American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®

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Internal Medicine accommodates increased scope

From the March ACP Observer, copyright © 2007 by the American College of Physicians.

By Jessica Berthold

A new hospitalist track, a new batch of interactive programs and timely clinical debates await attendees of this year's Internal Medicine 2007 conference, to be held April 19-21 in San Diego.

"The breadth and depth of this year's meeting is incredible," said Marie T. Brown, FACP, chair of the Scientific Program Subcommittee for 2007. "In addition to being the premier internal medicine educational meeting in the world, it is a collegial place where the practicing internist will develop skills to assist in all aspects of his or her professional day."

Formerly "Annual Session," the conference has been renamed "Internal Medicine" plus the year, from 2007 forward, to more precisely convey the meeting's content.

More than 250 scientific sessions will be available to attendees this year in areas ranging from internal medicine and its subspecialties to health policy, disaster preparedness and communication skills. Three tracks in hospital medicine, diabetes and core internal medicine have been designed to help participants easily find topics in which they have a particular interest, while the Herbert S. Waxman Learning Center has added more simulators to enhance its hands-on curriculum.


Eric Anish, FACP, instructs proper techniques for arthrocentesis at the Herbert S. Waxman Learning Center at last year's annual session.



Dr. Brown will facilitate a new session called "The Great Debates," in which six panelists will take sides on the advantages and disadvantages of different treatment options. Risks and benefits of controversial topics will be addressed in three separate 30-minute debates by experts in their field. The topics are:

  • Carotid endarterectomy vs. carotid stenting
  • CAD: percutaneous interventions vs. medical therapy alone
  • PSA: to screen or not to screen

"These will be very lively discussions of issues that are debated frequently in hospitals and doctors' offices. The patient often seeks advice from the internist, where a final decision is made," Dr. Brown said.

Carolyn Clancy, MACP, director of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), will deliver Thursday morning's keynote address, "Achieving Quality and Patient-centered Care: Making Tomorrow's Goals Today's Reality." And Thursday night's Convocation Ceremony will honor 18 awardees, 50 new College Masters and more than 500 new ACP Fellows. Of the new Masters and awardees, nine are women, 13 are non-Caucasian, four are international medical graduates, and five are international physicians living outside the U.S. or Canada.

Three tracks

Three clusters of courses are available for attendees who want to focus on a particular topic. Each cluster, or track, includes 17 different courses spread out over three days.

Hospitalist Track. In response to the rapid growth of physicians in hospital medicine, the hospitalist track comprises courses such as common medication errors, rules for rounding on older adults, avian influenza, end-of-life care and updates in the field of perioperative medicine.

"We wanted to provide a series of lectures and educational opportunities that cover issues of great importance to the hospitalist," Dr. Brown said.

Core of Internal Medicine Program Track. This selection of sessions is geared toward helping sub-specialists stay current on clinical topics that may be outside their area of expertise, but which are relevant and useful to all internists. Topics include neurology presentations on hypertension, congestive heart failure, breaking news on adult vaccines, outpatient management of diabetes, women's health concerns after age 50 and geriatric prescribing.

Diabetes Track. The diabetes track updates and refreshes internists on the complications and nuances of a disease that affects many patients. Topics include interpreting and using blood glucose records, treating obesity, team-based care, group visits, treatment devices and transitioning patients between oral agents and insulin.

Hands-on learning

Several new interactive programs are offered at the Herbert S. Waxman Learning Center, with faculty on hand to instruct and provide feedback on clinical techniques. One session will teach physicians, in a series of three stations and with the aid of models and hand-held sonogram machines, how to place a central venous line into a major vessel in the neck.

Another, born of the skin biopsy workshops that have been popular at the meeting for years, will help physicians refine their suturing skills by practicing on pigs' feet.

Also new this year will be a self-guided tour of heart murmurs, whereby participants will listen to heart murmurs on an MP3 player and walk through a series of posters that will give a visual representation of each murmur, as well as show where to place a stethoscope so the murmur can be heard best.

"This is learning at your own pace," said Patrick Alguire, FACP, director of education and career development for ACP. "If you want to stand in front of one murmur and listen to your heart's content—10, 20, 40 times—it's fine."


Ross J. Scalese, FACP, guides doctors through "Harvey," the life-sized patient simulator that helps participants improve cardiac diagnostic skills. The session, which returns to Internal Medicine 2007, is a favorite simulation at the Herbert S. Waxman Learning Center.



Old favorites will return, including a toenail removal station and "Harvey", the life-sized patient simulator that helps participants improve cardiac diagnostic skills. Medical students will again be able to participate in the Clinical Skills Practice Examination, to help sharpen skills for their licensing exam.

The three-hour sports medicine workshops of the past, in which participants partner up as doctor-patient teams and then switch roles, will be broken into two 90-minute workshops focusing on the shoulder, and the knee and ankle.

The Learning Center is usually less crowded on Friday and Saturday, Dr. Alguire said, adding that free tickets to reserve spots in various workshops are available at the registration desk.

A break from hard science

For those who need a break from hard science or clinical workshops, there are sessions on the history of medicine, career issues and health care policy. One such panel will take attendees through the history of plague, epilepsy, coronary disease and smallpox, addressing how the role of surgery in epilepsy has changed over the last 60 years and why the smallpox virus is still maintained in laboratories.

Still another lecture will look at how Hollywood portrays women physicians, while a third examines ways for internists to deal with intimate partner violence against patients. Career-focused sessions examine topics such as volunteering, how to handle a medical malpractice suit and balancing work and family. There are myriad networking opportunities as well (see sidebar).

