply. Prices increase until supply equals demand and market equilibrium is achieved once more. Note once again that greater number of people are able to receive care after prices increase because the supply of care increases.

Although the ideals of medicine is to provide care regardless of reimbursement, the harsh reality today is that pay levels do determine the number of students who choose to enter a particular field. The number of US medical students who choose a career in primary care has steadily declined throughout the past 30 years as primary care salaries are eclipsed by those of specialist. The only lasting way to increase the number of primary care doctors is to increase their average salary. However, the government and third party payers have clearly failed in this attempt and the market has responded through the practice of concierge medicine.

The rise of concierge medicine in this country is fundamentally the result of a poor reimbursement scheme that devalues primary care. Suppressing concierge medicine will only cause a greater shortage of primary care physicians as medical students choose specialty professions. Instead we need to tackle the underlying issue and increase the pay and thus supply of primary care physicians. Only then can we develop a more efficient and just health care system.

Haoming Qiu
MD Candidate Class of 2011
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

No disclosures.

References:

1. Bodenheimer T. Primary Care — Will It Survive? N Engl J Med 355:861, August 31, 2006 Perspective

2. Hartzband P, Groopman J. Money and the Changing Culture of Medicine N Engl J Med 360:101, January 8, 2009 Perspective

For more information on workforce issues in primary care:

http://content.nejm.org/topics/primary-care.shtml/

Premed Perspectives

By Haoming Qiu (Johns Hopkins University, MD Candidate)

A cursory search on amazon.com will bring up more books about getting into medical school than any pre-med will ever need. These books are quite specific about the technical aspects of the application process including how to apply, what courses one needs, how to get letters of recommendation and “insider hints” and other details. I will not offer a redundant list here. Rather, I hope to articulate a general philosophy towards the process of admissions that I hope you will find helpful.

Sun Zhu said that the commander that knows himself and the enemy can fight one hundred battles without the fear of losing one. Most pre-medical students have very good knowledge of  “the enemy” that is the medical schools. Many pre-meds can rattle off the statistics of many top medical schools including average GPA, MCAT score etc. They know the course requirements and other soft indicators like research and community service quite well. Unfortunately, despite of (or because of) this wealth of information about the “other” there is often an unexpected deficit in information about the self. Some medical students I know after one or even two years of training seem unable to articulate a real reason of why they wish to pursue medicine as a career.  The sound-bites that we have all used to convince the admissions staff have long since fallen away to reveal an uncertain future. It is then that the reality of needing to spend the next decade of life in debt and hard work loom large.

Therefore, I believe that previous to spending any effort in researching how to get into medical school, one should spend some time thinking about why it is they want to go to medical school. Once you think you have several reasons for pursuing medicine, it is important to critically examine these reasons. First these goals must last at least the length of the training process. Temporary goals that loose their importance after a few years will not be able to sustain the investment required to become a physician.

Second, one needs to find out how likely it will be that they will be able to attain their goals. Many students enter medicine for the good and stable income that medicine delivers. I don’t think that this reason is less valid than any other, but it is important to consider the reality of medical economics. Medicine does deliver a good income but only after you have paid in a considerable amount in tuition, lost income and time. While his friends are enjoying life in their twenties, the medical student must study and try to limit his expenses to as little as possible since every dollar he spends, he will have to repay two or possibly even three times over.  Also, the income that many physicians make, especially those in primary care have not kept up with inflation, while the costs of doing business such as those of running an office have gone up dramatically.

Many students profess a desire to serve humanity, which is a just and noble aim. However, the reality of healthcare in this country is such that physicians are paid to do procedures rather than talk to patients. A physician in a field that focuses more on patient interaction such as primary care must often see a patient every 15 or 20 minutes just to break even at the end of the day. This does not leave much room to offer healing or counseling. A further amount of time must be spent filling out paperwork and negotiating with insurance companies that can take up as much as 30% of a physician’s time. Like most other ancillary activities, this work is not reimbursed.

