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ACP, Annals of Internal Medicine Host 8th Virtual COVID-19 Forum for Physicians

Panel discusses outpatient treatment options, reinforces need for vaccines and boosters

PHILADELPHIA, February 14, 2022 – The American College of Physicians (ACP) and Annals of Internal Medicine hosted a virtual forum where expert panelists addressed the evaluation and management of patients with COVID-19 in the outpatient setting. The discussion covered timely topics such as COVID-19 variants, including omicron, vaccines, and emerging therapeutics.

The forum, Outpatient Evaluation and Management of Patients with COVID-19, was the eighth in a series of forums hosted by ACP and Annals of Internal Medicine and was held Feb. 9. A full recording of the forum is available for replay here and is published in Annals of Internal Medicine along with commentary from Darilyn V. Moyer, MD, ACP chief executive officer and executive vice president; Christine Laine, MD, MPH, ACP senior vice president and editor-in-chief, Annals of Internal Medicine; and Deborah Cotton, MD, MPH, Deputy Editor of Annals of Internal Medicine.

The program began with presentation of 4 clinical cases, a poll of what attendees would do in each case, and then a discussion of what the panelists would do in each of the 4 situations. Following the discussion of the cases, the panelists addressed questions submitted by attendees. The panelists acknowledged that the science is evolving and their answers are based on what is currently known about COVID-19.

“As COVID-19 progresses from pandemic to endemic over time, forums like this offer practical advice for internal medicine professionals who are on the front lines treating patients,” said George M. Abraham, MD, MPH, MACP, President, ACP. “Every day emerging therapeutics and treatments give physicians options to help their patients and examining them in this kind of setting is extremely valuable.”

In addition to answering questions, the panelists debated when to test, in which situations PCR or rapid antigen tests are most useful and cautioned about using antibody tests to guide clinical decisions. They engaged in lively discussion about the need to emphasize the use of proven therapies over those whose effectiveness and safety has not been demonstrated and the importance of equitable distribution of therapies based on medical need. Along with the promise of emerging therapies, the panelists addressed the substantial shortcomings related to logistical challenges, limited availability, contraindications, and drug interactions.

"The rapid rise of Omicron, an equally serious but clinically milder variant of SARS-CoV-2, ushered in year 3 of the COVID-19 pandemic and sparked new questions about how to treat patients outside the hospital" said Dr. Laine. “This is not a time to let our guard down, but rather a time to widely share what we know to fight the virus and counter misinformation.”

Rebecca Andrews, MD, Professor of Medicine, Associate Program Director, Categorical Internal Medicine at University of Connecticut served as program moderator. Dr. Andrews is Professor of Medicine, an internal medicine and primary care physician, and the Internal Medicine Residency Associate Program Director/Director of Ambulatory Education at UConn Health. Dr. Andrews also serves as UConn Health’s clinical lead for the CT Comprehensive Pain Center and Patient-Centered Medical Home. She is the current chair of the ACP Board of Governors. The forum panelists included:

  • Jason Gallagher, PharmD, clinical professor at Temple University School of Pharmacy in Philadelphia;
  • Roy M. Gulick, MD, MPH, Rochelle Belfer Professor in Medicine, and chief of the division of infectious diseases at Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York City;
  • Megan L. Ranney, MD, MPH, Warren Alpert Endowed Professor of Emergency Medicine and academic dean at Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, R.I.; and
  • Paul E. Sax, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and clinical director of the division of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

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About the American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 161,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

About Annals of Internal Medicine

Annals of Internal Medicine is the flagship journal of the American College of Physicians (ACP). Annals is the most widely read and cited general internal medicine journal and one of the most influential peer-reviewed clinical journals in the world. Annals’ mission is to promote excellence in medicine, enable physicians and other health care professionals to be well-informed members of the medical community and society, advance standards in the conduct and reporting of medical research, and contribute to improving the health of people worldwide. New content is published every Tuesday at Annals.org. Follow Annals on Twitter and Instagram @AnnalsofIM and on Facebook.

ACP Media Contact: Andrew Hachadorian, (215) 351-2514, AHachadorian@acponline.org

Annals Media Contact: Angela Collom, (215) 351-2653, ACollom@acponline.org