January 2017 Newsletter
Q-and-A with Scott Felten, MD, FACEP
Zach Jarou, MD (President-Elect)
EMRA alumni member Scott Felten, MD, FACEP, in January was named interim program director at Summa Health System of Ohio, following a contract change that created uncertainty for the emergency medicine residency program and its 30 residents, prompting the EMRA Board of Directors to send an open letter to the health system's board.
Dr. Felten has served for many years as a residency director for US Acute Care Solutions, which took over Summa Health System’s contract Jan. 1. In this role, he has worked at all nine USACS graduate medical education facilities. He spoke with EMRA about his new undertaking at Summa Health System.
Q: What's your priority as the interim program director?
My top priorities are:
- To make sure that the residents' education is not compromised in any way and to actually improve upon their educational experience.
- To maintain the long-term health of the program by optimizing our residency match this year.
- To ensure that the residents have the ability, space and support to get through what is obviously an unexpectedly rapid transition.
I'm confident we will be able to get through these tough initial stages to emerge as an even better residency.
Q: How is the change in staffing affecting current residents?
It is impossible to say that this change hasn't affected every resident in some way. Strong, positive relationships have been built over the past several years. We at USACS acknowledge this, and most of my time is dedicated to making new connections with the residents, providing guidance and mentorship, and forging ahead in this constantly changing environment. We are excited about building new relationships with the residents — we have a lot to offer, but we also have a lot to learn from them. Our shared goal is to take care of patients, and we will all continue to do that.
Q: What’s the status of your program for this year’s match?
We are very much in the match and are expecting to fill our program as usual. This has been and continues to be an excellent program, and we are building an outstanding new core faculty. We encourage all medical students to continue their plans to rank us highly. For some reason, medical students who had interviews scheduled, but had not yet interviewed, had their interviews cancelled before USACS arrived. I have contacted those students personally and reestablished their interviews. I expect us to fill with the same caliber of residents we always have. I inherited a great program, and I don't expect this to slide.
Q: Moving forward, what are your goals for the program?
Our goals are to establish a new core faculty (including residency leadership), to maintain and improve upon the education of the residents, and to ensure that the residents are well-supported and mentored. We are well on our way to doing this — I have already hired an assistant program director (EMRA alumni member Christopher Lloyd, DO, FACEP) who is an incredible resident advocate and educator, and named interim core faculty.
Q: How will you accomplish these objectives?
Summa Akron City Hospital is an excellent environment for energetic faculty who are eager to work with outstanding residents and build the best clinical emergency medicine residency in the country. Change always creates opportunity, and the best way to seize this opportunity is to throw your hat into the ring. We already have several excellent new core faculty and we are building an outstanding department. If anyone reading wants to be a clinician educator in a well-established EM residency program with the resources of a national EM physician group (and without the strong pressure of research grant submissions), drop me a line!
Because we are a national group with ties to 9 other residency programs and multiple national EM experts, we are able to draw upon our colleagues to participate in the education of our residents. Our physicians are experts in the areas of education, EMS, ethics, research, geriatric EM, administration, career planning, risk management, evidence-based medicine, and more. These physicians can help participate in the training of the Summa residents to provide a truly well-rounded educational experience.
The mentorship and guidance piece starts locally with me and involves all the core faculty at the site with national level support. I'm honored to be in the position to move the residency forward, and my passion is the achievement of success for our residents during residency and beyond.
Q: Many aspects of the hospital's business dealings created concern within the emergency medicine community, especially in regards to the integrity of the residents' education. How are you addressing these concerns?
USACS has a neutral position on the hospital and the former group's negotiations, just as EMRA does. And rightly so. Our responsibilities lie in what we do going forward. And our shared interests are aligned with those of the residents – current and future.
Q: What has been the biggest misconception arising from the hospital's decision to change its ED contract provider?
There are several misconceptions about what happened. The most important of these is the incorrect perception that we did not invite the former group's physicians to join us. This is completely untrue. We have invited them multiple times (and still do!) to join us, and we would love to have them. Involvement of the prior core faculty and clinical physicians would help to maintain continuity with the residents and accelerate the rebuilding of relationships. We can learn from the prior physicians, and the exchange of ideas will be of tremendous benefit to the department and the residency. In fact, if any are interested and reading this, please use it as an opportunity to reach out to me directly!
