Letter from the Editor

This month's issue features our 2015 Top Hospitalists, along with a feature on detecting human trafficking and an Expert Analysis on malignant bowel obstruction.

It's Top Hospitalists time again! From academic medical centers in major cities to community hospitals in small rural communities, we've found 10 hospitalists whose work made their colleagues take note in 2015. Our editorial board reviewed many compelling nominations this summer to choose the finalists profiled in this, the eighth annual Top Hospitalists issue. They come from a variety of backgrounds (including several different countries) and have found many different ways to improve care for hospitalized patients, whether they're teaching students, implementing new systems and technology, volunteering in free clinics, or venturing into new subspecialties. Learn how these top docs are solving problems that many hospitalists face.

Truly solving the problem of human trafficking is a law enforcement and social challenge, but hospitalists can do more than they might think to help the victims of this crime. Whether they're forced to work in sweatshops or the sex industry, those affected by human trafficking often turn up at the hospital. They tend to display certain red flags, according to experts interviewed for our story. Hospitalists can learn these signs and make sure that their hospitals have protocols for helping such patients access social services and escape dangerous situations.

This month's Success Story describes how all inpatients can benefit from some extra assistance, especially when undergoing a common pitfall of hospitalization—the handoff. At a Canadian hospital, a special kind of patient navigator coordinated care among clinicians, answered patient and family questions, and organized postdischarge care, leading to reductions in length of stay.

On the clinical side, this issue includes a variety of case studies—a group Brief Case from Maine Medical Center along with an individual gout case from the section's deputy physician editor, an Expert Analysis about malignant bowel obstruction, and a Newman's Notions about a patient with calciphylaxis who was successfully treated with a very old-fashioned therapy. Enjoy (although maybe not while you're eating)!

Stacey Butterfield
Editor-in-Chief, ACP Hospitalist