Each month, AACH President Jenni Levy, MD, FAACH addresses AACH members through her president's message, sharing updates, goals, and information to keep members engaged and involved in the Academy.
I hope those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are enjoying
your summer so far! Here in eastern Pennsylvania, the weather is finally
behaving like summer. Our early June was unseasonably cool and rainy. I headed
to Los Angeles for ENRICH hoping for warm sunshine. The weather didn’t quite
live up to my expectations; I learned that Southern California has something
called June Gloom. ENRICH exceeded any expectation I might have had.
The theme of ENRICH was “communicating across difference.” I
couldn’t help but think about the differences since my first Summer Course in
1997. That course lasted five days and we were housed in a Boston University
dorm. The Luskin Conference Center at UCLA was about the furthest thing from a dorm
room I could imagine. ENRICH isn’t the same as the old Summer Course, either.
The meeting is shorter, registration is handled by professionals, there are
more varieties of learning groups available, the learning groups themselves
have more structure, and the workshops are three-session tracks focused on
fundamental skills and topics. There was far more professional diversity than
I’ve ever experienced before. And with all that, some things have not changed.
While we may not use the terms “personal awareness” and
“skills groups” in our course brochure these days, we are still focused on
making space for participants to develop insight into their own reactions and
have the chance to practice skills that will benefit their work as soon as they
return home. Our participants have the chance to develop deep connections with
each other. The process that started for me in Boston twenty years ago has
transformed every aspect of my life because the skills we learn are effective
in every relationship.
Change is always challenging, and there are some things I
miss about the old course format – I loved project groups, and we had more free
time. I don’t miss dorm rooms or shuttle buses, though, and I really enjoy
welcoming new participants who are experiencing all this for the first time. I
wish I’d been able to attend a dine-around. Dine-arounds were new this year;
our staff made reservations at a variety of restaurants in walking distance and
faculty and FITs signed up to eat with participants. I heard tales of good
meals, lots of laughter, and new friendships and professional connections. I
hope I can make it to one next time!
One of the other positive changes is that we now offer
ENRICH participants a complimentary three-month subscription to DocCom. If
you’re an AACH member, you already have a full subscription as a member benefit
– hop on over to the website
and activate it! AMR staff can help if you have difficulty. Barbara Lewis,
managing editor of DocCom, lives in LA and was able to come to the course and
help registrants activate their subscriptions on-site.
If you haven’t looked at DocCom lately, you should. Barbara
and her editorial team have been updating and expanding the content. When
they’re done, DocCom will match up more closely with the Smith textbook. There
are new modules addressing advanced communication challenges. DocCom users can
get CME – and many specialty boards accept DocCom as credit toward maintenance
of certification. Check it out here and
see if your specialty is on the list.
This letter marks the halfway point of my Presidency. Like
all my other AACH experiences, being President has offered me opportunities for
learning and growth, enhanced my connections to my friends and colleagues in
the organization, and further deepened my commitment to the organization. It is
an honor to give back to the group that has given me so much.