Q: What would you like the EM community, especially the residents and medical students EMRA serves, to know?
USACS manages 10 outstanding residencies in places like Chicago, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, and this one in Akron. Our support for GME is thorough and unwavering. The situation in Akron is unique, but manageable for a company like USACS. We will not let these young physicians down, and we are excited to participate in their education.
More about Scott Felten
Most recently, Dr. Felten worked clinically at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and in the Mercy Health System in Cincinnati. Previously, he served as an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Oklahoma in Tulsa. Before that, he was a member of the ED staff at Akron General Medical Center and later served as the medical clerkship director, associate program director, and medical director of the Akron General Medical Center Emergency Department in Stow, Ohio.
Dr. Felten graduated from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor’s in biology in 1993. He completed medical school training at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 1997. He served as the chief resident of Emergency Medicine at Akron General Medical Center in Akron, Ohio and completed the program in 2000.
Top 5 Ways to Spend Wellness Week 2017
Wellness Week is fast approaching, Jan. 22-28, and we ask that you make a commitment to your wellbeing during this brief time. Try something new to get yourself out of that winter rut. Enjoy your time, and perhaps some of the activities you attempt just may stick!
- With gratitude
Remember what matters at the end of the day. Is it your spouse, your children, your cat, your travel, your guitar? Whatever it is, remember it - and better yet, record it in a gratitude journal before bed so you go to sleep on a positive note!
- With cardio
A wise woman once said the key to avoiding burnout is to SWEAT a few times per week. Give a little cardio a try, eh? Maybe you could even coerce your co-residents to join you. Get your body moving and the sweat trickling and see how you feel!
- With nutrition
No need for juicing or crash dieting; just replace unhealthy treats with something more nutritionally sound. Swap out candy for fruit, chips for almonds, etc. (you're doctors, you know this stuff).
- With family
Neglecting family time becomes far too easy during residency. Take this opportunity to call each of your family members and just check in. You will feel so good afterward, we promise. And so will grandma.
- With friends
Plan a day trip or night out with your co-residents. Relish the opportunity to chat, vent, and catch up outside of work.
SEND US VIDEOS!
Capture your co-residents engaged in a wellness activity during Wellness Week and send it our way so we can post it on the EMRA website and our social media channels for the world to see! Send clips (shorter than 45 seconds) to email@example.com.
Lara Vanyo, MD (Chair) and Randy Sorge, MD (Vice-Chair)
Wellness Survey Success
In the past year, the EMRA Wellness Committee conducted a survey to determine the state of wellness programs among EM residencies nationwide. We collected data from program directors to determine the prevalence of wellness initiatives, estimate burnout among residents and determine factors that contribute to burnout.
Out of the 171 program directors we surveyed, we received 140 responses (a response rate of 81.9%). Among those who responded:
• 81.4% had a wellness program
• 71.9% of PDs estimated fewer than 25% of their residents suffer from burnout
• 16.5% estimated rates to be 25-50%
• 11.5% estimated rates greater than 50%.
When asked to identify which aspects contribute most to resident burnout:
• 33.6% cited sleep deprivation and day-night switches
• 16.4% cited difficult patient interactions
•13.6% cited work hours.
Regarding specific wellness interventions:
• 51.4% report strong psychological support
• 45.3% have mechanisms to reduce the effects of day-night switches
• 34.8% report frequent debriefs
• 23% report reflection activities
• 10.9% report designated on-shift break time.
Despite these efforts, 70.3% of PDs believe their wellness initiatives need moderate-significant improvement.
Our Wellness Partners
Sign up here to get daily emails during Wellness Week! ACEP is working to provide resources and ideas to reduced ED workplace violence and abuse. They are working with us at EMRA to address resiliency and coping mechanisms among residents and medical students, as well as the implications of physician burnout amongst all physicians. Follow them on Twitter: @ACEPWellness.
CORD's recently formed Resilience Committee intends to promote a culture of wellness and develop a network among residencies, with a Mental Health Task Force and a Resident Burnout Assessment Task Force to help accomplish their goal. If you want to get involved, apply to be a member of the committees during biannual application periods.
