Fighting bias and COVID-19

This issue offers strategies to fight bias, expertise on mechanical ventilation, and virtual conference coverage.


Practicing hospital medicine is hard enough without adding prejudice. Yet, as our main stories report, many hospitalists have frequently had to deal with patients' biases about their race, ethnic origins, or gender. The main article discusses some of their experiences, as well as the solutions they and their hospitals have developed to provide care to every patient while also protecting clinicians from personal attacks that can cause lasting psychological damage. The companion article focuses specifically on a recent example of this problem: anti-Asian bias associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Asian-American physicians report their experiences and concerns as well as the efforts they've undertaken to combat this disturbing trend, which range from public policy to online videos.

A bonus article being published online with this issue focuses on another aspect of the battle against the pandemic, that is, optimal use of mechanical ventilation. The Expert Analysis by an intensivist tries to demystify advanced concepts in mechanical ventilation, building on our previous FAQ about ventilation.

This issue's feature stories are also a side effect of the pandemic. Internal Medicine Meeting 2020 was supposed to take place in sunny Los Angeles in late April. Of course, that wasn't possible, so as a partial substitute, ACP has put together an online collection of some of the lectures that would have been given at the meeting. The whole set of 30 is available for purchase (and accompanying CME and MOC credit) in the College's online store, but we're giving you a preview of some of the talks that are most relevant to hospital medicine: pulmonary embolism treatment, identification of drug intoxication, optimal therapy for acute coronary syndrome, and thresholds for blood transfusions. This month's Test Yourself relates as well, offering questions about pulmonary embolism from MKSAP 18.

A Perspectives article in this issue focuses directly on COVID-19, offering one hospitalist's experience of a night shift early in the pandemic. Learn how humanity eked out some victories against the virus. We'd love to hear about your wins, too, whether it's an intervention that could potentially be featured as a Success Story (see our latest one here) or just a story you want to share. Email us anytime at acphospitalist@acponline.org.

Sincerely,
Stacey Butterfield
Editor-in-Chief