Hospital medicine courses abound at Internal Medicine 2012

ACP's meeting in New Orleans promises many offerings for hospitalists.

The popular hospital medicine precourse and track are back for Internal Medicine 2012, to be held in New Orleans April 19-21, along with other precourses and activities for hospitalists.

The “Hospital Medicine: From Admission to Discharge” precourse will build on a concept inaugurated last year—following a patient through a hospitalization, while discussing clinical issues, patient safety and patient experience along the way, said James S. Newman, MD, FACP, director of the precourse and a hospitalist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. This year's version is adapted to conform to the meeting's unique location in The Big Easy.

“Specifically, physicians from New Orleans medical centers and from around the country will follow the hospitalization of a Vietnamese fisherman living in New Orleans East. We will discuss hematology, hepatology, infectious disease, critical care, cultural competency, safety and more, all through the lens of one inpatient admission,” said Dr. Newman, who is also editorial advisor to ACP Hospitalist.

The precourse will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18. Some of the nine precourse speakers include Thomas A. Moore, MD, FACP, an infectious disease specialist at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans; Ben P. DeBoisblanc, MD, FACP, a critical care specialist at Louisiana Health Sciences Center in New Orleans; and Steven Deitelzweig, MD, FACP, chair of hospital medicine at Ochsner Medical Center.

Other precourses of interest to hospitalists include the two-day “Critical Care Medicine 2012,” held on Tuesday, April 17 and Wednesday, April 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The course focuses on diagnosing and managing common clinical conditions encountered in the intensive care unit, such as acute coronary syndromes, myocardial infarction, stroke, septic shock and pulmonary embolism. Meanwhile, the “Bedside, Hand-Carried Ultrasound-Guided Thoracentesis and Paracentesis” precourse on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. will provide practice in using hand-carried ultrasound units for paracentesis and thoracentesis.

The hospitalist track that runs throughout the main meeting includes dozens of sessions designed for physicians who primarily practice in an inpatient setting. Topics include how to build an effective inpatient team, medical errors in the hospital, new recommendations in perioperative medicine, pain management, transitions of care, avoiding ICU complications, and many more.

A hospital medicine interest group will meet on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in Room 391-392. Two brief presentations on new drugs of abuse and skin findings will precede an audience Q&A, which will be driven by issues the audience wants to discuss.

Hospitalists can also practice hands-on techniques, and receive expert feedback, at the Herbert S. Waxman Clinical Skills Center. Participants can bone up on lumbar puncture, soft-tissue injections, and placement of peripherally-inserted central catheter (PICC) lines and ultrasound-guided central lines.

Finally, for the first time ever, meeting attendees will be able to earn points toward the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Self-Evaluation of Medical Knowledge requirement for Maintenance of Certification (MOC). On April 2, 2012, three modules of multiple-choice questions will be posted on the meeting website. Each of the questions will be linked to the title of an Internal Medicine session, during which content relevant to that question will be covered.

This mechanism will allow attendees to focus their learning during the meeting on their most-needed areas, explained Barbara Licht, ACP's director of educational meetings and conferences. “You could build your annual meeting schedule by identifying the questions you aren't sure of, and going to those sessions,” she said. “It's a good way to identify your strengths and weaknesses.”

After the meeting, attendees can go back to the site and complete the modules. Immediate feedback is provided on whether responses are right or wrong, and any module that is completed at least 60% correctly can be submitted through an electronic link to ABIM to apply for MOC credit. Anyone scoring below 60% can clear their answers and retake the entire module.

“Attendees can earn 10 MOC points for each module, so they can earn up to 30 MOC points,” said Ms. Licht. “These modules are free to all attendees and are only accessible to attendees.”