- ALiEM Think Tank
ALiEM's Wellness Think Tank wants to tackle resident issues of burnout, depression, residency, and quality of life.
Membership Benefit Highlight: EM Abstracts
Shehni Nadeem, MD (Membership Development Coordinator)
It can be overwhelming to keep up with all the demands of being an EM resident or fellow. Between board review and clinical commitments, it can seem stressful to stay on top of the most recent literature. EM Abstracts can help. This is a monthly podcast that surveys over 600 journals to bring you the highlights on the 30 most pertinent articles. Each article is summarized and critically evaluated for application to the acute care setting. As an added bonus, there is an extra 30-minute podcast each month covering either a key topic or a novel breakthrough. Use this FREE EMRA member benefit to stay ahead as a resident and to reduce the legwork of staying up-to-date!
Know of a benefit your co-residents would enjoy? Email your new membership benefit idea to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Did you know ACEP gives $50K per year in the form of section grants? All EMRA members are enrolled in the ACEP Young Physician Section and also receive complimentary membership to another ACEP Section of their choice as a member benefit. If you haven't taken advantage of this, sign up now.
The Section Grants program is a tremendous opportunity to make an impact on your specialty and get your project funded. Letters of intent are due Jan. 30, with a final application deadline of Feb. 13.
Wellness Tips & Tricks: New Year's Resolutions
Still searching for the perfect New Year's resolution? The EMRA Wellness Committee has you covered with our online resource database. This site provides an organized, searchable, and updatable wealth of wellness knowledge. The efficacy of any wellness activity is dependent on the interest and commitment of the participating individual. While writing may be a therapeutic activity for many (hint, hint: suggestions for topics in database), others might rather spend their valuable free time reading or exercising. Just a few minutes a day spent on yourself will have a noticeable and meaningful impact (pro tip: watch "All It Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes").
Legislative Corner: 2 New Ways to Get Involved
Rachel Solnick, MD (Legislative Advisor)
Interim Health Care Policy Principles: Now recruiting task force!
With all the upcoming changes to how health care is delivered in this country, your EMRA leaders decided to convene a Health Policy Advocacy Task Force to prepare an interim set of health care principles that reflect the beliefs of EM residents across the country. Check out our preliminary headline topics - and feel free to comment. If you are interested in being involved with this historic project for EMRA, email email@example.com.
PolicyRx Journal Club Publication Opportunity
We have an exciting new project with the website www.policyrx.org to do a monthly journal club of health policy articles. This is an opportunity to get published on both the EMRA and PolicyRx websites, among other channels. If you're interested in writing a review please email Vidya Eswaran, MD, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medical Student Update: 3 Free Wellness Apps
Tommy Eales, MS-IV (MSC Editor)
Let's face it: Cellphones are a major source of stress in our daily routine. Although throwing your mobile device into the nearest body of water might be a highly satisfying solution to this dilemma, why not instead turn your phone into an instant source of portable relaxation? To investigate, I spent the better part of a weekend trying various wellness apps available for the iOS and Android platforms. Here are 3 examples that can be downloaded for free.
Best for Relaxation: Relax Melodies: Sleep and Yoga
• Platform: iOS, Android
• Features a variety of white noise, ambient sounds, and melodies that can be mixed together to assist with meditation, sleep, and relaxation.
Best for Stress Relief: Happify
• Platform: iOS, Android
• Allows users to establish personal goals and suggests activities consistent with these goals, including strategies to cope with stress, challenge negative thoughts, and build self-confidence.
Best for Improving Sleep: SleepBot Sleep Cycle Alarm
• Platform: Android
• Records movements and sound while sleeping to provide a comprehensive sleep analysis. Allows users to review their sleep statistics, provides resources to help fall asleep, and utilizes an alarm that awakens users during their lightest sleep cycle.
Do you use a wellness app that impacts your daily routine? Send us a message at email@example.com!
EMRA Hangouts Reaches Residents in February
The popular EMRA Hangouts resource, launched in 2016 by the Medical Student Council, is expanding in February to include EMRA residents and fellows as well.
"Leadership and Women in Medicine" will be presented Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 pm Central, via streaming video conference. EMRA President Alicia Kurtz, MD, will team up with ACEP President Rebecca B. Parker, MD, FACEP, to address the issues women face in the field of medicine, ranging from leadership topics to practice concerns.
