Winter 2014



Mission Statement

The mission of the Texas Chapter of the American College of Physicians is to promote quality health care for all Texans by strengthening the practice of internal medicine.

President's Message

Alejandro Moreno, MBBS, MPH, JD, FACP, FCLM
TXACP President

Dear Texas ACP Members,

Our Chapter is ready for a new year with very ambitious agenda! At the top of our priorities is the General Internal Medicine Statewide Preceptorship Program (GIMSPP). Since losing public funding, the Chapter has taken important steps in the past couple of years to preserve and expand the program. First, under the leadership of our two former presidents Drs. Jose A, Perez, Jr., and Roger Khetan and our governors Drs. Sue Bornstein and Robert Jackson, the Chapter created a Foundation which is up and running.  It would channel resources for this type of educational activities. We now need your help raising funds so it can start matching first and second year medical students with internal medicine preceptors throughout the State. We want as many medical students as possible to choose a career in internal medicine and GIMSPP has been effective at doing so. As Dr. Khetan said it in a recent newsletter: “…[t]he Foundation depends on donations as it is in its infancy.” Any contribution from our members counts, no matter how small it is!

Second, the Chapter has been lobbying Congress to reinstate the funding for GIMSPP. Members of our Chapter, including students and residents, have regularly visited the Capitol or testified before various legislative committees to educate our elected officials about GIMSPP and its proven effectiveness. 

Another top priority for our Chapter is to increase state funding for internal medicine residency training positions and strengthen loan repayment programs for our graduates. As federal funding for GME is increasingly coming under scrutiny, the Chapter has taken a pro-active role educating legislators about the importance of preserving the training pipeline for internal medicine doctors and the key role our ACP resident/fellow residents play in the delivery of healthcare to our fellow Texans, a state that has seen an astounding population growth of 20% compared to a 9% nationally.

Our Chapter is looking at growing its membership. We currently have 7,075 members in the State; however, this is only a fraction of all the internists in the State. We are focusing our efforts on the new generation of physicians. In addition to the work with GIMSPP that targets medical students, we plan to strengthen the Council of Early Career Physicians, the Hospitalist Committee, and our relationship with all Internal Medicine residency programs in Texas. You can also play an important role by recruiting a colleague. Remember, you can get $100 credit toward your 2015-16 annual dues when you recruit one member, $200 credit toward your 2015-16 annual dues when you recruit two new members, and $300 credit toward your 2015-16 annual dues when you recruit three new members.

Before closing this letter, I want to invite you to actively participate in the Chapter’s activities. In addition to the programs I mentioned above, we have various educational activities such as the Annual Meeting and encourage you to attend the regional meetings of our residents hosted by individual residency programs. We also have other very active committees doing very important work for all internists. You are the life of the Chapter and your participation certainly enriches not only your personal career but also ACP.

On behalf of our Board Members and our Governors, I wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous 2015.


Past President’s Message

Roger Khetan, MD, FACP, FHM
Immediate Past-President

I wanted to take a few minutes to say thank you to you, members of the Texas Chapter. It was a great honor and truly a fun experience to serve as President of our organization.

We are moving in the right direction, and the voices of Texas physicians are being heard. While we may not get everything we individually want, the legislature, ABIM, and third party payers are listening to the physicians and our concerns. We must continue to be the voice of medicine and advocate on behalf of our practice and patients. Together, let’s continue to build healthier Texas through more informed communities. We are responsible for the care of millions across the state, and your word and mine mean a lot to every patient we touch daily and to the people who make decisions that affect their care.

Our organization allows us the ability to work cohesively to bring attention to the public, payers, news media, legislators, and federal and state organizations the needs of our patients and the needs of physicians so that we can do the right thing.

We are continuing to have medical students, residents, and physicians go to the Capitol in Austin, the Capitol in Washington DC, as well as to private fundraisers to speak to legislators of the concerns facing all of us including GME slots for residents, Medicaid pay parity, and struggles of exchanges paying physicians. We have physicians in training and physicians who write to the ABIM and ACP leadership nationally to hear of the taxing efforts of the board certification. We still have obstacles in this arena, but at least we are addressing it as a strong, united voice.

We have a foundation in the Texas ACP with a volunteer board who are working with others to come up with more ideas on fundraising so that we can help fund the programs like the General Internal Medicine Statewide Preceptorship Program.

The list above is just a few highlights of our Texas Chapter, and efforts of the members, leadership and team who work to make a positive impact on medicine on behalf of you and your patients. I ask you to stay involved, or become more involved in our organization because together we can accomplish more and see change for the better.  It is our 100-year birthday of our national organization in 2015 – let’s have Texas lead the way nationally with the largest donations to ACP services, ACP PAC, and in quality improvement projects.

Happy holidays to all of you as I know most of us will be taking care of patients in one way or another this season, and I look forward to still helping our organization. See you around, and again, thank you–we are making a difference, and thanks again for a great year as your president 2013-2014.


