Letter from the Editor

What are the red flags that point to a patient with possible factitious disorder?.


Most people would do anything to stay out of the hospital, or to get out quickly once they are in. So it seems counterintuitive that there are patients who spend considerable time and effort convincing others they have serious diseases and diagnoses they don't actually have, in a bid for attention and sympathy. Our cover story examines the phenomenon of patients with factitious disorder, and clues you in on the red flags that might indicate you've got a fibbing patient on your hands. We'll also tell you what to do if you suspect your patient is suffering from this mental disorder.

Another, more common occupational hazard is conflict with colleagues. We take a look at some of the routine situations that might lead to conflict, and how to handle them. You'll learn when it's better to let things go, and when it's best to stick to one's guns, even if it means jeopardizing an ongoing work relationship.

In clinical coverage, our feature examines allergic reactions in the hospital, which in adults most often occur as a result of drug reactions. We'll debrief you on how to quickly hone in on the problematic allergen and treat it effectively. Meanwhile, our Test Yourself section on will help you bone up on hematology, while our coding column provides recent updates to clinical documentation.

Editorial advisor Jamie Newman muses on what can happen when quality measures in the workplace seep into your personal life. And, although a recent study found team athletes make the best future doctors, student hospitalist Farzon Nahvi explains why he believes medical students should wait tables before they become physicians. Finally, we debut “On Residency, “ a new occasional column by Joshua M. Liao, who offers a window into what it's like to be just starting out as an intern in 2012.

Got an opinion about something you've read in this issue? Share it with us.

Sincerely,
Jessica Berthold Editor
ACP Hospitalist