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From the March 1997 ACP Observer, copyright 1997 by the American College of Physicians.

End-of-life care

Amid all the talk about physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, the focus has turned to a less contentious but just as highly critical issue: end-of-life care. In a step to increase awareness and education, Annual Session highlights end-of-life care this year in four scheduled courses.

Throughout her presidency, College President Christine K. Cassel, FACP, has expressed concern over physicians' lack of preparation in end-of-life care. She will present "Personal Reflections on the End of Life: Notes from the Edge ... Diary of Peter Morgan, MD" at Annual Session on Monday, March 24, from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Other courses include "There Is Something We Can Do: Communication with Patients at the End of Life," presented by James A. Tulsky, ACP Member, on Monday, March 24. The presentation is planned for 8:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

On Saturday, March 22, from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Timothy Quill, FACP, will present a simulated patient interview on end-of-life care as part of "Challenges in Doctor-Patient Communication, Part I," a clinical skills demonstration course.

And on Friday, March 21, at the Pre-Session course, "Critical Care Medicine: 1997," Cory Franklin, MD, will discuss ethical issues in intensive care from 2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Virtual Annual Session

If you can't make it to Philadelphia for Annual Session, ACP offers you the next best thing—Virtual Annual Session. This year's online coverage of the meeting expands on its coverage from last year and features standardized reports from physician-reporters.

While the conference is in session, physicians who are attending will write summaries of courses and other Annual Session events. The next day, this information will be available on the College's Web site—for ACP members only.

"This is colleagues sharing what they've learned from Annual Session," said Robert Spena, DSW, the College's Director of Clinical Information Management.

For more information, stop by the ACP Online booth in the exhibit hall or visit the Web at

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