Governor’s Message

Robert E. Jackson, MD, FACP
Governor, TX Southern Region

        -Jim Goode

We are rapidly approaching the 2015 Centennial celebration of the American College of Physicians. I'm extending a personal invitation for everyone to mark your calendars and make your reservations to attend this extraordinary event. Not only will the scientific program be outstanding but it will serve as a venue to meet and renew relationships with old friends and colleagues. The meeting will be held in Boston Massachusetts April 30—May 2, 2015. I highly recommend attending Convocation Thursday evening April 30 to support Texas. If you are marching as a Fellow please consider obtaining a formal picture in your medical school regalia for your family. It is an honor to be able to march in the Centennial celebration!

Never has Texas been honored with so many National Awards! I do thank my lucky stars!

Ralph O. Claypoole Sr. Memorial Award for Devotion of a Career in Internal Medicine to the Care of Patients

Established in 1979, this award honors the late Ralph O. Claypoole Sr., first administrator of the College’s membership insurance programs. The award is given to an outstanding practitioner of internal medicine who has devoted his or her career to the care of patients. The practitioner must be a clinician who is highly respected by his or her peers and colleagues for clinical skills and who has been a role model as a member of a clinical faculty of a department of medicine.

Congratulations to Mark Armstrong, MD, MACP on being named recipient of this honor.

Samuel Eichold II Memorial Award for Contributions in Diabetes

Established in 2008 to honor the late Dr. Samuel Eichold II, whose lifelong passion was diabetes, and in recognition of his high regard for the ACP Alabama Chapter.

The award is given to a member of the American College of Physicians or to an organization that has made important health care delivery innovations for diabetic patients resulting in improved clinical or economic outcomes; or a member of the ACP who has conducted research that significantly improves quality of care or clinical management of diabetes.

Congratulations to Ralph A. DeFronzo, MD, FACP on being named recipient of this honor

Dr. Nicholas E. Davies Award

In honor of the late Dr. Nicholas E. Davies, former Regent and President-elect of the College this award was established in 1992. It  is given for outstanding contributions to humanism in medicine and will be bestowed in recognition of scholarly activities in history, literature, philosophy, and ethics. The recipient will deliver a lecture at the annual meeting ( please attend…these are superb!!!)

Congratulations to Ruth E. Berggren, MD, FACP on being named recipient of this honor


The first Mastership in the College was presented in 1923 to Dr. James M. Anders, who served the College as President for two terms. He was recognized for his extraordinary service to the College and for being one of the most outstanding internists and medical teachers of his day. Congratulations to the following new Masters:

Harry E. Davis III, MD, MACP
David H. Johnson, MD, MACP
Michael J. Morris, MD, MACP (US Army Chapter)
William L. Winters Jr., MD, MACC, MACP
Janice Zimmerman, MD, MACP


In 2015 the ACP will celebrate the centennial of its founding with a series of events, activities and publications reflecting on the College’s history and anticipating its future.  One way this will be carried out at the chapter level is through the recognition of one seminal chapter member by awarding him or her the Chapter Centennial Legacy Award.  We are pleased to announce that the following individuals from Texas will be recognized with this honor in the coming year:

Dr. Lynne Kirk, MD, MACP
Marvin Forland, MD, MACP

Please join me in congratulating our Texas awardees! Be sure to attend our Texas Chapter’s reception Friday night May 1, 2015.  Don’t forget to visit our students and residents who are presenting posters, clinical vignettes and medical jeopardy. They have worked hard and are representing you and the great State of Texas.  Jim Goode, Founder of Goode Company Bar-B-Q in Houston, sure had it right when he said we should thank our lucky stars…and we should congratulate them all, too!


Annals Personae Photographs for ACP's Centennial

In recognition of the American College of Physicians' 100th anniversary, Annals of Internal Medicine is seeking photographs of internal medicine physicians to feature on each issue of the journal during 2015, the ACP's centennial year. In choosing from among submitted photographs, we will seek photos that capture personality and celebrate the diversity of individuals who devote their professional lives to the practice of internal medicine. Readers and others are encouraged to submit photographs of internal medicine physicians for consideration.  In an effort to bring people to the pages of the Annals of Internal Medicine, the editors began publishing photographs of people in 1999. Annals published photographs in a section of the journal called "Personae" from 1999 to 2000, and photographs have appeared on the cover since 2000.

Written permission to publish the photograph from the subject (or subjects) of the photograph or the subject's guardian or next of kin must accompany submissions. The subject must understand that, if selected for publication, the photograph will not only appear on the cover of the journal but also in digital versions of the journal and associated publications. Photographs can be published without the subject's permission only under the following circumstances: 1) the subject is unidentifiable in the photograph or 2) the photograph was taken in a public venue, is not potentially damaging to the subject, and is accompanied by a written statement from the photographer vouching that the photograph was taken in a public venue with the subject's consent. A cover letter ensuring no prior publication of the photograph and providing permission from the photographer for Annals to publish the image should accompany all submissions. In addition, the letter should indicate the name and specialty of the internist depicted and the photographer's name, academic degrees, institutional affiliation, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address. Photographers must relinquish copyright to the American College of Physicians before publication. Pictures from photographers unwilling to do so will not be considered.

