This year, for the first time in the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting’s history, Pittsburgh is hosting the conference.

Dr. Radomski, SGIM Mid-Atlantic Region President

It was at the suggestion of SGIM Mid-Atlantic Regional President, Dr. Thomas Radomski, that the conference be hosted in Pittsburgh. “Given that the Pitt Division of General Internal Medicine is so large, I thought our participation could enhance the regional conference. It’s an opportunity to highlight the expertise that our faculty bring to the field of General Internal Medicine,” said Dr. Radomski. The conference does indeed appear to be stirring up local interest, with submissions up 50% over last year’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting.

An exciting new introduction to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting is the optional career development and training pre-courses offered Thursday, November 14 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center from 1 to 5 p.m. The options for the pre-courses are a course in faculty development in medical education or a training in point of care ultrasound (POCUS). Said Dr. Radomski:

The faculty development course is our approach to give local faculty an opportunity to lead workshops and demonstrate their expertise in medical education. It’s one of our strengths here at Pitt.

As for the point of care ultrasound training, inspiration came from a big push nationally to incorporate POCUS in day-to-day practice. In an effort to provide training for SGIM members, at the regional level, the training will be an introduction, with a more comprehensive course offered at the national SGIM conference. “The regional training will be unique in that it focuses on both inpatient and outpatient applications of POCUS with the hopes of being applicable to all providers,” said UPMC’s Dr. Michelle Fleshner, who is involved with the POCUS committee at the national level and is spearheading the regional pre-course ultrasound training along with Drs. Thomas Robertson and Gigi Liu.

Because these pre-courses are being pilot tested this year, the number of attendees is limited, so make sure to register early.

Following the pre-courses, there will be a Proud to be GIM Reception at 5:30 pm at The Oaklander Hotel. #ProudToBeGIM is a framework created by SGIM for general internists to explain why their field is special in order to encourage medical students and residents to pursue general internal medicine (GIM).

Dr. Radomski describes the movement as articulating why someone might choose to work in GIM to people who are still in the process of choosing their careers, and forming a community with other generalists to celebrate all of the aspects of general internal medicine, particularly academic general internal medicine:

I look after a panel of several hundred primary care patients and that’s very important to me, and I also love the research that I do. Research and patient care play off each other very well; they inform each other. In addition, in general internal medicine there’s opportunity to teach and mentor students and residents as they develop into full-fledged physicians. Proud to be GIM is about being vocal and recognizing how much many of us like our job as general internists—doing everything we can to mentor others ideally into GIM careers, if they choose to do that.


Dr. Leibshutz at the 2019 national SGIM meeting

The SGIM Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting officially begins on Friday, November 15, 2019, at The University Club at the University of Pittsburgh. There will be opening speeches by Dr. Radomski and Division Chief of General Internal Medicine, Dr. Jane Liebschutz. There will also be a town hall meeting with SGIM CEO Eric Bass. Two Plenary TED Talks by Dr. Nicole Redmond (Medical Officer, NHLBI) and Dr. Gaetan Sgro (Academic Hospitalist, VAPHS) will be followed by small group sessions including oral presentations, two poster sessions totaling 150 posters, and two workshop sessions, and a new-this-year teaching competition.

In the past, people have submitted scientific abstracts, clinical vignettes, innovative projects in medical education, but there has never been an avenue to highlight the talents of all of the fantastic teachers. Those accepted to the teaching competition will present a 10-minute lecture on a topic of their choice that is relevant to a general medicine audience. Topics might include things like blood pressure management, diabetes management, or medical education, for example.

This change is unique to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting, inspired by the success of the teaching competitions held by Pitt’s fellowship programs. Dr. Radomski views this addition as a great way to recognize academic skills that do not always appear in the traditional submissions for conferences.

“I think it’ll be a popular seminar because attendees can expect to hear 4 to 5 really well done presentations,” said Dr. Radomski. A panel of judges—a combination of local senior faculty and faculty invited from other based on their leadership roles in medical education—will score the speakers based on who gave the most effective presentation.

Aligning with the national SGIM conference themes that focused on health disparities, social determinants of health, and value in healthcare, the theme for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting is Generalists of Steel: Eliminating Health Disparities and Delivering High-Value Care for All. Speakers and workshops will look for ways to incorporate the theme, fostering a sense of knowledge of how to go about achieving these goals.

Aside from gained knowledge around the theme, a key takeaway of the regional meetings of SGIM is an opportunity to connect and network with other people in the field, hearing about high quality work being done at other institutions. “Sometimes regional meeting connections can be longer-lasting than connections made at the national meeting where after the meeting you go back to your institutions on opposite coasts. Here, there’s a chance to foster meaningful collaborations with your regional neighbors,” said Dr. Radomski.

The biggest challenge in hosting the regional SGIM meeting is making sure all pieces of the puzzle fit together, according to Dr. Radomski. There are a number of people from Pittsburgh on the planning committee—including Dr. Eloho Ufomata as the Co-Chair, Dr. Amar Kohli as the Membership Chair for the region, and Dr. Clark Veet as an Associate Member on the planning committee, heading up the training program. In addition, the program planning committee consists of a diverse array of institutions across the region with more than 15 other institutions represented. Importantly, each member of the planning committee serves as institutional champion for the regional meeting to promote people coming from their institution, in the spirit of procuring a great turnout for all of the fantastic presenters and to facilitate cross-institutional networking.

With that sentiment in mind, we cordially invite you to join us for the 2019 SGIM Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting. Registration is open now, with early bird registration rates until October 19. Please share this information with collaborators and potential faculty recruits.

Follow along on Twitter with @SocietyGIM and @PittGIM using #GeneralistsOfSteel and #SGIMMIDA19.