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From the September 1998 ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright © 1998 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

Editor chosen for ECP

ACP-ASIM has an editor for its newest journal, Effective Clinical Practice (ECP).

H. Gilbert Welch, FACP, MPH, senior research associate with the Department of Veterans Affairs Outcomes Research Group in White River Junction, Vt., and associate professor in the departments of medicine and community and family medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, accepted the position in late July. The first two issues of ECP are being edited by Leonard Katz, FACP, and Susan Yox, EdD, who are serving as interim editors. The first issue under Dr. Welch's editorship will be the 1999 January/February issue.

The College is producing ECP with the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), an organization of 26 not-for-profit health plans that includes several Kaiser Permanente plans and Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan. The journal will contain peer-reviewed articles that deal with the interface between health services research and clinical practice.

"We will seek manuscripts that address questions about how much, how often and how best to deliver medical care," Dr. Welch said. "We are particularly interested in taking investigations that adapt rigorous methods developed for highly controlled settings and applying them to the vagaries of actual clinical practice. We are attempting to translate efficacy into effectiveness."

Initially, ECP will be sent to about 13,000 members in plans affiliated with the ACHP and about 17,000 ACP-ASIM members who work primarily in managed care or group practice settings.

An online version of ECP is on the College's Web site at www.acponline.org/journals/ecp/index.html.

ACP-ASIM publishes new thyroid screening guidelines

ACP-ASIM is now recommending that physicians screen all women more than 50 years old for thyroid disease. The guidelines were published in the July 15 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

An estimated one in 71 women age 50 or older has unsuspected but symptomatic thyroid disease that will respond to treatment. The College's previous guidelines, which were released in 1990, did not recommend routine screening and suggested screening women over 50 only if they had symptoms of thyroid disease.

In its new guidelines, the College also recommends that physicians follow and treat patients found with overt thyroid disease and equip their practices to identify appropriate patients for screening.

A copy of the guidelines is available on ACP-ASIM Online (www.acponline.org). Go to the Annals of Internal Medicine section, locate the section for past issues and click on the button for the July 15 issue.

ACP-ASIM to co-sponsor human rights conference

The College has joined the list of sponsors for the "Human Rights and Human Dignity: Science, Medicine and Public Health" conference being held in Philadelphia on Monday, Nov. 9.

The conference will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations' adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaimed worldwide political, cultural and civil rights. ACP-ASIM's involvement with the conference follows its endorsement of the "Forging the Link Between Health and Human Rights" statement that appeared in the Aug. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The conference will bring together experts in the fields of medicine, philosophy, health law and public health to discuss the Declaration's role in fostering the relationship between human rights and health care. Members who wish to attend should contact Lois Snyder at 800-523-1546, ext. 2835.

Associates Council looking for members

If you're interested in having a voice in issues affecting residents and physicians in training, the Council of Associates wants you. One seat in each of the Council's five regions will become vacant in 1999. Nominees must be a PGY1, PGY2 or PGY3 resident in an approved internal medicine residency program. Nominations are due Feb. 1, 1999.

Nominees must be willing to serve a two-year term beginning July 1999, attend two weekend meetings a year in July and October and attend a half-day meeting at Annual Session. The College reimburses Council members for transportation and lodging expenses.

For more information, contact Mr. Jean Elliott, Council of Associates Liaison, at 800-523-1546, ext. 2692; fax 215-351-2759. You will receive a booklet describing the election process and an application. Applications must include a letter describing why you wish to serve, your curriculum vitae and two letters of support from colleagues and/or other medical professionals. Results will be announced in February 1999.

Chapters looking for informatics liaisons

College chapters are looking for members interested in medical computing to serve as medical informatics liaisons.

Currently, 32 ACP-ASIM Governors have participated in the Medical Informatics Chapter Liaison Program, which is a joint venture of the College's Education and Membership Divisions. Members who serve as liaisons receive information about the latest trends and products in medical computing and help the College learn about their chapter's computer education needs. Members need no computer experience, just an interest in learning and teaching clinical computing.

Liaisons also work with College staff and Annual Session informatics faculty to give lectures and run hands-on workshops at chapter and regional meetings. Throughout last year, liaisons appeared at a dozen meetings. Medical Informatics staff from the College help plan chapter/regional computer education activities and can supply customized presentation materials in electronic form for use at meetings. These presentations can also be distributed through chapter Web sites.

To become a liaison, contact your Governor. Governors who wish to appoint a liaison and program chairs who wish to set up a computer workshop at a scientific meeting may contact Medical Informatics Program Associate Chris Dwyer at cdwyer@acponline.org or 800-523-1546, ext. 2571.

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