Hemming reports on his recent SGIM experience

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Post submitted by: J. Patrick Hemming, MD, Medical Instructtor (GIM)

I just got back this weekend from the 2017 SGIM annual meeting in Washington, DC, where I had an incredibly rewarding experience, seeing GIM colleagues from all over the country, attending presentations from Duke residents, students and faculty, and taking the opportunity to be close to the nation’s capital for advocacy on behalf of our patients.  This is really one of the highlights of my year every year since I began attending the meeting as a resident.

Duke had a great presence at the meeting, with a large contingent presenting and hosting workshops. If you don’t believe me, here’s a link to Daniela Zipkin’s Twitter feed.

On Tuesday morning, I attended the ACLGIM WELL training and heard from Dr. Mark Linzer, a former GIM division chief at Duke, on his work regarding provider wellness.  He shared research from Duke and 14 other academic GIM divisions suggesting that overall 38.2 % of us have symptoms of burnout.  67 % have high stress.  Half of us have low work control and too much home time spent on the electronic medical record.  Here’s a link to that article.

I hope to be able to find some ways to address this at Duke. 

On Friday morning, nine of the Duke attendees hopped in a taxi and met with legislative aids for U.S. Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr.  We delivered a message about the need to preserve (and hopefully expand) coverage for the many low-income patients we care for at the Duke Outpatient Clinic and in Duke Hospitals. 

One conference workshop this year stood out.  I attended the second annual SGIM book group, and we discussed the book Wonder by R. J. Palacio.  Reading this book re-introduced me to the idea of using precepts to live by.  One of the precepts in this wise book is: "When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind."

"When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind"

Every year, I hope to come away with new ideas in medical education, research, and clinical care, and a sense for how our work as generalists is advancing our goals for a better society.  I feel added optimism as I head into the uncertainty of the moment. 

I hope to join with more of you, my Duke colleagues, when we meet April 11-14 in Denver Colorado next year.