Attendees who are in the market for a job change can swing by the ACP Job Placement Center, where positions will be posted. Those who sign up online before March 12 can create a profile that will be provided to hospital and physician group recruiters, who may contact job seekers to set up an interview at the Center. To sign up, go here.

Old favorites

Returning this year will be two favorites that routinely draw audiences of 1,000 people or more: Clinical Pearls and Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind. The former are interactive, case-based presentations in which audience members get to test their judgment about various cases, then see how their opinions stack up against their peers.

The daily Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind sessions feature faculty addressing challenging patient management problems that frequently crop up in practice. Evidence-based answers to specific questions are delivered in four to six minutes, making for a tight, fast-paced session. Three topics per session are discussed; this year they will be diabetes, common psychiatric disorders and cerebrovascular disease and stroke; cardiology, rheumatology and sleep disorders; and cancer screening, geriatrics and outpatient gynecology.

Also returning will be Internal Medicine Highlights on Saturday afternoon, a wrap-up session in which three clinical teachers present the most valuable take-away messages from the 10 sessions that each attended. Following the session will be the championship round of "Doctors' Dilemma™," a medically themed game modeled after television show "Jeopardy!" that pits teams of residents and fellows against one another for the coveted Osler trophy.

Business of Medicine 101

Most physicians, while exceptionally educated in their fields, are historically not well-trained in the non-clinical aspects of practice. Without in-depth experience in a leading practice or practicing physician business basics, a 'gap' can develop between medical knowledge and business acumen. ACP's Council of Young Physicians and the Practice Management Center have developed a one-day course entitled, "The Business of Medicine 101" to help fill that gap.

A mixed faculty of internists and management specialists will present core elements of functional business training that specifically apply to the needs of practicing physicians. The course is designed to be inclusive, from solo practitioners to those employed by larger groups, and interactive. It is presented in real-time and focuses on the context of the growing economic, legal, time and information pressures confronting internists in today's tough environment.

Attendees will learn critical skills in:

  • coding and compliance,
  • personnel management,
  • managing office finances,
  • payer contract negotiations,
  • practice information technology,
  • malpractice avoidance,
  • negotiating an employment contract,
  • increasing productivity and revenue,
  • and more.

Remember to sign-up for PRE 710—"The Business of Medicine 101" at ACP's Internal Medicine 2007.

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Networking Opportunities at Internal Medicine 2007

Thursday, April 19

Leadership Development Breakfast for ACP Fellows
San Diego Convention Center, Room 6C, 7-9 a.m.
This free breakfast workshop aims to teach ACP Fellows how to develop and assess leadership skills. Internal medicine leaders will share stories on how they grew into their roles as leaders. Online pre-registration by March 15 is required. Please go here.

Medical Students-Associates-Young Physicians Hospitality Area
San Diego Convention Center, Hall A, 9:30a.m. -5 p.m., Thurs-Sat.
A space to relax with friends and colleagues while enjoying refreshments.

Volunteerism Networking Luncheon
San Diego Convention Center, Room 6C, 12:45-2:15 p.m.
Open to experienced volunteers as well as those who are interested in volunteering, this luncheon allows physicians to share plans, experiences, and information about medical volunteer work.

International Reception
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Manchester Ballroom, Salons A-F, 9-11 p.m.
International attendees and their guests, as well as others interested in meeting with leaders from ACP and internal medicine societies from around the world, are welcome at this buffet reception. In attendance will be some awardees of the ACP International Fellowship Exchange Program, which brings international physicians to the U.S. for two-month observational fellowships in internal medicine or one of its subspecialties.

Friday, April 20

Young Physicians Mentoring Breakfast
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Emma Room ABC, 7-9 a.m.
Doctors who have recently completed training can network with experienced physicians to discuss common problems in medical practice, as well as learn how to become more active in the College and advance to Fellowship. Pre-register for this free breakfast by March 15 here.

Networking Luncheon for Women Physicians
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Emma Room ABC, 12:45-2:15 p.m
Women physicians who are past training are invited to share experiences, air concerns and meet new friends.

Associates Luncheon Forum: 2007
San Diego Convention Center, Room 14 A/B 12:45-2:15 p.m.
This luncheon allows Associate members from across the country to meet their Council of Associates representatives.

Med-Peds Reception
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Maggie Room, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Med-Peds practitioners, as well as others doing work in this area, are welcome to socialize and share information.

Reception for African American Physicians
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Emma Room ABC, 6-8 p.m.
African American physicians, colleagues and College leadership are invited to socialize and partake of a brief program relating to minorities in medicine.

Saturday, April 21

Medical Students Mentoring Breakfast
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Madeleine A-D, 7-8:30 a.m.
Medical students can meet with internist mentors to discuss career options upon graduation.

Medical Students Luncheon
San Diego Convention Center, Room 3, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Medical students are invited to honor winners from the 2007 Medical Student Abstract Competitions.

Third Annual Internal Medicine Residency Fair
San Diego Convention Center, City Side Lobby outside Rooms 1-5, 2-5 p.m.
Representatives of residency programs from around the U.S. are on hand to discuss their programs with medical students.

Medical Students, Residents, Fellows-in-training, and Young Physicians Recognition Reception
Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, Ford Room A/B/C, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Winners of the ACP Associate and Medical Student Member poster competitions will be recognized, and the winner of the 2007 Doctor's Dilemma Championship will be announced. This is also an opportunity for attendees to meet with members of the College's Council of Young Physicians, Council of Associates, and Council of Student Members.

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