The above is not meant to discourage students from pursuing medicine but merely tries to serve as an admonition that before students make a decision impacting the rest of their lives, they should think carefully about the repercussions of their decisions and challenge pre-conceived notions they have of the field. Reading books on the subject and talking to physicians is a great way to understand the field. Even if one does decide to pursue medicine after this, the enhanced knowledge base will make life in medical school and beyond much smoother.

A thorough understanding of one’s own motivations and interests will also better prepare the student for the interview process. The question that most admission committees are seeking to answer is not whether or not a student is academically prepared for medicine (your grade/MCATs determine that) but whether or not the student is likely to be able to last the entire process of medical training and become a good physician. A candidate that has convinced one self of the desire to pursue medicine and understands the complexities of the field is much more reassuring to an admissions officer than a candidate with only naive optimism that is shattered sooner than many students expect.

Lastly, students should try to articulate a theme for their application. Instead of presenting a hodge podge collection of activities and courses that seem geared only towards medical school admissions, students should try to present themselves as someone with a definite goal in life. Whether the goal is academic, social, personal or financial in nature, a person who has a plan is much more likely to succeed in that goal than someone who is aimlessly wandering and only hoping to stumble upon success. The applicant’s course, activities, research and letters of recommendation should all support the theme that is being presented. A student is much more likely to generate a lasting impression if there are several defining characteristics that make him stand out from the crowd than doing things that every other pre-med has done. In short, depth is much more important than breadth.

Health Care Information Technology: Myth and Reality

By Haoming Qiu (Johns Hopkins University, MD Candidate)

A sixty five year old man collapses suddenly at the supermarket on a Sunday afternoon and is rushed to the ER where he is diagnosed with myocardial infarction in the setting of chronic heart failure. After being resuscitated the patient is transferred to the coronary care unit where he is admitted for continued monitoring. Attempts to locate the patient’s medical record were unsuccessful as the patient’s primary doctor was out of town that weekend.  Given the man’s condition, the intern on call writes a prescription for furosemide, a diuretic that can decrease the excessive fluid in the man’s body which is spilling into his lungs.

At first things go well as the man urinates much of his excess fluid and is able to breathe easier. However, as the night wears on, the man becomes increasingly lethargic and complains of muscle weakness. As the man has only recently recovered from an acute MI, the intern believes this is a normal symptom of recovery and goes back to sleep. At 4am, the intern is awakened by an urgent page from the nurse who is warning the young intern that the patient has gone into ventricular tachycardia (rapid, futile beating of the ventricles). The intern rushes into the room and attempts to defibrillate the patient. Multiple efforts were unsuccessfully and the patient was pronounced dead after 15 minutes.

The following morning, the patient’s doctor is located and informed of the patient’s death. Upon review of the patient’s medical records, it is found that the patient had been taking a beta adrenergic blocker (decreases workload of the heart). The morbidity and mortality board concludes that the combination of the patient’s beta blocker and the diuretic, both great drugs by themselves for heart failure was incorrectly combined and created a dangerous level of hypokalemia (decreased serum potassium) causing the patient’s arrhythmia. The patient’s family sues the hospital for negligence but the hospital contends that it had no way of knowing the patient’s medicine intake and had exercised good faith in locating the patient’s medical record. The hospital argues that given the patient’s acute condition it could not afford to wait any longer before initiating immediate action.

The above scenario is fictional but it is representative of a growing problem in our health care system- that of our obsolescent health care information technology system. While records are lost in the paper shuffle from hospital to doctor to pharmacy, patient’s lives are lost valuable resources are wasted because we cannot access vital information about a patient’s medical care. This can lead to dangerous drug interactions, duplicate and unnecessary testing and missed or incorrect diagnosis and treatment. In addition, the costs of transcribing, accessing, storing, organizing and sharing paper records is expensive and contributes greatly to the heavy administrative costs of US healthcare. Switching to an electronic records systems can increase efficiency, reduce errors and decrease costs. In addition, electronic records open up entirely new possibilities such as decision support tools that help doctors make the best treatment decisions based on continuously updated and evidence based guidelines. In addition, medical research would be much cheaper and quicker to conduct leading to more beneficial drugs and devices at a lower cost to the consumer. Despite, the multitude of reasons supporting the transition to electronic health records, America has been curiously stagnant on its adoption.