Please submit high-resolution, digital copies of photographs to Nicole Briglia at for consideration in our special 100th-anniversary issues. Please mention this special venue when submitting your work.  We look forward to receiving your photographs.


Reminder: ACP Art Exhibition, Call for Submissions

ACP is now accepting submissions for the 100th Year Anniversary Celebration Council of Resident/Fellow Members Art Competition: "The Past, Present, and Future of Medicine." Submissions are open to all members of the College from Student Members through Masters.

Accepted submissions will be displayed during Internal Medicine Meeting 2015 in Boston, as part of ACP's centennial celebration. Please go online for more information. Submission deadline is Dec. 31, 2014.


Chapter Elects New Officers and Directors

Physicians from around the state and from varied practice settings were elected to represent the membership as volunteer leaders on the TXACP and TXACP Services board of directors during the annual awards and business meeting luncheon in Houston.

Directors serve a three-year term. The secretary-treasurer serves a two-year term. The president-elect advances to president in November 2015. 

New Officers:
TXACP President
Alejandro Moreno, MBBS, MPH, JD, FACP

TXACP President-Elect
Maureen Francis, MD, FACP

TXACP Secretary-Treasurer
Brenda Vozza-Zeid, MD, FACP

TXACPServices President
Julie Stephen, MD, MBA, FACP

TXACPServices President-Elect
Koko Aung, MD, FACP

TXACPServices Secretary-Treasurer
Lianne Marks, MD, PhD, FACP

New Regional Directors:

Roger Smalligan, MD, MPH, FACP, Amarillo - NW Director
Diego De La Mora, MD Horizon City  - FNW Director
Harold Szerlip, MD, FACP, Dallas - NE Director
Stephen Greenberg, MD, MACP, Houston- SE Director
Carlos Orces, MD, FACP, Laredo- SW
Nicola Abate, MD, Kemah - Director At-Large


Chapter Honors Members

Nine distinguished members were honored with the Texas Chapter highest awards during the November 2014 Annual Chapter Scientific Meeting in Houston.

2014 Andy Diehl On Being a Doctor Award
Kelsey Bryant

Volunteerism and Community Service Award
Salim Surani, MD, MPH, MSHM, FACP

Young Physician Leader of the Year Award
Aaron Samsula, MD, FACP

Snyder/Chumley Advocate of the Year Award
Felicia Jordan, MD, FACP

The Laureate Award honors those Fellows and Masters of the College who have demonstrated a life of commitment to excellence in medical care, education, or research and in service to their community, the Chapter, and the ACP.  It is with distinct pleasure that this year, the Texas Chapter presents the Laureate Award to, Drs. Eugene Boisaubin, MD, FACP, Houston; Robert L. Fine, MD, FACP, Dallas; Karen E. Szauter, MD, FACP, Galveston; and Robert (Steve) Urban, MD, FACP, Amarillo.  These physicians are long-standing and loyal supporters of the College, have rendered distinguished service to the Chapter and have upheld the high ideals and professional standards for which the College is

Eugene V. Boisaubin, MD, FACP

Dr. Eugene Boisaubin is a Professor of Medicine at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and co-director of the second-year Medical School course, Ethics and Professionalism in Medicine at the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics. He also serves as the Director of the Ethics and Advisory Core for the NIH Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences at UTHealth.

Dr. Boisaubin was awarded the school's first Distinguished Teaching Professorship and was recently named to the State of Texas Governing Board for the Physician Health Program. An academic internist, he has been a clinical medical ethicist and ethics consultant at three medical universities for over 25 years.

Dr. Boisaubin earned an A.B. in Zoology and Art History from Washington University, and his M.D. from the University of Missouri Medical School. He completed his professional training at Baylor College of Medicine and at the Kennedy Institute, Georgetown University. Before joining UTHealth, he was a faculty member at Baylor College of Medicine and The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Robert L. Fine, MD, FACP

Dr. Fine has completed board certification in internal medicine, geriatrics and palliative medicine. He is a Fellow of both the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the American College of Physicians, a former member of the AAHPM Ethics Committee, and a member of the National Quality Forum Committee on Palliative and End of Life Care.

He established the clinical ethics consultation service at Baylor University Medical Center (BUMC) in 1985 and served as a physician leader on the development of the Texas Advance Directives Act, writing the current Texas Living Will and helping develop the first legislatively approved extra-judicial dispute resolution mechanism for medical ethics conflicts in America.

