Letter from the Editor

This issue features extensive conference coverage from both Internal Medicine 2012 and Hospital Medicine 2012.

Welcome to our conference coverage issue! The pages that follow offer highlights from two important meetings that occurred in April: Internal Medicine 2012 and Hospital Medicine 2012. At the former meeting in New Orleans, Brad Spellberg, MD, FACP, made us quake with his grim report on the current state of antimicrobials, while Christopher L. Knight, MD, FACP, elicited chuckles with his list of “PharManure” drugs he hates the most. Sessions on the latest recommendations for perioperative care and infectious disease related to seafood round out the coverage.

Meanwhile, at the Hospital Medicine 2012 meeting in San Diego, Leonard Feldman, MD, FACP, made a strong case for why hospitalists need to think twice before ordering chest X-rays and NG lavage, in a session about common practices that lack evidence to support them. Kennon Heard, MD, urged speakers to focus on the symptoms and not the cause of overdoses, while Kathleen Finn, MD, FACP, advised how to spot and treat alcohol withdrawal. And Bradley A. Sharpe, MD, FACP, gave tips for how to provide trainees useful feedback that goes beyond the stock advice to “read more studies.”

The conference coverage doesn't stop there. In a sidebar to our Success Story about a four-day block scheduling system for hospitalists at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, we present innovative scheduling ideas put forth by John R. Nelson, MD, FACP, at the Hospital Medicine 2012 meeting. Read about his notion that hospitalists should be working days of varying lengths, rather than blocks of shifts with set hours.

Also in this issue, a Perspectives column examines the role of genetics in hospital medicine, while a Q&A discusses how the sources of health care-associated infections aren't as apparent as they may seem. Our coding column provides the particulars for coding pulmonary edema, and our humor column provides you with a generic discharge summary for those occasions when time is short (and motivation is low).

Did you attend any good conference sessions this spring? Or has your hospital medicine service devised an innovative scheduling system? We'd love to hear about it. Write to us.

Jessica Berthold Editor
ACP Hospitalist