America has some of the world’ best medical technologies including robotic surgery tools and high resolution MRI scanners. Yet in the critical respect of information technology, we are sorely lacking behind other nations. It is ironic that the nation that gave birth to Silicon Valley and is home to such industry giants as Microsoft, Apple and Google has allowed the largest sector of its economy (healthcare) to fall into obsolescence in terms of IT. In a country in which one can bank, shop and even order food online, we remain curiously disconnected from what is perhaps the most vital information, that on our health.

Screenshot of a typical Electronic Health Record software, in this case GE’s Centricity

Statistics from the American hospital association show that only 11% of hospitals have fully implemented electronic health records (EHR), 57% had partial implementation and 32% had not started at all. Physician office practices have even lower rates of digitization of health records. These numbers are even more atrocious when we recognize that many other developed nations such as the Norway, Netherlands, New Zealand, UK and Denmark have fully implemented EHR systems. Even more incredibly, Health IT is not some ground breaking concept in the US. The Veteran’s Administration Hospital system has been able to implement a nation wide EHR net in which any veteran’s medical information entered at any VA hospital can be accessed at any other VA hospital almost instantaneously at any time.  This will no doubt leave many readers wondering why EHR has not been implemented for the rest of our healthcare system.

Looking from above, the American healthcare system is not a system at all, but a massively complex and fragment system of many individual parts that have traditionally not worked well with each other. Unlike other nations or the VA system, there is no one single entity that is in charge of setting an overall direction for the entire system. Freedom of choice is paramount in a nation that values individuality above all else. Building a health care IT infrastructure is much like building a rail network that connects different cities into a coherent transportation net. While everyone can benefit from such a network, no single entity has the power or the resources to build the entire infrastructure by itself. The experience so far has seen individual hospitals building internal IT networks that connect different departments of the hospital together or different hospitals under one management company. These small networks are currently islands unto themselves that are unable to communicate with other similar networks due to the lack of a common lexicon.

The problem is compounded by the variety of healthcare IT software bundles in the marketplace. Each hospital often contracts a particular software vendor to build a system based on the hospitalÂ’s peculiar needs. These systems have idiosyncrasies that make them difficult to connect to other such systems. Having spent sometimes tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars building these networks, the hospitals are unwilling to spend additional money to make their current software compatible to others. The software vendors also contribute to the problem by jealously guarding their proprietary systems from rivals thereby making the task of building a connector between the different software packages almost impossible.

The good news so far has been that the Obama administration has made Healthcare IT (HIT) a major part of its economic stimulus package, earmarking 20 billion dollars for upgrading the nation’s EHR net. This represents a near doubling of the current HIT marketplace. In addition, Obama has set up a National Coordinator for Health Information Technology that will help to streamline compatibility issues. There appears to be two major options on the table. The first is to fund the universal adoption of a common HIT system based on the current Veteran’s Affair’s EHR network. However, many conservatives oppose this measure as forcing a government plan down the throats of private enterprise and stifling innovation. The second option is to invest government money in private companies that will develop their own EHR networks and then try to help these companies build connector software that allows software from different vendors to talk to each other, much like the internet can be read by both Mac and PC. This option runs the obvious problem of further encouraging divergent development of differing standards that may or may not be able to be unified.

The next five years will be an exciting time for healthcare IT. Many questions remain but one thing is clear, adoption of an electronic health care system will be a critical part of making the US healthcare system more efficient and of higher quality.

Further Reading:

2008 National APAMSA Conference Review

Building ONE Community

Congratulations to Andrew Liu (UPenn), Yifan Guo (UPenn), and Betty Chung (UMDNJ-SOM) for organizing a great 2008 National Conference in Philadelphia!

OVER 400 MEDICAL STUDENTS ATTENDED THE 15TH ANNUAL APAMSA NATIONAL CONFERENCE!

Philadelphia, PA – The University of Pennsylvania hosted APAMSA‘s 15th annual national conference on October 17-19, 2008.  Over 400 medical and pre-medical students throughout the US attended. By focusing on “Building One Community” as the theme for this year’s conference, the organizers: Andrew Liu (UPenn), Yifan Guo (UPenn) and Betty Chung (UMDNJ-SOM) offered many opportunities for students to increase their cultural awareness and leadership skills, and develop competency in the health issues surrounding the API community.