In 2004, he led a team establishing the BUMC Palliative Care Consultation Service. Now known as the Supportive and Palliative Care Service, the team was recognized for excellence by the American Hospital Association with a Circle of Life Citation of Honor in 200 and in 2012, became the first palliative care team in Texas and one of the first ten in the country to be certified by the Joint Commission. Dr. Fine lectures and publishes widely on issues related to clinical ethics and palliative medicine.

Karen E. Szauter, MD, FACP

Dr. Szauter is an integral and involved member of TXACP, and is currently on faculty at UTMB. She joined the UTMB faculty in 1990 after completing training in internal medicine, gastroenterology and nutrition. Her academic career has focused on medical education. She serves as the medical director of the standardized patient program and is actively involved in the development of teaching and assessment activities involving human simulation.

She is also involved in faculty development through the Scholars in Education program. She has held leadership positions through the Group on Educational Affairs (AAMC) and continues to actively support efforts for educational scholarship through service to the Grants and Research Committee of the Association of Standardized Patient Educators and the Research Committee of Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine.

With TXACP, Dr. Szauter is the Co-Chair of the Medical Students Committee along with her colleague Dr. Gene Stokes. Dr. Szauter curates the medical students’ abstract competition each year at the annual meeting, a competition that is this year hosting 35 student posters and 6 oral vignette presentations.

Dr. Szauter is also a champion of the General Internal Medicine Statewide Preceptorship Program (GIMSPP), a summer mentorship program provided by TXACP for first and second year medical students to receive hands-on experiences with mentors in internal medicine. Her paper titled “The General Internal Medicine Statewide Preceptorship Program: Over 20 years of Early Student Exposure to the Practice of Internal Medicine” is in the publication process and illustrates the success of the program over its 20-year history.

Robert (Steve) Urban, MD, FACP

Steve Urban was raised on a wheat farm near Perryton Texas, an experience that taught him in so many ways that he’d better find another occupation. He attended undergraduate school at TCU, where he was a junior year Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with a B.A. in English. He attended Baylor College of Medicine, was elected to AOA as a junior, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. He completed his internal medicine residency at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, serving as Chief Resident under Dr. Donald Seldin and Dr. James Knochel in 1981.

Dr. Urban then returned to the Texas Panhandle to practice internal medicine in Amarillo with a group which included Texas American College of Physicians (TXACP) Laureate Dr. Ted Nicklaus and former TXACP presidents Dr. Rush Pierce and Dr. Sheryl Williams. Early on, he joined the Internal Medicine clinical faculty at the Texas Tech University School of Medicine (TTUSOM) regional campus in Amarillo, where he has conducted Friday morning report for the past 33 years. For 19 years he lived the life of a busy private general internist, admitting and managing patients in the hospital, seeing patients in the clinic morning and afternoon, and calling patients and families and dictating charts late into the night after the kids were in bed. He helped correct the grammar of hundreds of transcriptionists over the years. He actually read his consultants’ notes until the EMR rendered them meaningless.  He triumphed in discovering the word “cystoscopy” spelled with a “$” in place of the “s” in a urologist’s note; this error did not go unpunished.

In 2000, Dr. Urban joined the full-time faculty and attained the rank of Professor of Internal Medicine at TTUSOM, where he now holds the endowed chair established by his patients in his name. He has been both Clerkship Director for the medical students and Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency. He has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including the Dean’s Teaching Award (an Amarillo campus award), the President’s Teaching Award (TTUSOM-wide), and the Chancellor’s Teaching Award (Texas Tech-wide). The Internal Medicine residents and medical students in Amarillo have chosen him as their outstanding faculty member on numerous occasions.

Dr. Urban served on the TXACP Board of Directors for 5 years and was the President of our organization in 2009-10. He continues to serve on the TXACP Foundation Board. Dr. Urban is married to Joan, whom he met at TCU in a class on Pre-Socratic and Classical Greek philosophy. She was by far the best thing to come out of that class. Steve and Joan have 3 children: David (a computer programmer in Manhattan), Elizabeth (a professor of early Islamic history in Philadelphia), and Catherine (a librarian in Amarillo). His interests include literature and medical humanities, history (the more obscure the better) and languages; if you want to know about Altaic linguistic group or the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs, he’s your man. Dr. Urban has been afflicted with an enthusiasm for the Houston Astros (formerly Colt 45’s) since 1962; his enthusiasm peaked in 2005 but flickers on despite every effort by the Astros’ management to snuff it out.

Paraphrasing his nomination letter, Steve has helped shape the medical community of the Texas Panhandle and has set a standard for medical care and education to which physicians of all ages can aspire. 

The Awards committee welcomes and accepts nominations from the membership year round. Nominations from the chapter should include a detailed letter of recommendations and curriculum vitae (CV). Additional letters of support are welcome and may strengthen the nomination.

