Congratulations to Todd M. Hertzberg, MD, FACR, whose photo, “Glacial Watkins Glen,” was the first-place winner of the 2020 ACMS Bulletin Photo Contest. His photo will appear on the January 2021 cover of the Bulletin.

Additional winners include: Louis A. DiToppa, DO, FAAFP,  – “Montana Tranquility” and “Amalfi Coast;” John P. Williams, MD – “Rainbow over Victoria Falls;” Alexanndra Kreps, MD – “Pittsburgh Zoo Aquarium;” Mark E. Thompson, MD – “Pittsburgh Reflections at Sunset” and “The Moon and Venus over Pittsburgh at Sunrise;” Elias Hilal, MD – “The Flower Path;” James W. Boyle, MD – “Midnight – Gulf of Finland;” William R.

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2020 October Buller

A few weeks ago, I ran into a transplant surgeon friend whom I hadn’t seen since the beginning of the pandemic. We discussed how we really weren’t that psychologically affected by the restrictions until recently; the first six months hadn’t been that much of a hardship in terms of cabin fever. But now, at the six-month mark, we were really missing interactions with friends. Even though, in pre-pandemic times, we might not have accepted every invitation or gone to every event, we now are denied the ability to say yes to any of them. Our options have been removed and our autonomy restricted by a tiny virus over which we have little if any control.

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2020 October Buller

Physician recruiting can be expensive. Doing it wrong can be even more expensive, as a recent multimillion-dollar settlement illustrates.

When a group practice needs financial assistance to bring on an additional physician, hospitals may be willing to put up funds to protect the practice from incurring a loss as the new doctor becomes established in the community. Such recruitment agreements with hospitals are generally structured as monthly advances of the difference between the new physician’s collections and the cost of employing him or her, and treated as forgivable loans to the practice so long as the physician continues to practice in the hospital’s service area for a defined period.

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What is the future of telehealth? At the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic, in an article entitled “COVID-19 and the Rise of Telemedicine,” the Medical Futurist reported:

“Telemedicine has not had the success it had hoped to achieve.”

Now, just a few months later, telemedicine “might” be a new normal and multiple commentators and organizations, such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and McKinsey & Co., are touting the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) as the long-awaited tipping point for the implementation of telehealth. Note some of the statements below; the underlining is mine.

  • McKinsey & Co. projected that virtual visits could account for $250 billion dollars of annual healthcare business, or 20% of commercial, Medicare and Medicaid visits.
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2020 October Buller

 

As the days of the COVID-19 pandemic wear on and we see and learn more about its effects on our society and our economy, I have been thinking more and more about what we will, or should, learn from it. I also have thought a great deal about what we have learned (and sadly, in some cases seemingly unlearned) from previous epidemics and pandemics.

Of course, we are continuing to learn a lot about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVD-19, its effects on those who become ill, its demographics, and how it spreads.

We have had a lot of experience with contagious respiratory viruses, most of which began with the so-called influenza pandemic of 1918.

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2020 October Buller

Opinion

Editorial …………………………..297
Reclaiming autonomy
Deval (Reshma) Paranjpe, MD, MBA, FACS

Editorial …………………………..299
The lost year and stuff
Andrea G. Witlin, DO, PhD

Editorial ………………………….301
Tests
Richard H. Daffner, MD, FACR

Perspective ……………………..305
Pandemicology: Lessons learned (or not)
Bruce L. Wilder, MD, MPH, JD

Perspective ……………………..310
OPTIMISM … did you lose it?
Jorge Lindenbaum, MD

Departments
Membership Benefits ……….308
Society News …………………..310
• Pittsburgh Ophthalmology Society
• Pennsylvania Geriatrics Society – Western Division
• MPHC pivots to webinar series
• Virtual child abuse training session planned November 12
• Greater Pittsburgh Diabetes Club

Articles
Materia Medica …………………313
Assisting statins: Current roles of non-statin therapies and upcoming agents
Erin L.

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Normally, autumn brings harvest festivals, apple picking, pumpkin patch activities and an endless parade of pumpkin spice in everything from candles to lattes to doughnuts and Oreos. This autumn, the first three social events are cancelled area-wide, but we will likely see the reign of pumpkin spice extend to masks and hand sanitizer, because, well, pumpkin spice.

We are all holding our collective breath and waiting for the second wave of COVID-19 expected due to spread from school and college students across the country. We are all praying that it will relatively spare us as it did in the spring.

So, what can you do in a quarantined autumn that will not only lift your mood and distract you from these worries, but also give you a measure of fun?… Read more

Curmudgeon: 1. A crusty, ill-tempered old man. 2. Anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner.1

During the recent Teacher’s Tournament on “Jeopardy,” host Alex Trebek asked the contestants if they had any favorite teachers while in school. It made me think of the many individuals who taught and mentored me along my road to becoming a radiologist (and a teacher myself). Five stand out. These men shared many traits. They were, in addition to being excellent teachers, honest, forthright and genuinely interested in their students.… Read more

Opinions
Editorial …………………………..266
The splendor of autumn
Deval (Reshma) Paranjpe, MD, MBA, FACS

Editorial …………………………..267
Pandemic lemonade
Joseph C. Paviglianiti, MD

Editorial ………………………….269
Finding my niche – fellowship and beyond
Andrea G. Witlin, DO, PhD

Editorial ………………………….271
Curmudgeons
Richard H. Daffner, MD, FACR

Departments
Membership Benefits ……….276
Society News …………………..278
• ACMS is moving!
• ACMS, ACMS Foundation host PPE, grant distribution event
• Pittsburgh Ophthalmology Society
• Pennsylvania Geriatrics Society – Western Division
• Greater Pittsburgh Diabetes Club

In Memoriam ……………………282
• John Emboaba Da Costa, MD

Letter to the Editor …………..282

Classifieds ………………………282

Articles

Materia Medica …………………283
TauvidTM (flortaucipir F 18 injection): The first FDA-approved imaging drug for detecting tau in patients with suspected Alzheimer’s Disease
Kelly Slipak, PharmD

Legal Report ……………………287
Future of telehealth: Boom, or back to business as usual?… Read more

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, reports are starting to emerge which paint a fuller picture of short- and intermediate-term damage to COVID survivors. Long-term studies obviously are years away, but we may increasingly see a pattern of symptoms and signs that indicate that while the patient may be considered recovered, significant ongoing issues remain.

A recent Science article by Jennifer Couzin-Frankel, “From ‘brain fog’ to heart damage, COVID-19’s lingering problems alarm scientists,” reviews some of these effects. Persistent problems include dyspnea, fatigue, tachycardia, joint aches, cognitive difficulties, persistent anosmia and multiorgan dysfunction. There are no large multicenter peer-reviewed studies on survivors published yet, only small studies measuring various outcomes with relatively small numbers of subjects.

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