Keynote speakers included Mike Honda, Congressman of the 15th district California, Robert M. Wah, MD, member of the American Medical Association (AMA) Board of Trustees, and Anand K. Parekh, the acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in the Office of Public Health & Science. The conference showcased 19 workshops and presentations covering public health topics such as Hepatitis B and diabetes and other pressing issues concerning the API community such as HIV and mental diseases.

Several APAMSA chapters and members were honored for their work this past year. Northwestern University was acknowledged for their strong fundraising efforts. UCLA and the University of Illinois were commended for their Hepatitis B screening events. The Medical College of Wisconsin was recognized for hosting educational events throughout the year. Please see below for other chapters and members who have been recognized for their work this past year.

In addition, elections for the 2008-2009 APAMSA National Board were held. New national officers include Shelly Choo from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine as the President-elect, Peony Liu from UCLA and Peter Koon from Baylor School of Medicine as the Vice Presidents, and Christopher Vanichsarn from Albert Einstein School of Medicine as the Secretary. Returning board members include Grace Wang, President 2007-2008 as National Cancer Initiative Director, Emily Tsai as the Senior Trustee, and Carol Cao as International Medical Mission Director. Below is a list of all the members of this past year’s National Board as well as members of the new board.

Sponsors of the conference included the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, Jefferson University, Temple University, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – School of Osteopathic Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania Departments of Medicine, Radiology, and Emergency Medicine, Asian Health Foundation, Hepatitis B Foundation, Asian American Health Care Network of Philadelphia, Kaiser Permanente, USMLE Rx, US Navy, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Gilead.

The 2009 APAMSA National conference will be hosted in Los Angeles, CA by Jeff Hsu and Jim Nguyen from UCLA.

APAMSA Chapters Honored with Awards

Chapter of the Year: Northwestern Univ.
Best Hepatitis B Efforts: UCLA & Univ. of Illinois
Best Community Service Event:  Rosalind Franklin University
Best Educational Events: Medical College of Wisconsin
Best Cultural Events: Univ. of Pittsburgh
Best Fundraiser: Northwestern Univ.
Best Premedical Chapter: UCLA

Officers Honored 2007-2008

NATIONAL OFFICERS HONORED:

President

Grace Wang

John Hopkins University

Membership Vice President

Jeffrey Hsu

UCLA

Membership Vice President

Beverly Chen

University of Missouri-Kansas City

Senior Trustees

Son Ho

University of South Florida

Junior Trustees

Emily Tsai

Stanford University

Chief Financial Officer

Pinakpani Roy

University of South Florida

Secretary

Carol Cao

Albert Einstein COM

National Education Officer

Eugenie Shieh

Johns Hopkins University

National Education Officer

Shelly Choo

Johns Hopkins University

National Bone Marrow Director

Dillenia Reyes

UMDNJ RWJMS

National Hepatitis B Chair

David Chao

Michigan St. University

National Hepatitis B Chair

Jonathan Moy

Tufts University

National Program Director

Susan Hung

UCSF

South Asian Liaison

Ammar Chaudhry

University of South Florida

South Asian Liaison

Gorav Kalra

Washington University of St. Louis

South Asian Liaison

Danish Ahmad

University of South Florida

Media Relations

Richard Lau

Albert Einstein COM

Webmaster

Lin Naing

UCLA

Public Relations

Lauren Luk

UCSF

Premed Director

John Kanaan

University of South Florida

Premed Director

Sophia Peng

UCLA Undergrad

Creative Director

TD Nguyen

UMKC

Creative Director

Sherry Liu

UMKC

REGIONAL OFFICERS HONORED:

Region I

Marie Nguyen

Dartmouth

Region II

Melanie Liu

Mount Sinai

Alexander Le

AECOM

Region III

Myra Hu

Jefferson

Andrew Lee

Drexel

Frank Tsai

Temple

Region IV

Ammar Chaudhry

USF

Region V

Ted John

Michigan

Jeanie Wang

NEOUCOM

Region VI

Linda Nguyen

Midwestern

Farhan Katchi

Wash U

Region VII

Ruo Peng Zhu

Stanford

Harim Kevin Kim

Wash U

Region VIII

Jennifer Lai

UT San Antonio

Hillary Patuwo

Baylor

New Officers Elected 2008-2009

NATIONAL OFFICERS:

President

Shelly Choo

John Hopkins University

Membership Vice President

Peony Liu

UCLA

Membership Vice President

Peter Koon

Baylor School of Medicine

Senior Trustees

Emily Tsai

Stanford University

Junior Trustees

Andrew Lin

University of Pennsylvania

Chief Financial Officer

Nicholas Tamoria

Temple University

Secretary

Christopher Vanichsarn

Albert Einstein COM

National Education Officer

Helen Lee

Tufts University

National Education Officer

Jennifer Luo

UMDNJ

National Bone Marrow Director

Vinca Chow

Stanford University

National Hepatitis B Chair

Sam Li

Michigan St. University

National Hepatitis B Chair

Jonathan Moy

Tufts Undergrad

National Program Director

Betty Chung

UMDNJ-SOM

Cancer Director

Victoria Mi Kim

Duke University

Cancer Director

Grace Wang

Johns Hopkins University

South Asian Liaison

Ammar Chaudhry

University of South Florida

Public Relations

Isabel Huang

University of Cincinnati

Pre-Medical Director

Haoming Qiu

Johns Hopkins University

International Medical Mission Director

Carol Cao

Albert Einstein COM

Alumni Liason

Andrew Lee

Drexel University

National Conference Chair

Jeff Hsu

UCLA

National Conference Chair

Jim Nguyen

UCLA

REGIONAL OFFICERS:

Region I

Tristen Chun

Boston University

Angela Lai

Dartmouth

Region II

Ding (Martin) Ma

Mount Sinai

Huan Wang

AECOM

Region III

Young Lee

Temple

Anthony Chyou

Johns Hopkins

Himani Divatia

PCOM

William Cho

Drexel

Region IV

Daniel Ong

Duke

Ammar Chaudhry

USF

Region V

Mylinh Nguyen

Wayne State

Region VII

Jim Nguyen

UCLA

Myung Ko

Stanford

Region VIII

Katie Lee

Baylor

Gao Linda Chen

Arizona

2009 NATIONAL CONFERENCE SITE CHOSEN: Los Angeles

Hosting School: UCLA

Executive Chairs: Jeff Hsu and Jim Nguyen

2007 National APAMSA Conference

Congratulations to Susan Hung (UCSF), Lauren Luk (UCSF), Emily Tsai (Stanford) for organizing the 2007 National Conference in San Francisco!!

OVER TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY MEDICAL STUDENTS ATTENDED THE 14TH ANNUAL APAMSA (ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN MEDICAL STUDENT ASSOCIATION) NATIONAL CONFERENCE.

San Francisco, CA – The University of California San Francisco and Stanford hosted APAMSA’s 14th annual national conference on October 26th – 28th.   The theme of this year’s conference, “Bridging Culture, Taking Action, “ aimed to address a physician’s challenge of  reaching beyond the conventional roles of culture and society in ways that can translate awareness into concrete action. 

Two keynote speaker, Drs. Roland C. Lowe and Chao Hung Lee offered their insights on the medical field. Dr. Roland C. Lowe is the first Asian American President of the California Medical Association and a lifelong community clinician in San Francisco Chinatown.  Dr. Chao Hung Lee is a distinguished professor of Molecular Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine who shared his insights into the Taiwanese tradition of fortune telling and its relationship with the practice of health care.

The conference showcased 19 workshops and presentations covering public health topics and pressing issues concerning the APA community. Also featured was a presentation by Kathy Lee, the National President of APAMSA who worked with Steven Lau (UCSD) and Sanjeev Vaishnavi (WashU) to conduct one of the largest ever multi institutional national medical education studies examining non-cognitive predictors of medical students’ clinical clerkship grades.  Primary findings revealed independent associations between lower clerkship grades and Asian and URM ethnicity, male gender, older age, and being less assertive and more reticent. Kathy Lee explored such implications for the API student, as well as strategies that could allow students to face such challenges.

