Hospital medicine precourse: From admission to discharge

This new course offers cutting-edge information on hospital medicine.


There must be a way to tie the bread-and-butter topics of hospital medicine together so they are relevant yet fun, thought James S. Newman, FACP, director of the new hospital medicine precourse at Internal Medicine 2011, as he planned the course agenda last year.

“Instead of disparate lectures on this and that, I thought, ‘The course should follow a hospitalization from admission to discharge.’ Then I thought of the fact that so much of our testing and lectures in medicine is case-based, which is how I got the idea to make the course about the sequence of one patient's hospitalization,” said Dr. Newman, a hospitalist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. and the editorial advisor for ACP Hospitalist.

Photo by Thinkstock
Photo by Thinkstock.

The precourse, which runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, starts with the admission of fictional patient Francis Xavier, a 78-year-old man admitted directly to the hospital service from a nursing home with fever and myalgias. The admission scenario is a springboard for a short introductory talk on the administrative and historical aspects of admission, including utilization review, Dr. Newman said.

“The precourse is about more than patient care. Part of what I want to integrate, in addition to clinical topics, is information on quality, patient satisfaction, research and administration,” he said.

As the course progresses, participants learn that the patient, Mr. Xavier, is assessed by a nurse shortly after arrival and deemed to be suffering from sepsis; this cues a talk on sepsis. A chest X-ray of Mr. Xavier then reveals multilobar pneumonia, which cues a talk on hospital-acquired pneumonia. Later, a nurse walks into Mr. Xavier's room to find him on the floor tangled in a web of IV lines; this triggers a talk on patient safety.

Other clinical topics that emerge as the tale of Mr. Xavier's visit continues include congestive heart failure, delirium, inpatient diabetes management, oral lesions and venous thromboembolism. Patient satisfaction, a review of literature, and effective discharge are covered, as well. One talk will even involve a quiz show with prizes, Dr. Newman said.

“Every talk will, in some way, be pegged to our patient,” Dr. Newman said. “The course offers cutting-edge and high-level information that's suitable for both practicing hospitalists and non-hospitalists who are interested in hospital medicine.”

Each lecture topic is delivered by a different expert in the field, Dr. Newman added.

“In addition to inviting leaders from around the country to speak, I strove for representation from institutions local to the conference. I worked with Greg Maynard [ACP Member and chair of hospital medicine at University of California, San Diego] to identify the best speakers from hospital medicine groups in the area,” he said.

Some of the nine precourse speakers include Phillip Dellinger, MD, from Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J., speaking on sepsis; Gregory Seymann, ACP Member, from UCSD, speaking on hospital-acquired pneumonia; Scott Keller, FACP, from the Mayo Clinic, reviewing recent literature; and Mark V. Williams, FACP, from Northwestern University in Chicago, speaking on hospital discharge.