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From diabetes to bioethics to obesity
to disaster relief, plentiful story opportunities at Internal Medicine 2012
in New Orleans

Medical school president Dr. Wayne J. Riley,
born and raised in New Orleans, is keynote
speaker at nation’s largest annual
gathering of doctors for adults

More than 5,000 internal medicine physicians, or internists, subspecialists, medical students, and allied health professionals will meet in New Orleans for Internal Medicine 2012, the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Physicians (ACP), April 19 - 21 (Thursday - Saturday), at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illnesses in adults.

Internal Medicine 2012 is full of opportunities for health and medical journalists to report on the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. More than 250 sessions provide comprehensive coverage of internal medicine, its subspecialties, and issues in practice management and health care policy. Session topics with brief descriptions that provide interesting story angles are below.

At the Opening Ceremony on April 19 at 9:30 a.m., Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP, President & Chief Executive Officer of Meharry Medical College, will deliver the keynote address, “Health Disparity and Inequity in the Era of Health Reform: Why Internal Medicine Must Lead the Way.” Dr. Riley is a member of ACP’s Board of Regents

ACP sponsors national abstract competitions for medical students and
Associates. Finalists will compete onsite in four categories: Clinical Vignette, Basic Research, Clinical Research, and Quality Improvement - Patient Safety. Oral presentations take place on April 20 and 21. Winners from the poster competitions will be announced on April 21 at 6:30 p.m.

On April 21 at 5:15 p.m., Internal Medicine 2012 Highlights and the final round of Doctor's Dilemma take place Clinician-educators will share what they think are Internal Medicine 2012’s most important take-home messages. Then the “Final Four” teams remaining in the Doctor's Dilemma competition — a fast-paced, Jeopardy-style medical knowledge competition among students and residents — will face off in the championship round. The winning team takes home the Osler Cup — ACP’s coveted trophy.

Sample Internal Medicine 2012 Topics

September 11, Katrina, and Beyond: Lessons Learned from a Decade of U.S. Disasters

What lessons were learned regarding the provision of health care? What preparations can be undertaken for maximum performance during future disaster relief in the United States? How can local health care organizations and health departments prepare to meet the needs of vulnerable populations in emergencies?

Diabetes Care: Which Targets and How to Get There?
How can exercise be safely incorporated into the overall diabetes regimen? Which anti-hyperglycemic drugs are best, and when should they be started? How should cost be factored into treatment?

Obesity: New Insights into Pathophysiology and Treatment
What proven resources are available to assist patients in making lifestyle choices? How effective are lifestyle modifications alone? Which drugs are effective and safe? Should bariatric surgery be encouraged or discouraged? Which type of procedure is best?

Hypertension: Which Drugs for Which Patient?
What is the role of a patient's racial background in the selection of an antihypertensive drug? What are the current guidelines for the selection of antihypertensive drugs? What are the blood pressure goals in the treatment of hypertension? Are there optimal combinations of medications?

What's New in Immunizations?
What are some of the most important recent changes in vaccination recommendations for adults? What are the obstacles to implementing successful strategies for immunization? What are the reasons for mandating vaccinations of health care workers for infections?

Breast Cancer: Screening, Risk Factors, Treatment, and Survivorship Care
What do physicians advise patients about mammography and MRI breast screening? How do physicians determine the relative risk for breast cancer in patients? How is the increasing understanding of the biology of breast cancer determining prognosis and therapy? How should breast cancer survivors be followed by primary care physicians and oncologists?

Heart Disease in Women: Is It Different Than in Men?
How do women differ from men with respect to risk for coronary artery disease? Are the risk factors for women different than for men? Are the management outcomes for women different than for men? Why do the symptoms in women differ from those in men?

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Helping Patients Recover
Identify risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Identify the five post-disaster phases of PTSD, from acute distress to healing and integration. Discuss the short-and long-term psychological effects of disasters on individuals. Discuss how and why it is important to explain the diagnosis of PTSD to patients and their caregivers. Discuss the immediate and long-term treatment of PTSD as well as where to look for community resources.

William C. Menninger Memorial Award Lecture
What psychiatric and behavioral disorders follow traumatic events, disasters, and war? What are predictors of these disorders? Who is at risk? How to treat and care for PTSD and behavioral problems after the trauma?

Ethics Year in Review
What are the emerging medical ethics and professionalism issues today? How do ethics issues affect patient care? What should clinicians keep in mind when confronting these issues?

Smoking Cessation and Alcoholism
How effective are interventions recommended by physicians? What new methods are available to increase abstinence and reduce relapse?

History of Medicine through 100 Great Art Works
Medicine through the centuries as seen by artists painting their illnesses.

Amerindian Contributions to Modern Medicine
Describe the contributions of ancient Amerindian medicine to modern medicine. Outline the contributions of contemporary Amerindian medicine to both the science and practice of modern medicine.

Current Clinical Guidelines
Provide a general overview of the latest clinical guidelines. Discuss the diagnosis and management of stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Discuss venous thromboembolism prophylaxis in hospitalized patients.

Weekend Warrior
What are the common injuries seen in the weekend warrior? How should these be treated? What steps can be taken to minimize injury?

Addressing Health Disparities: Hispanic and Latino Physicians' Perspectives
Ways to increase cultural competence and health literacy among physicians caring for Hispanic or Latino patients. The need for greater workforce diversity among health care providers. The importance of collaboration among individual Hispanic and Latino physicians, their professional organizations, and the communities in which they practice in regard to disparities.

HIV Infection
What has been the impact of routine screening for HIV? What other prevention strategies should be considered? What has happened to the incidence of opportunistic infections and malignancies in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy?