Send nominations, CVs, and letters of support to: Texas Chapter of the American College of Physicians, Awards and Recognitions Committee, 401 W. 15th St., Austin, Texas 78701 or email.


Residents Energize Chapter Annual Meeting

The Residents clinical vignette competition featured five residents who were selected in their regional competitions to compete at the statewide meeting. Outstanding presentations were made by Haitham Mazek, MD, TTUHSC - Internal Medicine, Lubbock; Karishma Balani, MD, UTHSCSA-Harlingen; Hafiz Abdul Moiz Faikh, MD, MBBS, UTHSC –Longview; M.A. Shah, MD, Baylor College of Medicine; and Pratik Naik, MD, Wm. Beaumont Army Medical Center.

M.A. Shah, MD won first place in the competition with her vignette, “Too blue not to be true: A night float’s diagnostic dilemma”.  Dr. Shah will automatically advance to Boston to compete at the national level during the ACP Annual Session in April.  Pratik Naik, MD won second place with his vignette, “Body Doesn’t Lie!”

In a dramatic conclusion to the annual Doctor’s Dilemma, the team from Baylor Houston won the competition. Congratulations to Baylor Houston team members Salman Ahmed, MD; Andrea Lack, MD; and Rohit Maini, MD .  The team will represent the Texas Chapter in the Doctor’s Dilemma competition at the ACP Annual Session in Boston this April.
Second place went to William Beaumont Army. Congratulations to the William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso team members Michael Switzer, MD; Ryan Burkhart, MD; Pratik Naik, MD.

Special thanks goes to Suma Pokala, MD, FACP who serves as Chair of the Residents committee and organized all of the Residents’ competitions for the Annual Meeting.  A big thank you also goes out to George Crawford, MD, MACP for organizing the Doctor’s Dilemma Competition year after year.  A special thank you to Drs. Amy LaViolette, MD, FACP, and Hari Raja, MD, FACP for their assistance with the competition.

Of the 102 abstracts that were submitted for the competition, 42 were chosen to participate in the Residents’ Poster Competition. The submissions came from nine residency programs.

Thanks to the work of dedicated TXACP volunteers who judges the posters.  The competition would not be possible without your help.  The following winners were announced at the meeting:

Resident Clinical Poster Winners:
1st place: Scott McCord, MD, Baylor Scott & White
Due to the outstanding quality of the Clinical posters this year, we are awarding two second-place winners.
2nd place: Hafiz Abdul Moiz Fakih, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston 
2nd place: Vineet Gudsoorka, MD, Houston Methodist

Resident Clinical Research Poster Winners:
1st place: Anam Hameed, MD, UT Houston
Due to the outstanding quality of the Clinical posters this year, we are awarding two second-place winners.
2nd place: Ahmad Imam, MD, TTUHSC – Amarillo
2nd place: Chhaya Patel, MD, Scott & White

Resident Quality Improvement Poster Winners:
1st place: Rumit Thakkar, MD, Good Shepherd Medical Center  
2nd place: Jeremy Warshauer, MD, UT Southwestern

We would like to congratulate all the winning Residents and those who participated in the annual meeting! 

Click here to view photos from the annual meeting!


Medical Students Shine at Chapter Annual Meeting

Six student members presented their clinical vignettes in conjunction with the annual meeting on Saturday morning. Outstanding presentations were made by Meagan Sebring, Baylor College of Medicine; Justin Price, TAMHSC; Andrea Gasper, UT Houston;  Huan Xu, UTHSCSA; Susan Owens, UTMB; Lindsay Ripley, UTSW.

Andrea Gasper won first place in the competition with her vignette, “Classic but Uncommon: A Case of Chronic Lead Toxicity in Modern America." Andrea will automatically advance to Boston to compete at the national level during the ACP Internal Medicine 2015. Congratulations to all of our winners and presenters in the competition.

35 students competed in the student poster competition. Taking first place in the medical student's poster competition was Josephine Thinwa, UTHSCSA, with her poster, "Blindness from syphilis: Back to the Dark Ages?” Due to the outstanding quality of the posters this year, we are awarding two second-place winners. Charis Santini, from TAMHSC, placed second in the competition with poster, “Beyond Typhoid Mary: The Sophistication of Salmonella Typhi,” as did Joseph Allencherril, from BCM with the poster titled, “ECMO saves from the Graves.” Congratulations to all of our winners and presenters in the competition.

Special thanks goes to Karen Szauter, MD, FACP, and Eugene Stokes, MD, FACP who serve as committee chairs and organize all of the student's competitions for the annual meeting.

Please click here to view photos from the annual meeting!


Andy Diehl On Being a Doctor Award 2014: Winning Entry

Kelsey Bryant is a medical student enrolled in her final year of the MD/MPH program at the University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio. She is applying for residency in Internal Medicine.

As winner of the 2014 Andy Diehl On Being a Doctor essay competition, Ms. Bryant presented her essay during the Texas Chapter Annual Meeting. 

