In the Clinic is a monthly feature in Annals of Internal Medicine that focuses on practical management of patients with common clinical conditions. It offers evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about screening, prevention, diagnosis, therapy, and patient education and provides physicians with tools to improve the quality of care. All ACP members and Annals subscribers have full access to this content.
Contraception counseling and provision are vital components of comprehensive health care. An unplanned pregnancy can be particularly challenging for patients with chronic illness. Internal medicine physicians are uniquely positioned to assess pregnancy readiness and provide contraception, as they often intersect with pregnancy-capable patients at the moment of a new diagnosis or when providing ongoing care for a chronic medical condition. A shared decision-making counseling approach engages patients, ensures patient-centered care, and supports their choice of a contraceptive method that aligns with their reproductive plans and medical needs.
International travel can cause new illness or exacerbate existing conditions. Because primary care providers are frequent sources of health advice to travelers, they should be familiar with destination-specific disease risks, be knowledgeable about travel and routine vaccines, be prepared to prescribe chemoprophylaxis and self-treatment regimens, and be aware of travel medicine resources. Primary care providers should recognize travelers who would benefit from referral to a specialized travel clinic for evaluation. Those requiring yellow fever vaccination, immunocompromised hosts, pregnant persons, persons with multiple comorbid conditions, or travelers with complex itineraries may warrant specialty referral.