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 Weekly Member Update - February 17, 2012

Volunteer's Note

Famous Patients Sought for Hand and Upper Extremity Videos

One Question

AMA Membership Update

ASSH Social Media: Member Among Team That Provides Care in Haiti

Listserv Hot Topic: Workers Compensation Surveillance

ASSH Job Board Can Help You Find What You're Looking For

Thank You to AFSH Donors

Keep An Eye Out for Your AFSH Giving Statement

Medicare Pay Cut Delayed 10 Months Under Tentative Agreement

More Competition Needed in Health Insurance Markets  

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Volunteer's Note

The Resident Education Committee assists in coordinating ongoing policy for education of residents and fellows in hand and upper extremity surgery.

We have compiled a list of core topics and published them as the ASSH Manual of Hand Surgery.  This is designed to be a quick review and useful for residents, fellows, medical students and those with an interest in learning about hand and upper extremity conditions.  This will likely be updated as an online version in the future.

To help assess the surgical experience of fellows and residents, we have proposed a new format for a "case log" that can be used to track surgical cases and provide more detailed information than the current ACGME format.  This has been passed on to the Training Advisory Group, and it is our hope that some form of this can be used to track the educational progress of residents and fellows.

The success of this committee has resulted from the contribution of all members.  The educational process is constantly evolving, and the diverse backgrounds of the committee members has helped provide insight on the best methods to educate residents, which will enable us as a group to continue to attract the brightest, most talented residents to hand and upper extremity surgery.

Warren C. Hammert, MD
Chair, Resident Education Committee 
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Famous Patients Sought for Hand and Upper Extremity Videos

Dear ASSH members,
The ASSH Public Awareness Committee requests your help.
We are producing videos on common hand and upper extremity conditions to help publicize our specialty and our society.  The videos are meant as a public service to provide accurate information on the Web and help potential patients find good resources (i.e., ASSH members) for evaluation and treatment.
In an effort to get these videos viewed by as many people as possible, we'd like to have celebrities and/or professional athletes appear in them.
This is where you, our fellow members, come in.
If you have a patient who is a celebrity or pro athlete who may be open to appearing in a public service video, please contact me at, and we can discuss the potential opportunity, including your possible involvement in the video.
The three topics that we hope to address in 2012 are tennis elbow, thumb CMCJ arthritis, and "the jammed finger"" (e.g., mallet finger, volar plate injury, collateral ligament injuries, boutonniere, etc.), but we are open to any ideas you might have.
We greatly appreciate your time and consideration and hope you will help us engage these special patients for a worthwhile project.
Stephen J. Troum, MD, FACS
Chair, Public Awareness Committee

One Question

Do you own a tablet computer, and if so, which one?

A. I do not own a tablet
B. iPad
C. Android
D. Kindle Fire
E. Other

If you plan to purchase a tablet this year, which one will you buy?

A. iPad 3
B. Android
C. Kindle Fire
D. Other
To submit your answers, visit our survey site.

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:
Pedro K. Beredjiklian, MD
F. Thomas D. Kaplan, 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.

ASSH Social Media: Member Among Team That Provides Care in Haiti
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Hand Society member Michael Shuler, MD, (pictured, bottom right) was among a group of doctors who recently traveled to Haiti to provide much-needed care to individuals, according to the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald.

Athens Orthopedic Clinic, along with Anesthesia Consultants of Athens, sent surgeons and other physicians, physician assistants, nurses, surgical technologists and radiology technologists to Haiti from January 26 to February 3 to perform surgeries at Fort Liberty Hospital.
The doctors worked through Bethlehem Ministry, a nonprofit created a quarter-century ago to help Haitians.
"I would encourage any other people interested in doing it to explore it. It will leave a lasting impression," Shuler told the Herald-Banner. "You go down there to help others, but I think in the end, we probably get more out of it than they do."
To read the entire story, visit the ASSH Facebook page.

