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 Weekly Member Update - March 30, 2012

Volunteer's Note

Don't Miss Your Opportunity to Join the ASSH Volunteer Community

What's New About Board Certification?

AMA Membership Update

Last Chance: Register for 2012 Self-Assessment Exam 

Apply Today for Prestigious Bunnell Fellowship

April 9 OCC Webinar: 'Thumb CMC Arthritis'

Deadline for Weiland Medal Applications Approaching

House of Representatives Passes H.R. 5

Opinion: Reducing Industry Support of CME Has Unspoken Consequences


Volunteer's Note

The ASSH International Relations Committee's charge is to advance hand surgery through our collaboration with our colleagues in other nations.

The International Guest Society Program – designating a guest nation at our Annual Meeting to highlight the achievement of that nation in contributing to the field of hand surgery – has been exceptionally productive.  This year's International Guest Society is South Korea, a country that has made immense strides in promoting hand surgery, in particular, microsurgery and wrist surgery.

Additionally, the committee helps coordinate visits by international scholars from many nations, providing the scholars with podium presentation opportunities at the Sterling Bunnell Luncheon, where they receive feedback about their research work.

The Chair of the International Committee represents the ASSH at the IFSSH Delegates' Meeting.  At the last two delegates' meetings, in Seoul, South Korea and in Las Vegas, the ASSH participated in discussions about promoting hand surgery in the developing world and organizing educational venues for trainees.

This vibrant and dynamic committee continues to work toward our vision of the ASSH as a leader in education, research and clinical care, by engaging our colleagues in all regions of the world.
Kevin C. Chung, MD, MS
Chair, International Relations Committee
Don't Miss Your Opportunity to Join the ASSH Volunteer Community
Each year, the Hand Society invites members to join one of our many committees.  This year's deadline to apply to become a member of a committee is Monday, April 2. 
Volunteers are the driving force behind ASSH programs and activities, ensuring the Hand Society has the resources necessary to pursue its missions and reach its strategic goals.
It is our belief that, in turn, committee members are enriched professionally through stimulating experiences, exchange of ideas, and camaraderie.
Learn about the wide breadth of volunteer opportunities at the Hand Society by visiting the ASSH website.  To become a volunteer, fill out an application.  Active and Candidate Members are welcome. 
Terms will begin at the 67th ASSH Annual Meeting, September 6-8 in Chicago.  Contact Alexzandra Wallace at or 847-384-8300 with questions.
ASSH leadership is keenly aware of the "Maintenance of Certification" (MOC) process and has broadened the educational options available to members and diplomates.
Collaboration between the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) leadership and the ASSH Council has ensured that Hand Society members have continuous access to high-quality Self-Assessment Exam and CME tools that meet the standards set by the Boards for MOC.
While the ASSH Annual Meeting goes a long way toward satisfying the CME piece, leadership has also made a substantial effort to make home study alternatives available to membership.
The ASSH Self-Assessment Examination has improved dramatically and is an excellent tool for self assessment that also satisfies the Board SAE requirement. Through the efforts of the ASSH MOC Committee, full-cycle practice improvement modules will soon be available.  The first module that will be available will be for carpal tunnel release.  For these modules, the ASSH has planned to make an interim educational piece available for use online as a member convenience.
Hand surgeons are talented individuals from three separate training backgrounds.  The educational programs provided by the ASSH make up a diverse, deep and unique group of offerings that should help each individual find modules that are appropriate to his/her areas of interest or needed study. 
If you haven't already done so, please visit your Board website and sign up to become a participant in MOC.  Signing up is important because it is recognized by numerous accrediting bodies as an indication that you are participating in a voluntary process designed for lifelong learning and practice improvement.
The ABS, ABPS and ABOS MOC programs are all in compliance with the requirements set forth by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), making this form of Board certification acceptable to almost all local, regional and national organizations.
When you have "signed up," then all queries coming to your Board and to the American Board of Medical Specialties will confirm your participation in MOC.   While you’re logged in to the website, take a minute to update all your contact information.  Soon, the ABOS webpage will have a customizable communication tool that will keep you informed, in whatever manner you choose, about Board news.
While extensive information about MOC is already available on Board websites, we hope these new tools will improve the diplomates' ability to participate in MOC.  The ABPS webpage also has an MOC progress tracking tool that was developed to facilitate progress tracking.  One new feature that should be available this summer is a "Credit Deposit" feature that will allow diplomates to deposit approved credits from established CME providers in their personal MOC accounts.
The concept that underpins Board certification is important to us all.  It's an outward sign that we are professionals!
John G. Seiler, III, MD
ASSH member and Senior Director, ABOS
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.  Currently, we are 31 members shy of the 25% mark.  
Thank you to the ASSH members who notified us this week that they've joined or rejoined the AMA since January 1, 2012: 

Joseph P. Cullen, MD
Stephen L. Helgemo, MD
Michael A. Milek, MD
For those who notified us this week but are not listed above, your membership was already counted in our records as well as the AMA's.  
Have you joined or rejoined the AMA since January 1, 2012?  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.

