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 Weekly Member Update - February 24, 2012


Dear colleagues,

Please allow me a moment to introduce myself as the AMA Young Physician Section Delegate for the ASSH.  I have attended the AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago for the last two years in this capacity, and I look forward to many more.
Our professional society is on the brink of change if we allow our seat in the House of Delegates to slip away from us.  We have until this summer to meet the 25% membership requirement before we lose our probationary status and our delegate seat with it.
I am aware that many members are not interested in the AMA, or in some cases, they are against it.  Many feel the AMA does not adequately represent the "specialists" and others are unhappy with some of the policy the AMA supports.
I have heard the reasons why, but I urge you to reconsider.  I myself only became a member of the AMA in 2010, but as I learned more about the benefits of membership, I regret that I was not part of this organization sooner.
If we are not part of the process of representing physicians across the country, then we can't complain if we don't like the resulting policy.  If no physicians were part of the AMA, we would have even less of a voice than we do now with policy makers.
Since becoming a physician 10 years ago, I have watched the battle wage over the Medicare pay cut.  The AMA has played a crucial role in helping prevent and delay these cuts, while also working toward a permanent solution rather than a temporary reprieve.
Most of you are aware of the importance of having a delegate seat as it relates to "coding" for hand surgeons, and the work Daniel J. Nagle, MD, has been able to do in that arena.  But there are many lesser-known benefits of AMA membership.  These include: CPT network support; Practice Management Center support; access to the National Managed Care Contract database; technological resources; practice analysis tools; Medicare participation resources; a subscription to the Journal of the American Medical Association; access to other subscriptions and savings on AMA books; and products for your office.
In conclusion, there is absolutely no reason the ASSH can't generate enough membership to meet its minimum quota.  Stop sitting back and hoping that someone else is going to step up and save our seat.  We don't have to agree with every policy the AMA endorses, but we DO need to keep being part of the process to protect ourselves and our colleagues as much as possible by retaining our delegate seat!

Sign up today, and let's show the AMA the power the ASSH has within its own membership!
Desirae M. McKee, MD
AMA Young Physician Section Delegate for the ASSH


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It is with great pleasure that I announce exciting changes to our 2012 volunteer committee application administration.  In the spring of 2011, President W. P. Andrew Lee, MD created the ASSH Member Engagement Task Force, chaired by Scott Kozin, MD.  The group was tasked with improving the volunteer experience, beginning with enhancing  the committee application experience.  In December, Council accepted the Task Force's recommendation to revise the ASSH committee webpage with the goal of making our information more accessible and user-friendly.
Now, our revised webpage features information about the committee's specific duties, work load, and the average time commitment necessary to complete assigned charges throughout a normal governance year.  With this information, we hope you will find committees that truly match your interests, utilize your talents, and fit your schedule throughout the year.
I invite you to complete the 2012 committee application.  The deadline for submission is April 2, 2012.  
Thank you so much for your continuous support of our volunteer activities.
Edward Akelman, MD
Chair, Committee Advisory Group
ASSH President-Elect

AMA Membership Update

AMA rules stipulate that in order to qualify for a seat in the AMA House of Delegates, 25% of our members must be AMA members.  
Thank you to all of the ASSH members who notified us this week that they've joined or rejoined the AMA:
Steven Z. Glickel, MD
David Marshall Jemison, MD
Richard D. Perlman, MD, MPH
Douglas R. Trzcinski, MD, FACS
Mark R. Wilson, MD
Have you recently joined or rejoined the AMA?  Please let us know by contacting so we can track the progress of your AMA membership.  ASSH will reconcile our membership list with the AMA to get credit for our members.

Have your voice heard: Join the AMA.

One Question Results

Last week we asked you about tablet computer ownership.  View results.

Registration for the 2012 ASSH Self-Assessment Exam remains open, and this year marks the first time the exam can be taken online.
When you register as an online exam-taker, you gain access to several new benefits: 
  • You can take the exam up to three times until you meet the minimum passing score of 50%.  The print exam can only be taken once.
  • You will have access to instant feedback each time you complete the exam and submit your answers.  Answers will not be available to print exam-takers until after the tests have been scored and returned to them by mail. 
In addition to the print-only and web-only options, you can also choose to take the web exam and receive a printed answer book for personal use.
The deadline for registration is April 2.  To register, visit the Self-Assessment Exam webpage or call the ASSH Central Office at 847-384-8300.


The ASSH Comprehensive Review in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery is designed as an advanced review course and update for practicing hand surgeons, as well as residents and fellows in training.
The course, which will be held July 13-15 in Chicago, will review the topical concepts of anatomy, biomechanics and pathology, as well as diagnostic and treatment methods relating to hand, wrist and elbow surgery.
Course faculty are recognized experts in hand and upper extremity surgery and have been selected for their knowledge, expertise and contributions relating to the subject matters they present.   Click on the "Program" tab of the course page to see a complete list of faculty, topics, objectives and CME credit information.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2012 Andrew J. Weiland Medal for Outstanding Research in Hand Surgery.  The medal is awarded annually to a mid-career researcher dedicated to advancing patient care in the field of hand surgery.

The award is a $20,000 unrestricted gift and will honor a hand surgeon-scientist who has contributed a body of research that advances the field.  The medal recognizes and supports outstanding research in order to continue Weiland's vision for the field of hand surgery.  It will be awarded to a mid-career surgeon who is less than 55 years old or a surgeon who is fewer than 15 years from hand fellowship training.  The medal will be presented at the 2012 ASSH Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The deadline for submitting an application is April 2.  To learn more about the award, visit the Weiland Medal page on the ASSH website.

The Hand Society congratulates our member Scott Kozin, MD on being appointed Chief of Staff at Shriners Hospital for Children at Philadelphia.
Have good news to share? We want to know! Send an email to Alex Mitchell at

Cecil C. Aird, MD
Helen L. Burgert
Crawford Campbell, MD
Susan Davis Schreurs
Seth D. Dodds, MD
Daniel John Fletcher, MD
Robert L. Horner, MD
Kathleen S. Johnson
Ryosuke Kakinoki, MD
M.P. Krieger
Kathleen M. Martin
Barbara J. Metcalf, LPN
Marlys F. Perkins
Hamlet A. Peterson, MD
Robert L. Phyliky, MD
Lee M. Reichel, MD
Mitchell B. Rotman, MD
Alexander Y. Shin, MD
Thank you to the following corporate donor for its generous contribution to the AFSH in support of nerve and soft tissue research:

Did you know you can now support the Foundation (AFSH) through automated monthly payments?  Visit to complete an auto-pay form, or contact
Following an unofficial announcement by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner at the AMA National Advocacy Conference last week, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirmed the Obama administration’s intention to postpone implementation of the new ICD-10 code set.
“We are committing to work with the provider community to re-examine the pace at which HHS and the nation implement these important improvements to our health care system,” Sebelius said in a news release.
The announcement was in response to pressure from the AMA.  In a February 2 letter to Sebelius, the AMA called on the agency to halt implementation of ICD-10, which represents a tremendous administrative challenge for physician practices.  Read more...