APAMSA CHAPTERS HONORED WITH AWARDS
Chapter of the Year UCLA
Most Influential Chapter University of South Florida
Best Premed Chapter UCLA
Best HepB Case Western and NEOUCOM
Best Educational Events Chicago Medical School
Best Cultural Events Wayne State
Best Fundraiser UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Best Community Service Temple, UMDNJ—Osteopathic school

2006-2007 NATIONAL OFFICERS HONORED:

President:  Kathy Lee (WashU)
Senior Membership Vice President:  Tony Wang (UMKC)
Junior Membership Vice President:  Chris Tang (UCLA)
Junior Membership Vice President:  David Wang (Pitt)
Senior Trustee:  Claude Nguyen (MCW)
Junior Trustee:  Son Ho (USF)
Chief Financial Officer:  Beverly Chen (UMKC)
Secretary:  Steven Lau (UCSD)
Bone Marrow Chair:  Dillenia Reyes (UMDNJ-RWJ)
Hepatitis B Chair:  Hangyul Chung (UMich)
Hepatitis B Conference Chair:  Anthony Chuang (Drexel)
National Education Officer:  Grace M Wang (Hopkins)  and Joel Ou (Northwestern)
Mental Health Coordinator:  Jason Cheng (UMich)
National Program Director:  Annie Lee (Northwestern)
South Asian Liasons:  Gaurav Shukla (Pitt)  and Sanjeev Vaishnavi (WashU)
Media Relations:  Richard Lau (Einstein)
Webmaster:  Lin Naing (UCLA)
Public Relations:  Jamie Ahn (Pitt)
2007 National Conference Chairs:  Susan Hung (UCSF), Lauren Luk (UCSF), Emily Tsai (Stanford)

REGIONAL OFFICERS HONORED:

Region I:  Marianne Chen (BU), Winston W. Chung (BU)
Region II: Brett J. Smith (UMDNJ-RWJ), Christopher Chin (Mount Sinai)
Region III :  Christopher P. Chen (Penn), K. Jim Hsieh (Jefferson)
Region IV :  Anh Phu Nguyen (USF), Anjali S. Shah (Vanderbilt)
Region V:  James Lee (Wayne State), Anu Mital (Cincinnati)
Region VI: Linda H. Nguyen (Midwestern), Fannie Lau (UMKC)
Region VII: Elaine S. Lee (UCSF), Lyly Cao Minh (UCLA)
Region VIII:  Shihao Zhang (LSU), Linda Yang (Baylor)

REGIONAL CONFERENCE CHAIRS HONORED:

Region II:  Christopher Chin (Mount Sinai), Brett Smith (UMDNJ-RWJ)
Region III (Hopkins):  Jonathan Tzu, Grace Wang
Region V (Umich):  Patricia Ple Plakon, Wenfei Xie, Hangyul Chung
Region VI (Midwestern): Linda Nguyen, Quynh Hoa Le, Bharti Chaudhari, Rita Punjabi
Region VIII (LSU-Shreveport):  Shihao Zhang, Nga Huynh, David Manning

2008 NATIONAL CONFERENCE SITE CHOSEN:  PHILADELPHIA

Hosting Schools:  University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University College of Medicine
Jefferson Medical College, Temple University, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine

Executive Chairs:  Mike Guo (Penn), Andrew Liu (Penn), Betty Chung (UMDNJ-SOM)
Co-Chairs: Jie Xu (Penn), Hien Nguyen (Temple), Myra Hu (Jefferson), Andrew Lee (Drexel), Anita Yang (PCOM), and Yein Lee (UMDNJ-SOM).
Treasurer:  Frank Tsai (Temple)

NEW OFFICERS ELECTED

National Board:

President-elect (term starting Feb 1, 2008): Grace Wang, Johns Hopkins University
Membership Vice President:  Jeffrey Hsu, UCLA
Membership Vice President:  Beverly Chen, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Senior Trustee:  Son Ho, USF COM
Junior Trustee:  Emily Tsai, Stanford University
Chief Financial Officer:  Pinakpani Roy, University of South Floridat
Secretary:  Carol Cao, Albert Einstein COM
National Education Officer:  Eugenie Shieh, Johns Hopkins University
National Education Officer:  Shelly Choo, Johns Hopkins University
National Bone Marrow Director:  Dillenia Reyes, UMDNJ RWJMS
National Hepatitis B Chair: David Chao, Michigan St. University
National Hepatitis B Chair:  Jonathan Moy, Tufts University     
National Program Director:  Susan Hung, UCSF
South Asian Liaison:  Ammar Chaudhry, USF COM
South Asian Liaison:  Gorav Kalra, Washington University in St. Louis
South Asian Liaison:  Danish Ahmad, USF COM
Media Relations: Richard Lau, Albert Einstein COM
Webmaster:  Lin Naing, UCLA
Public Relations:  Lauren Luk, UCSF
Premed Director:  John Kanaan, USF COM
Premed Director:  Sophia Peng, UCLA undergrad
Creative Director: TD Nguyen, UMKC
Creative Director: Sherry Liu, UMKC

Regional Directors:
I:  Lucinda Leung (Dartmouth-Brown), Marie Nguyen (Dartmouth)
II :  Melanie Liu  (Mt. Sinai), Alexander Le (AECOM)
III:  Myra Hu (Jefferson), Andrew Lee (Drexel), Frank Tsai (Temple)
IV:  Ammar Chaudhry (USF)
V:  Ted John (Michigan), Jeanie Wang (NEOUCOM)
VI:  Linda Nguyen (Midwestern), Farhan Katchi (Wash U)
VII:  Ruo Peng Zhu (Stanford) Harim Kevin Kim (U. Washington)
VIII:  Jennifer Lai (UT San Antonio), Hillary Patuwo (Baylor)

 

Hepatitis B National Meeting 2007

APAMSA Fights to Break the Hepatitis B Cycle, Again 11/3/07

2007-meeting-01

Boston, MA — While 5,000 of the worldÂ’s leading hepatologists were discussing the recent research developments in liver diseases in the Hynes Convention Center at the annual AASLD Liver Meeting in Boston, 85 medical students from more than 50 different medical schools convened at the Hilton Back Bay across the street for the second Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association Hepatitis B Outreach Training.

2007-meeting-02The Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) is a national organization representing more than 15,000 medical students nationwide and comprises over 100 medical school chapters across the country. APAMSAÂ’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of the Asian Pacific American community.

One of the most serious concerns in the APA community is hepatitis B, which is a devastating liver disease that affects 1 in 10 Asian Americans. It is often called a “silent killer” because it can lead to liver cancer and nearly sudden death at very early ages. APAMSAÂ’s response to this issue is a national service project called “APAMSA Fights to Break the Hepatitis B Cycle!” that is dedicated to educating, screening, and immunizing the APA community for hepatitis B.

As part of this project, APAMSA held their first hepatitis B training session in Boston last year to coincide with the annual Liver Meeting in 2006, and due to its overwhelming success, they organized a second one this year. Dr. Anna Lok, the world-renowned hepatologist, and Dr. Karen Kim, a national APA health advocate, returned to open the second meeting.
Anna Lok began the meeting by introducing some of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and treatment for hepatitis B, and afterwards, Karen Kim touched upon some of the cultural aspects surrounding hepatitis B and medicine, particularly how it affects her own life. Later in the afternoon, the participants applied what they had learned to several clinical cases presented by Dr. Naoki Tsai; in addition, they also had the opportunity to meet up with hepatologists from around the nation to discuss possible hepatitis B outreach projects in their own area. These physician break-out session leaders included: Kyung-Mi Chang, Ramsey Cheung, Danny Chu, Steven Han, Ray W. Kim, Daryl T-Y Lau, Gautham Reddy, and Sang Tran.

2007-meeting-03Last yearÂ’s projects included everything from hepatitis B screenings at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA to the launching of an educational website www.hepatitisawareness.com at University of South Florida; from a hepatitis B talk at Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin to an Asian Cultural Show fundraiser at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School. After a successful start, APAMSAÂ’s nationwide movement to break the hepatitis B cycle continues strong.

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