“From Pittsburgh to the World” is the message on a banner at the Global Links headquarters in Green Tree. Surrounding the banner is detailed pottery from Cuba, lucky ekekos from Bolivia and beautifully painted feathers from Nicaragua. Adjacent to these mementos of thanks from communities around the world is a window that sits eye-level with I-376 West and the rapid traffic and massive semi-trucks that come with it. The colorful art and the grey interstate form a striking dichotomy … and a striking partnership. Those massive semi-trucks that pass by may just have left Global Links filled with medical surplus such as life-saving sutures, hospital beds, wheelchairs, breathing machines, blood pressure cuffs and oto-ophthalmoscopes.

Read more

Catherine A. Chappell, MD, MSc
Debra L. Bogen, MD, FAAP, FABM

One of the most significant consequences of the opioid crisis is the increasing prevalence of hepatitis c virus (HCV) infection among young persons, including pregnant women. In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a 364% increase in HCV infection among persons less than 30 years of age.1 Now in Pennsylvania, young persons outnumber the “Baby Boomers” (persons born between 1945 to 1965) with HCV infection.2 Currently, recommendations are to universally screen all Baby Boomers for HCV.3 However, there are conflicting guidelines regarding HCV screening during pregnancy. While the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) recommends universal antenatal HCV screening, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends risk-based screening.

Read more

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, on remand from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, has again decided that the previously agreed termination date of the access provisions contained in the UPMC/Highmark Consent Decrees, i.e. June 30, 2019, is not a term subject to the modification provisions of those Consent Decrees, and is definite. The adjudication of the Commonwealth Court, attached hereto, discusses the history of the negotiation of the terms, especially the termination date, and confirms the Consent Decrees will expire on June 30, 2019.

PA vs. UPMC 6-14-19 Adjudication

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided Mitchell v. Shikora in favor of Pennsylvania’s physicians. 

All seven justices agreed and held that evidence regarding risks and complications of a surgical procedure may be admissible in medical negligence actions to assist in establishing the standard of care. In a dissenting/concurring opinion, however, two of the justices essentially opined that risks and complications evidence is not always germane and should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

PAMED action: On Dec. 1, 2017, the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) Executive Committee approved the filing of an amicus curiae brief with the American Medical Association (AMA) in the state Supreme Court case Mitchell v.

Read more

This is the first installment of a four-part series.

Part I: Introduction

Medical malpractice is an unfortunate issue that all physicians are forced to confront from time to time. My background for this topic includes the following: I am a retired diagnostic radiologist who is certified by the American Board of Radiology. My principle areas of interest are musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders and trauma imaging, with special interest and expertise in spine injuries. My academic career included faculty positions at the University of Louisville, Duke University, Drexel University and Temple University (during my 30 years at Allegheny General Hospital). I was an expert witness and legal consultant in diagnostic radiology for 35 years.

Read more

Since former U.S. President Richard Nixon redeemed his legacy by defrosting and strengthening the relationship between the United States and China, China has rapidly advanced in terms of technology, economic power and manufacturing capability to become a superpower in its own right. Our recent news is filled with worries of U.S. debt to China, trade wars with China, industrial and perhaps political espionage perpetrated by China and the like. At the same time, it has become fashionable amongst Americans to visit China and take pictures along the Great Wall of China or before the famous Stone Soldiers to cross these off one’s bucket list.

Read more

2019 Bulletin Photo Contest




  1. Email your VERTICAL jpg photos with a resolution of 300 dpi or higher to bulletin-contest@acms.org. Photos should be 8”W x 10”H.
  2. You must be an ACMS member physician to submit photos.
  3. Include the name of the photo (please keep file names short) as well as your name, specialty, address and phone number in the email.
  4. You will receive verification that your photo has been received and is eligible to be entered in the contest.
  5. a) Horizontal photos will not be considered.
  6. b) Photos with low resolution will not be considered.
  7. c) Panoramic shots or photos featuring specifically identifiable individuals/relatives will not be considered.
Read more

Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs are a source of irritation and controversy in medical communities today. The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), representing 24 specialty member boards, notes that prior to the 1970s, board certification of a physician provided them with lifetime credentials. These written and sometimes oral exams were designed to test for basic competence in that particular specialty. (This was analogous to medical licensure based on an individual passing the three parts of the examinations given by the National Board of Medical Examiners [NBME]. In 1992, this exam was superseded by the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination [USMLE], sponsored by the Federation of State Medical Boards [FSMB] and the [NBME]).

Read more

The alarming rise in measles cases has finally reached Pittsburgh, with four cases confirmed after exposure to an unvaccinated adult with measles. These people visited the airport, grocery stores, a thrift store, a car rental agency and untold other venues, exposing untold other people. This has fueled reactions in the general public from righteous anger (how dare these idiots remain unvaccinated and endanger my vulnerable loved ones with a preventable serious disease?) to outright fear (I can’t take my infant/immunocompromised relative out of the house now!).

When I learned as a child that vaccines keep us safe from viral scourges via herd immunity, the cynic in me thought that somewhere, there would always be an evildoer who would work to reintroduce the virus as a form of bioterrorism when the immunity of the populace was waning.

Read more

Hepatitis Awareness Month is a campaign to raise awareness about hepatitis. National Hepatitis Awareness Month was first established by the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention in 2001.

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver and is caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common types are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. There also are hepatitis D and E, which are not common in the United States.

Hepatitis A Hepatitis B Hepatitis C
Self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection Chronic in about 5% of cases Chronic in about 75%
of cases
Transmitted through feces due to poor hygiene or contaminated food or water Transmitted through blood, semen, or another body fluid Transmitted blood to blood
Vaccine available

Usually resolve within 2 months of infection

Treatment available

Vaccine available

Cure available

No vaccine available

Prevention is key


Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus.

Read more