The PSF President's Page: August 2018
Welcome to the The PSF President's Page. This has been a productive month for the Foundation, with several initiatives coming to fruition or being developed.
Following the Advocacy Summit held at the end of June, we gained significant traction with advancing the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act. Three members of the House of Representatives and two members of the Senate signed on to parallel versions of the bill in each chamber of Congress. This is key legislation for the future of health care, as federal spending levels for graduate medical education have been fixed for more than 20 years, despite an increase in the number of students graduating from U.S. medical schools and a projected shortage of 130,000 physicians by 2025. Expanding the number of funded slots for graduate medical education (i.e., residency positions) is essential for the United States to be able to provide adequate health care to meet the needs of its population. This bill would help preserve access to specialty care by increasing the number of Medicare-supported Graduate Medical Education (GME) residency slots by 15,000 over the next five years. The residency slots would provide additional training in specialties with the highest projected shortage, and also target states with new medical schools and develop strategies to increase the diversity of the health-professional workforce.
On the advocacy front, ASPS is also keeping close track of an upcoming September vote in the House for a health care package that includes reforms that will assist plastic surgeons who work in the military, provide trauma care or volunteer in disaster relief. I hope to report on the outcome of that vote next month.
Within The PSF, the Breast Implant Associated-Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) Subcommittee continues to expand its global network by inviting representatives from Argentina, China, Russia and Switzerland this month. If each of the representatives accept our invitation, we will meet our goal of having 30 Global Network Members. These members work together to ensure all countries are aware of recent developments regarding BIA-ALCL. The PSF is working toward providing all global participants access to the PROFILE Registry to extend that information well beyond the United States.
The PSF has also developed two new task forces to help direct the organization in the evolving health care landscape: Women's Health and Breast Devices is a new task force established to help members remain up-to-date on data related to breast implants, and the Pediatric Task Force is charged with directing The PSF on ways in which it can further impact and advance pediatric health care.
In the spirit of providing our members with an overview of The PSF, we would like to highlight two important committees around which our Foundation is built. The National Breast Implant Registry (NBIR) Steering Committee, led by Andrea Pusic, MD, and Charles Verheyden, MD, and the Researcher Education Subcommittee, led by Howard Levinson, MD, and Chris Pannucci, MD.
Arun Gosain, MD
The PSF is working with the FDA and breast implant-device manufacturers to develop the National Breast Implant Registry (NBIR) for tracking patient and device outcomes over time. Clinical, procedural and outcomes data will be collected at the time of operation and any subsequent reoperations. The NBIR will be able to determine accurate and meaningful rates for reoperation, implant failure and complications requiring reoperation for our members and their practices. Additionally, the NBIR could serve as a potential infrastructure for post-market studies, as well as for device manufacturers to facilitate the post-implant component of their device tracking data collection. NBIR data collection will ensure an infrastructure exists that addresses concerns from members, regulators and others about the safety of breast implants. The NBIR will be open to all surgeons in the United States that have patients who undergo breast implant procedures. The NBIR is part of the Plastic Surgery Registries Network (PSRN and we plan to open the NBIR for Registration at Plastic Surgery The Meeting 2018 in Chicago, with data collection to begin soon after.
-Andrea Pusic, MD, MHS, and Charles Verheyden, MD, co-chairs
The Researcher Education Committee remains committed to the education of plastic surgeons interested in research. We utilize a multi-faceted approach focused on grant review, provision of scholarships, didactic courses, and creation of durable educational modules. A brief summary from some of our subcommittees are below:
- Grant application mentoring program (Arin Greene, MD, chair)
This popular program traditionally matched young investigators with experienced, funded individuals to review and improve grants prior to their submission. Historically, up to 12 grants received reviews and comments at each annual session. In 2019, the program also will add a didactic component to the annual in-person grant reviews during Plastic Surgery The Meeting 2018. Prior to mentors reviewing mentee grants, mentors will present strategies for successful grant applications. This program will continue to be held each year at Plastic Surgery The Meeting, where face-to-face meetings will occur, and be expanded to two additional submission dates that mirror NIH deadlines. The program will accept grants for expert mentor review by January 1, May 1 and September 1 in 2019.
- Plastic Surgery Foundation Scholarship Subcommittee (Gwen Hoben, MD, and Eric Liao, MD, co-chairs)
This committee is focused on optimizing the training of the plastic surgery researcher workforce. The committee has two programs to cultivate research leaders in plastic surgery: The Graduate Research Scholarship Program, which provides competitive financial support to offset a portion of an advanced research degree, and the Clinical Research Leaders Scholarship Program, which provides support for surgeons to attend research training and development programs around the country in order to enhance their skills in outcomes/translational/clinical research. Applications were received and reviewed this summer and the committee selected one awardee for the Graduate Research Scholarship and two for the Clinical Leaders Scholarship program. The PSF leadership is confirming these selections.
- Research Fundamentals Workshop (Jason Ko, MD, and Summer Hanson, MD, co-chairs)
Planning for the 2019 Research Fundamentals Workshop is actively underway. The co-chairs designed the preliminary program and are beginning to reach out to potential speakers. Portions of the upcoming Research Fundamentals Workshop will be integrated into the 2019 PSRC meeting (May 2-5, 2019) to maximize attendance and member benefits. The workshop will also include joint mentoring and networking events between the Research Fundamentals Workshop and PSRC attendees.
- PSEN Research and Technology Section (Henry Hsia, MD, chair)
Over the past two years, the Research and Technology Section collaborated with the Plastic Surgery Educational Network (PSEN) to develop and provide content on emerging technology in plastic surgery. This workgroup's long-term goal is to provide a source of information for ASPS members to learn and obtain insights on their colleagues' experiences with new products and/or technologies. The PSEN site could also offer a relatively protected online space where plastic surgeons can share their knowledge.
-Howard Levinson, MD, and Christopher Pannucci, MD, co-chairs