Check the website for registration details coming soon!
Washington, D.C., Is the Place to Be
EMRA urges all residents and medical students to attend the ACEP Leadership & Advocacy Conference, March 12-15 in Washington, D.C. The EMRA Health Policy Committee and ACEP Young Physicians Section will present a can't-miss Health Policy Primer on Sunday, March 12, to help familiarize new attendees with the issues at hand, ranging from GME funding to MACRA and more. The primer also explains how to get involved in advocacy at every level. Strong participation in the LAC event in March and ongoing involvement throughout the year is crucial in the changing political climate. Sign up now to join your colleagues at the Capitol!
What's the Most Fun You Can Have with a Quiz?
Who doesn't want to be crowned the EMRA Quiz Show Champs of 2017? It's one of the most entertaining, educational, and enjoyable events at SAEM. This year it's happening in Orlando, from 5-7 pm on Wednesday, May 17.
Send an email to tell us you'd like to be in the lottery – we'll select the teams on March 15. Questions? Ask us at emra.@emra.org.
EMRA Resident SIMWars – You Never Know What Could Happen
Coming to Orlando in May with the typical twists, turns, and thrills of a Disney World ride – EMRA Resident SIMWars.
Want to strut your residency's smarts in front of a live audience and solve some huge medical mysteries? You might get the chance if you enter the lottery to compete!
Deadline is March 3 – here's how to enter, along with the entire schedule of EMRA Events at SAEM.
ACEP Registry Oversight Steering Committee Seeks Residents
ACEP is looking for 4 residents to join the Registry Oversight Committee, which will advise the ACEP Board in setting the strategic direction and scope for the Clinical Emergency Data Registry (CEDR). One resident will be assigned to each of the 4 Registry Oversight subcommittees:
- Research and Publications Subcommittee: This resident will help review, adjudicate, and recommend responses to data requests; advise registry vendor on internal audit and validation procedures; review responses to questions regarding the accuracy of the CEDR data; advise, design, publish, and distribute registry research results.
- QCDR Measure Development and Validation Subcommittee: This resident will help develop, specify, maintain, and recommend quality measures to protect and enhance emergency care.
- Education & Learning Collaborative Subcommittee: This resident will help develop Maintenance of Certification Part II and Part IV activities regarding registry implementation, registry metrics, quality improvement collaborative, and registry research results in conjunction with the Education MOC Subcommittee.
- Member Outreach, Recruitment, and Marketing Subcommittee: This resident will help recruit, engage, and retain clinical data registry participants and participant groups, as well as advise on outreach efforts.
To apply for one of these CEDR subcommittee positions, send your letter of intent, letter of support from your program director, and your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 1.
Be an EMRA Leader
EMRA offers a variety of ways to raise your professional profile – but none more exciting than by becoming an EMRA leader. And now's your chance. Apply to be the vice-chair of your favorite EMRA committee and division, or submit your name as a candidate for the EMRA Medical Student Council. All applications are due Feb. 15.
EMRA Spring Awards Nominations Due: Jan. 15
EMF Grant Applications Due: Jan. 17
Emergency Medicine Wellness Week: Jan. 22-28
AWAEM Resident Award Applications Due: Feb. 1
EMRA Committee & Division Vice-Chair Applications Due: Feb. 15
EMRA Medical Student Council Applications Due: Feb. 15
In-Training Exam: Feb. 22
EM Residents' Appreciation Day: March 1
ACEP Leadership & Advocacy Conference: March 12-15, Washington, D.C.
Essentials of Emergency Medicine: May 16-18, Las Vegas, NV
SAEM Annual Meeting: May 16-19, Orlando, FL
Chief Resident Symposium @ CORD Academic Assembly: April 27
EMRA Hangouts: First Thursday of every month
EMRA•Cast: Listen at your convenience
Submit an Update
What's Up? is the official e-newsletter of the Emergency Medicine Residents' Association. Targeted to EMRA’s membership of physicians in training and medical students, the monthly newsletter provides organizational news and updates, information on EMRA events and products, and other news, announcements, and updates that are relevant to EMRA's members.
Do you have an update that you'd like to share with your colleagues? Contact email@example.com for more information.