My Patient

It was a Saturday night after a long call day on the medicine wards. My team and I made it through the day on watered-down coffee from the hospital lounge and a pile of snack food to which we had all contributed items that were equally unhealthy.  We reached our quota for new admissions, and the plans were put in motion. Things had finally quieted down. It was one of those days where the beginning and the end blurred, when you step off the ward surprised to find another day has passed and everyone else has carried on—business as usual. It was my last day after three weeks on the service, and I felt I could not leave without first saying goodbye to one particular patient.

A young woman, just a few years older than I, was on our service for the duration of my rotation. Perhaps it was her cheerfulness in the face of illness that drew me to her. Maybe it was her patience as medical teams consulted one another, changing her treatment regimen every few days. Whatever the case, the time I spent caring for her left a lasting impact.  A hospitalization incited by a complex trauma, she had been on the medicine service for about a week by the time we met for post-op management of her antibiotic regimen, pain control, and a case of nosocomial pneumonia.

I always saw her last in the mornings; I wanted to ensure no patient went unseen and it was inevitable we would start to chat. We talked about life before and after her accident, about family support and the unfortunate lack thereof. A result of her extensive injuries, my patient was no longer able to care for her three young children. We discussed how difficult it was for a previously healthy single mother to go from acting as their sole caregiver to being incapacitated in a hospital bed. Each day, the story unfolded as she shared more details of her life and how she came to be the person sitting before me. Though happy to be recovering from a previously grave prognosis, she was still quite fragile both physically and emotionally. 

No longer requiring critical care, her remaining medical problems were not especially complex. However, her words taught me more about the practice of medicine than studying treatment protocols in a textbook. She reminded me that every patient has a story, and these stories will always have far more detail than initially identified in the history of present illness.  A patient will provide the necessary facts for a physician to diagnose and treat objectively, but to progress beyond the list of symptoms and treat the whole person takes more careful questioning, and more importantly, listening.

That Saturday night, I sat next to her bed while we talked about medical school, and how providers work with patients so closely for a period and then seemingly disappear. I wanted her to know that my transition was not for lack of caring, rather, part of the hospital system. We talked a bit more, shared a few laughs, and finally she told me I needed to get out of there and enjoy my Saturday night. As I walked out she said, “You know, you are going to make a great doctor—you really care about your patients.” I looked back, thanked her, and wished her the best. In the coming days, those simple words got me thinking.

She did not say, “You know, you are going to make a great doctor—you titrated my morphine just right” or “You picked the perfect antibiotic to kick this infection.” The decisions made with respect to her illness did not matter so much to her. What mattered was that she felt cared for. Reverence for a patient’s well being beyond objective improvement evidenced by lab work and the physical exam is one of the most important parts of the patient-doctor interaction. I strive to exemplify this with each patient I encounter. This attitude is what made this young woman my patient. With at least three sub-specialist teams involved, she continually asked me, the medical student, what I thought about the recommendations posed by various consultants. I realized this was not a reflection of how I had impressed her with my medical knowledge, but rather the trust I had earned by taking the time to recognize that this woman was more than a list of ailments qualifying her for an extensive stay on the twelfth floor.

To this particular patient, I owe a great deal. Not only did she allow a medical student to poke and prod her before sunrise each morning, she served as an important reminder of a truth so often overlooked. No book will teach us how to connect with a patient. Empathy is found neither in the hours of exam prep, nor in the pages of an impressive CV. It is found in the day-to-day interactions we so frequently take for granted. As physicians, we will be remembered not by the discharge medications we prescribe, but by how patients felt while under our care. Real people are entrusting their lives in our hands, and this great responsibility must involve more heart than simply sitting behind a computer inputting orders.  Too often, we dissociate our patient census from humanity. Passing patients from service to service and hastily sharing important details with the receiving provider as we rush on to the next task not only makes us prone to medical error, but prevents us from developing the unique bond between doctor and patient that drew so many of us to this field in the first place. To combat this, we must employ self-reflection. Though sometimes uncomfortable, it is the most powerful tool with which we can improve ourselves, and by extension, our patient care.  I am grateful for the lessons learned so early in my career, and as I progress, I hope to never forget that my patient is the person sitting before me. 


Annual CECP Event:  “Do You Know Your Cyber Risks?”

Antonia M. Davidson, MD FACP
Southern Co-Chair Texas ACP CECP

At the 2014 Texas Chapter of the ACP statewide meeting this past November, the Council of Early Career Physicians was pleased to present Mr. John Southrey, CIC, CRM, Manager, Consulting Services for Texas Medical Liability Trust, as our speaker presenting “Do You Know Your Cyber Risks?”

Mr. Southrey was published earlier this year in the July 2014 issue of Texas Medicine with an article discussing a data breach of 22,000 patient records involving a TMLT policyholder who was interviewed about the impact it had on his practice.  Mr. Southrey discussed the implications of a breach as well as cyber insurance concerns and the importance of performing a security assessment on your practice.

