HPV vaccination now impacts practice later

This issue covers such topics as HPV vaccination, news from ObesityWeek, and a preview of upcoming events at Internal Medicine Meeting 2017.

Vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) begins in children, but its potential effects on cervical cancer screening, as well as management of catch-up vaccination, will fall under the internist's umbrella. While HPV vaccination has not been used long enough yet in the U.S. to see a corresponding decrease in cancer rates, experts expect that to change, and related recommendations on screening for cervical cancer could change with it. In addition, new CDC recommendations on the HPV vaccine schedule could make completion of the series easier and also change how internists need to approach catch-up vaccination in their patients. Staff writer Mollie Durkin looks at the impact of HPV vaccination and screening programs here and in other countries and talks to epidemiologists and others about what internists can expect in the future as vaccination likely will become more widespread.

Other stories take a closer look at several aspects of obesity as part of our coverage from ObesityWeek, held in November 2016 in New Orleans. One offers an in-depth examination of obesity in the elderly, a population in which losing weight is often not easy and, somewhat surprisingly, not always recommended. Experts at the meeting discussed why the length of time a patient has been obese makes a difference, why older patients may need more protein in their diets, and which weight-loss interventions work best for improving physical function and quality of life in this population.

Also at ObesityWeek, a session focused on physicians' bias toward obese patients, where it comes from, and how to resolve it, while page 13 offers tips on the best ways to counsel your overweight and obese patients about physical activity. On other topics, a story looks at management of medications in patients with heart failure, and we preview the second edition of “Principles and Practice of Hospital Medicine,” produced by ACP in partnership with McGraw-Hill, in a Q&A with its primary editor, Sylvia McKean, MD, FACP.

Last but not least, Internal Medicine Meeting 2017 is happening this year from March 30 to April 1 in sunny San Diego. Highlights include a keynote speech by the director of the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, sessions focusing on physician retention and satisfaction, and a new session in the PechaKucha™ format, where five speakers are challenged to present a topic in 6 minutes and 40 seconds—and are interrupted by a gong if they go over their allotted time. Read our preview of the meeting, and let us know what meeting coverage you'd like to see.


Jennifer Kearney-Strouse
Executive Editor, ACP Internist