E-messaging, Social Media, and Patient Activation
How can advanced communication technologies be used appropriately in medical care? What are the medico-legal and ethical challenges in the use of social networking (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) in patient care? What are the limitations of communication technologies in health care? How can social networking benefit patients without involving physicians?

Common Genetics Issues in General Internal Medicine
What can be learned from family history? When should asymptomatic patients with familial disorders undergo genetic testing? What is the role of genetics in making clinical decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions? What bioethical issues should be considered before performing genetic testing?

To Test or Not to Test: Ethics of Genetics in the Office
Who are genetics professionals, what happens during a genetic consultation, and what is the informed consent process for genetic testing? What are the ethical issues for patients and their family members  and the ethical issues for clinicians?

How Is Health Care Reform Going to Affect Physicians and Patients?
An in-depth presentation on the implementation of health care reform and how it will affect internists and their patients.

How Will the 2012 Elections Impact the U.S. Health Care System?
What are the positions of the leading candidates for president concerning reforming the health care system? How will the 2012 presidential and congressional elections affect health care reform? What are the positions advocated by ACP and how is ACP contributing to the debate?

Accountable Care Organizations: What You Need to Know
What is an accountable care organization (ACO)? What are the issues to consider when deciding whether to form or participate in an ACO? What have we learned from currently ongoing ACO-like initiatives?

Patient-Centered Medical Home: Ethics, Accountability, and Teamwork
How does the PCMH align with principles of medical ethics and professionalism? What challenges to medical professionalism might the PCMH raise? Identify strategies to promote effective collaboration with team members and an enhanced focus on patient-centered care.

Prostate Cancer: What the Internist Should Know
Who should have prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening? What are the short- and long-term complications of therapy for prostate cancer, and how do they compare with the benefit gained by treatment?

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
How can we decrease the underdiagnosis of COPD in the population? What is the role of screening with questionnaires or pulmonary function tests? Which interventions can reduce acute exacerbations? What is the current state-of-the-art care for an acute exacerbation?

Safe and Effective Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Which patients are ideal candidates for methotrexate treatment? What should be expected during the first three months of treatment with methotrexate? What important considerations should be addressed before patients with rheumatoid arthritis undergo elective surgery?

Driven to Distraction: Adult Attention-Deficit Disorder—Fact or Fad?
What is the basic diagnostic approach and what are the useful tools to diagnose attention-deficit disorder in adults? What are the drug and non-drug options for treatment?

Pain Management in the Outpatient Setting
What key tools make opiate prescribing safer and more effective? What pearls and pitfalls should guide the use of urine toxicology screens? How are non-opiates used in the management of chronic pain?

Dangerous Drugs and How to Minimize Their Dangers
What are the most dangerous drugs used in general medicine practice? What can be done to ensure safe use? What important side effects make certain drugs dangerous?

Summary of Major New Drugs Made Available in Calendar Year 2011
Review new drugs and their potential impact on general medicine practice. Review new indications for established drugs and their impact on practice. Discuss new drugs we should probably avoid prescribing.

Evaluation and Treatment of Dementia
What are the common causes of cognitive dysfunction and dementia in the elderly? What are the relative risks and benefits of available treatment options? What clinical characteristics differentiate Alzheimer's disease from other dementias?

Palliative and End-of-Life Care
What are the major issues facing patients with and without cancer at the end of life? How can issues of prognosis, futility, and aggressive therapies at the end of life be best dealt with? What are the most effective ways to manage family conferences, family conflicts and cultural differences? Are there benefits to early intervention by palliative care specialists?

Diagnosis and Management of TIA and Stroke: Truths, Half-Truths, and Outright Lies!
What is the optimal antiplatelet regimen for stroke prevention? Which patients should undergo endovascular or surgical interventions for asymptomatic carotid stenosis? How should thrombolytic therapy be used effectively and safely in the management of acute stroke?

GERD and Barrett’s Esophagus: Is There Effective Therapy beyond Acid Suppression?
Review the impact of GERD on U.S. society. Are there long-term adverse effects to the use of proton-pump inhibitors? What about Clostridium difficile colitis, other gastrointestinal infections and malabsorption of minerals?

Osteoporosis Treatment: What and When?
What is the role of vitamin D in the evaluation and treatment of bone disease? What is appropriate treatment for patients with fractures despite treatment with bisphosphonates? When should estrogen and selective estrogen receptor modulators be incorporated?

Sleep Medicine: Obstructive Apnea and Beyond
What are common sleep cycle disorders and how can they be treated? What is the impact of the obstructive sleep apnea syndrome on comorbid conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease? What are effective treatments besides continuous positive airway pressure? How can adherence to continuous positive airway pressure therapy be improved?

Celiac Disease: New Concepts, Changing Testing, and Treatment
Is there treatment beyond a gluten-free diet? Should all patients with irritable bowel syndrome be tested for celiac disease? What is the long-term follow-up of celiac disease, including osteoporosis and cancer?

Thyroid Disease
Should all patients with clinically evident thyroid nodules undergo ultrasound? What about incidentally discovered nodules? When multiple thyroid nodules are detected, which should be biopsied and which can be safely followed?

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements: An Evidence-based Approach
How to evaluate supplements and minerals. What evidence-based approaches can be utilized to treat hyperlipidemic in patients intolerant to stain therapy? What vitamins and supplements can be utilized to treat hypertriglyceridemia and hypertension?

Cystic Fibrosis
How does cystic fibrosis present in adults, and what are some examples of missed recognition? What is the optimal current therapy for chronic management and acute exacerbations? How much have outcomes and survival improved?

About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 132,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Founded in 1915 to promote the science and practice of medicine, ACP works to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.