The mission of the Council of Early Career Physicians is to enhance the professional development and quality of life of young physicians.  The information presented by Mr. Southrey was helpful to all practicing physicians and especially pertinent with the ever growing use of electronic medical records.

We’d love to continue the picking topics that can help young physicians grow in their professional development, so if you have any ideas for topics you wish to see presented, please contact the TXACP chapter office at or by phone at (512) 370-1508.


CECP Accepting Nominations for Co-Chair, Texas Northern

The Texas Chapter of the CECP is currently looking for candidates for the Texas Northern Co-Chair Elect.  The Texas Northern Co-Chair Elect will serve as Co-Chair Elect for one year. As the Co-Chair Elect, you will participate on monthly conference calls, contribute to newsletter articles and observe the current Co-Chair. Once the Co-Chair’s term has ended, you will attend the three Texas Chapter of the ACP Board meetings held throughout the year. The Co-Chair elect will serve two years as the Co-Chair and one year as the Immediate Past Co-Chair. If you are interested in this leadership opportunity, please submit your CV and a brief summary of why you would be a good Co-Chair Elect to our chapter office contact, Nicole Abbott, or call (512) 370-1528. 

The mission of the Council of Young Physicians is to enhance the professional development and quality of life of young physicians and to foster their involvement in College activities.  Throughout the year, CECP members host physician networking and mentoring events.


Thank You to 2014 Supporters

The annual meeting would not be possible without the help of the companies that continue to support our organization. The Texas Chapter of the ACP would like to thank the Texas Health Resources for their generous educational grant at this year’s meeting.  The following companies provided financial support as well for the meeting. Our chapter is extremely grateful for all of their assistance and for every company that contributed to this year’s meetings success!

Exhibitor Support
ACP Quality Connect
Baylor Scott & White
Boehringer Ingelheim
Boehringer Ingelheim Account Management
CEGO Infusion Services
Chiron Health
Covisint Corporation
CVS Coram Healthcare
Dept. of State Health Services
DSHS - TB/HIV/STD/Viral Hepatitis Prevention & Care Branch

TXACP Foundation
Gilead Sciences
Houston Methodist
MD Anderson Cancer Center
MedMal Direct Insurance Company
Millennium Laboratories
Nationwide Credentialing
Procenture Medical Staffing
Procter & Gamble Healthcare
Sanofi Pasteur, INC.
Sigma Tau Pharmaceuticals
Systech Solutions
Texas Health Resources
Texas Medicaid Wellness Program
Universal Medical Testing

The University of Texas Health Science Center-School of Biomedical Informatics
Whitaker Medical


Save-the-Date for Primary Care Health Home Summit
3rd Annual Texas Primary Care and Health Home Summit
June 18-19, 2015
Marriott Plaza San Antonio
San Antonio, TX

Join your colleagues in San Antonio for the third annual Texas Primary Care and Health Home Summit presented by the Texas Medical Home Initiative and Texas Health Institute.

This year, we are expanding the Summit to appeal to practices that are interested in learning about new models of primary care but that may not be quite ready to make the transition to becoming a health/medical home.  In addition, this year’s Summit will include sessions on successful models in pediatric health homes as well as best practices in transitions of care.  We will once again offer a number of pre-summit sessions on Thursday morning for those that want to explore topics in greater depth.

Mark your calendar for June 18-19th. We’ll see you in beautiful, historic San Antonio. Registration opening in early 2015!

About the Marriott Plaza San Antonio:
The Marriott Plaza San Antonio definitely stands out above the rest. Sitting on six acres of natural, lush Texas landscape, guests can stroll in the shade of cypress and palm trees, or dine overlooking a courtyard that’s home to Asian pheasants and peacocks. Located just 2 blocks from the famous River Walk, the location offers convenience to The Alamo – the “Cradle of Texas Liberty”, La Villita Historic Art Village, Hemisphere Park and Tower of Americas. Shopping is conveniently nearby at the Rivercenter Mall and many museums, cultural centers, local-flavored restaurants and art galleries are within walking distance. San Antonio visitors will enjoy everything the hotel offers, including beautifully appointed guest rooms , a quiet and beautifully landscaped outdoor pool. This hotel is the perfect accommodation for business and leisure travelers alike.


Advocacy Webinar: Mark Your Calendar!

How to Advocate for your Patients & Your Profession 

FREE ADVOCACY WEBINAR/CALL on Wednesday, January 7th 8:00pm CT

Do you want to learn more about lobbying? Want to better understand the legislative process? Want to serve as a voice for medicine?

Get ready for the 84th Legislative Session and learn how to become a more effective advocate for your patients and your profession. This webinar/audio call is designed for you to learn some of the basics of grassroots lobbying in your District, at the Capitol and in Washington, DC. 

