Our Internal Medicine Meeting issue

Learn about alcohol withdrawal, opioid prescribing, decompensated heart failure, and more.

Whether or not you joined us in person at Internal Medicine Meeting 2017 at the end of March, you can now catch up on some of the education for hospitalists offered at the San Diego meeting.

First up is alcohol withdrawal, or as the session's title put it, the pink elephant in the room. Learn how to predict which patients are likely to have severe withdrawal symptoms, how to prevent them, and how to help people stop drinking over the long term. See also a related Test Yourself with questions from MKSAP 17.

Another conference session offered reassurance, and specific tips, on prescribing opioids to patients who will benefit from them. Other articles describe how to anticoagulate patients with venous thromboembolism, reduce antibiotic use in community-acquired pneumonia, and treat decompensated heart failure.

One of the most intense sessions I attended at the meeting featured Lucy Kalanithi, MD, FACP, in conversation with Steven Weinberger, MD, MACP, ACP's CEO emeritus. They talked about her late husband's bestselling book, “When Breath Becomes Air,” and how seeing the health care system from the patient and family perspective can significantly change a physician's approach to practice. Turn to page 15 to learn about medicine and life from the Kalanithis' difficult experiences.

This month's Success Story and Q&A both look at interventions affecting patient experience. The Q&A explains how a project intended to improve patient safety had unexpected effects, while the Success Story rounds describes a technological innovation that brought distant family members into the hospital. Finally, this issue also features the latest installment of our occasional Morning Report series, focused on upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

Stacey Butterfield
Editor-in-Chief, ACP Hospitalist