The deadline to register for the ASSH Self-Assessment Exam is Monday, April 2.

A convenient, cost-effective way to earn CME credit, the Exam is offered online this year for the first time.  The online version offers several advantages over the print format:

  • You can take the exam up to three times to meet the minimum passing score of 50%, while print exam-takers will only have one chance to meet the requirement for CME credit.
  • Larger images give you a better look at figures.
  • Your CME will be immediately credited to your account upon completion, and you can download and print the certificate right away.  (CME will appear on your official ASSH transcript within 10 business days of successful test completion.)

It's the same high-quality exam you've come to expect, with faster results and more flexibility for you.  Register today!

Apply Today for Prestigious Bunnell Fellowship

The Sterling Bunnell, MD, Traveling Fellowship, named for the founder and first President of the ASSH, has fostered vital contributions to the field of hand surgery by supporting many elite surgeons since its inception in 1982.
The Bunnell Fellowship provides scholarship funding for a young hand surgeon to pursue an educational or academic goal that:

- Requires national and international collaboration.

- Fosters the principles of scholarship of the ASSH.

- Has a clearly delineated theme in a specific area of clinical interest, a scientific pursuit, or an educational mission.

The Traveling Fellows committee, chaired by Steven Moran, MD, will select the Bunnell fellow based on the applicant’s scholarship, ASSH contributions, and the strength of the proposed collaborative project.

Learn more about the Bunnell Fellowship application process, and download the application.  Applications are due by June 1, 2012.  Contact Alexzandra Wallace at or 847-384-8300 with questions.

The Bunnell Traveling Fellowship is generously provided by the American Foundation for Surgery of the Hand.

April 9 OCC Webinar: 'Thumb CMC Arthritis'
Register now for the Online Consultation Corner webinar “Thumb CMC Arthritis" on Monday, April 9, at 8:30 p.m. EDT.
Moderator David Bozentka, MD, will discuss three to five submitted cases with expert consultants Peter C. Amadio, MD, David J. Bozentka, MD and Aaron Daluiski, MD. 
You can submit your case or questions for the discussion to the ASSH using the online Image Library, or email by noon EDT on Monday.
Registration is limited to the first 95 ASSH members.

Deadline for Weiland Medal Applications Approaching

The deadline to submit an application for the 2012 Andrew J. Weiland Medal for Outstanding Research in Hand Surgery is Monday, April 2.

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.

To learn more about the award, visit the Weiland Medal page on the ASSH website.
Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the bill that enacts both medical liability reform and repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board.
Included in passage were several amendments, including one to grant civil liability protection to health professionals that volunteer at federally declared disaster sites, another to extend liability protections to on-call and emergency room physicians who are legally required to deliver care under EMTALA, and another to restore the application of antitrust laws to the business of health insurance by amending the McCarran-Ferguson Act.
It is worth noting that the last amendment does not significantly impact the AAOS's efforts to provide antitrust relief to doctors negotiating with private insurers.
The House also rejected an amendment to delay the date of enactment of H.R. 5 until the Secretary of Health and Human Services submits to Congress a report on the potential effect of malpractice reform on health care premiums.
H.R. 5 now moves to the Senate, where it faces a difficult path toward passage.  The AAOS Office of Government Relations will keep you updated as events develop.
By Derek Warnick
I have worked in continuing medical education for 12 years, and the argument over industry support of CME has grown tired and wearisome.  Truth be told, I’m sick of it.  I have always been a staunch defender of industry support of CME – and still am, for the most part – but listening to the same old arguments on both sides of the issue has become akin to the Elmo CD my 5-year-old daughter listens to every night at bedtime: so much background noise.

So, when the CME community made a kerfuffle over the recent perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine (Industry Support of CME — Are We at the Tipping Point?), it took me awhile to work up the motivation to click on the link and read it.  As expected, the authors clearly favor restrictions to the funding of CME by industry, though they do not approach the issue with the zealotry of others I have read.  Read more.