Everything you need for effective lobbying is in the palm of your hand. Learn how to use your smart phone and persuasive messaging to get results for you, your profession, and your patients. We will identify 10 steps you can take today to be your own best lobbyist.

This event is designed for Medical Students and Residents, although all members are welcome to attend! 


Clayton Stewart
Director, TEXPAC
Director, Political Education
Texas Medical Association

Clayton Stewart joined TMA as the Director of TEXPAC, the political action arm of the association, in August 2013. Previously, he served as the Director of Governmental Affairs for the Texas Society of Anesthesiologists. An Austin native, Clayton earned his BA in government from the University of Texas at Austin while working for State Representative Geanie Morrison during the 79th legislative session. He has been at the Capitol in some capacity for every legislative session since then except for one — which he missed in the two years he took off to work in the private sector. Overall he brings nearly 8 years of political experience, including running highly contested political campaigns and serving as Chief of Staff for State Representative Dr. Mark Shelton.

Pam Udall
Director Media Relations & PR
Texas Medical Association

Pam has more than 25 years of experience in marketing communications. She currently is the director of media relations and PR for the Texas Medical Association, where she is responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies for the association. Before joining TMA, she was the director of account management and media buying services for an Austin-based, advertising/PR firm that focused on public health and sustainability. She also has 10 years of experience in the lottery industry.


Congratulations to Our New Fellows

Fellowship recognizes personal integrity, superior competence in internal medicine, professional accomplishment, and demonstrated scholarship.

Md Jewel Ahmed, MD, FACP, Amarillo
Ella J. Ariza-Heredia, MD, FACP, Houston
Melina Awar, MD, FACP, Houston
Abimbola Y. Awodipe, MD, FACP, Plano
Manzoor Ahamed Bevinal, MD, FACP, Corpus Christi
Steffanie R. Campbell, MD, FACP, Manvel
James W. Castillo, MD, FACP, Harlingen
Mark L. Francis, MD, FACP, El Paso
Richard W. Goodgame, MD, FACP, Galveston
Dani Hackner, MD, FACP, Houston
Tran C. Huynh, MD, FACP, Temple
William J. Hyman, MD, FACP, Tyler
Gary L. Jones, MD, FACP, Colleyville
Ruby E. Kassanoff, MD, FACP, McKinney
Robert M. Kleinhaus, MD, FACP, Roanoke
Maybelline V. Lezama, MD, FACP, Temple
Sonya L. Merrill, MD, FACP, Dallas
Santhosshi Narayanan, MD, FACP, Longview
Peter T. Nguyen, MD, FACP, Houston
Cyril C. Obi, MD, FACP, Waxahachie
Lakshmi K. Pathak, MBBS, FACP, Richardson
Saima Rashid, MD, FACP, Colleyville
Noel O. Santini, MD, FACP, Dallas
Alison Sibley, MD, FACP, Dallas

Advancement to Fellowship applications are available:
•    At the ACP Web site
•    From the ACP Customer Service Department at (800) 523-1546, ext. 2600
•    By e-mail


Welcome New Members

We are proud to welcome the following new members who have joined the Chapter within the last four months.

Gheath Al-Atrash, DO, PhD, Pearland Mallikarjuna R. Mukka, MBBS, Fort Worth
Nadeem Ansari, DO, Austin Alle R. Naqvi, MD, Belton
Harsha Aramada, MD, Mansfield Chau L. Neason, MD, Bellaire
Roya A. Azadi, MD, Leander Van M. Nguyen, MD, Plano
Ukana O. Bassey, DO, Fort Worth Sun Nguyen, MD, Houston
Nneka Uzoamaka Edokpayi, MD, Sugar Land Juan Ramon Pagan-Ferrer, San Antonio
Chukwudi I. Eke, MBBS, Sugar Land Seyedmahdi Pahlavani, MD, Houston
Karl B Finley, MD, Frisco Jose J. Perez, MD, Rosharon
Enrique Gonzalez, MD, El Paso Ruth E. Pilco-Jaber, MD, Amarillo
James K. Hall, Jr. MD, Plainview Salvador Recio, Kingwood
Lindsay K. Hilbert, MD, Galveston Suman Reddy, MD, Dallas
Grace Idemudia, MD, Killeen Naueen S. Safdar, MD, Houston
Edna Maritza Juarez Ramirez Tello, MD, Spring Syed R. Sameeruddin, MD, Tyler
Anna Kagan, MD,PhD, Houston Rochelle Sexton, MD, Granbury
Asha C. Kuruvilla, MD, Houston Jordan Shapiro, MD, Houston
Laura Macias, MD, El Paso Yeraldine Toledo, MD, Rowlett
Michael Maloy, Jr. MD, Harlingen Anita Udayamurthy, MD, Houston
Atisha Manhas, MD, Plano Carl P. Walther, MD, Houston
Michael C. Martin, MD, Plano Nori U. Watson, DO, Austin