Listserv Hot Topic: Workers Compensation Surveillance
A member turned to the ASSH Physician Listserv this week to seek advice on how to proceed when an insurance adjuster sends you a surveillance video of one of your patients exhibiting behavior that is inconsistent with the injury limitations the patient is reporting.

Many members responded, giving their takes on the delicate balance between caring for the patient and not being duped.

Have you had personal experience with this?  Do you have questions about the ethical implications of this type of scenario?  If you have already signed up for the Listserv, you can view or contribute to the thread by visiting the archives and scrolling down to the discussion titled "worker's comp surveillance."  If you don't know or remember your Listserv password, you can reset your password here.
To sign up for the Listserv, visit the Listserv page.  

ASSH Job Board Can Help You Find What You're Looking For

Explore career opportunities anytime of the day or night with JobTarget.

Visit the ASSH Online Career Center at  The site, which is being upgraded to improve the user experience, offers a host of services for various needs:
Job Seekers
  • Post an anonymous resume
  • View jobs
  • Create a Job Alert, and new jobs that match your search will be emailed to you
  • Create a Job Seeker Account 
  • Post a job
  • View resumes
  • Utilize recruitment products
In addition to helping job seekers and employers/recruiters, the Job Board can even help you sell your practice.

Thank You to AFSH Donors
Jack Abboudi, MD
Leslie P. Dean, MD
Philip A. Deffer, Jr., MD
Slobodan Djurickovic, MD, FRCS
James C. McIntosh, Jr., MD
Sandford Shadrow
Martin C. Skie, MD
Peter Tang, MD, MPH
Joel D. Thompson, 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

Keep An Eye Out for Your AFSH Giving Statement

Did you make a donation to the AFSH in 2011?

Watch your mailbox in the coming weeks for a giving statement.  If you don’t receive yours by March 5, please let us know at

Medicare Pay Cut Delayed 10 Months Under Tentative Agreement - from AMA
Physicians will get a 10-month reprieve from a 27 percent cut in Medicare payments scheduled for March 1 under a tentative agreement reached Tuesday by a House-Senate committee.  A payment freeze will be in effect through the end of the year.

The agreement is part of a deal to extend a payroll tax cut and added unemployment benefits.  Under Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula (SGR), the huge Medicare payment cut was scheduled to go into effect January 1, but it was averted by a last-minute extension in late December of current payment rates.

The AMA has consistently called on Congress to repeal the fatally flawed SGR formula.

"The House and Senate conference committee agreement averts a 27 percent cut on March 1, but it represents a serious missed opportunity to permanently replace the flawed Medicare physician payment formula and protect access to care for military families and seniors," said AMA President Peter W. Carmel, MD.  "People outside of Washington question the logic of spending nearly $20 billion to postpone one cut for a higher cut next year, while increasing the cost of a permanent solution by about another $25 billion.
"Congress had an opportunity to permanently end this problem, which is the sound, fiscally prudent policy choice.  We appreciate efforts by members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who publicly supported a framework for a permanent end to this perennial problem.  We are deeply disappointed that Congress chose to just do another patch – kicking the can, growing the problem and missing a clear opportunity to protect access to care for patients."

A full vote on the measure was expected Friday or after the President's Day recess.

More Competition Needed in Health Insurance Markets - from AMA
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Physicians who practice in Alabama are doing so in the least competitive commercial health insurance market in the nation, according to data reported by the AMA.

That assessment is part of the AMA's Competition in Health Insurance: A Comprehensive Study of U.S. Markets.  According to the 10th annual report, the next nine states or areas with the least competitive commercial health insurance markets are:

2. Alaska
3. Delaware
4. Michigan
5. Hawaii
6. District of Columbia
7. Nebraska
8. North Carolina
9. Indiana
10. Maine

In each of these states, a single health insurer accounts for nearly 60 percent of the combined health maintenance organization (HMO) and preferred provider organization (PPO) market. For example, in Alabama a single insurer accounts for 90 percent of the state’s HMO/PPO market.  Read more.