May 2011

Medical Student Perspectives: Patient Safety and Medical School Curricula

Some time ago, a departmental morbidity and mortality conference reminded me that thinking about medical error is akin to understanding a raging river. The attendings and residents were discussing a case in which physician error had caused the patient harm and hotly debated how it could have been avoided. The ideas came from all perspectives - some said that it was "just how things were," while others put blame on nurses, physicians from other specialties, and even colleagues within their field - but the focus was invariably placed on personal responsibility.



My Kind of Medicine: Real Lives of Practicing Internists: Major Raul A. Rivera, MC, USA, FACP

As the first physician in his family, Dr. Raul Rivera's mother proudly tells a story that as a child her son loved to play doctor, handing out prescriptions to family members. By the time he entered college, Dr. Rivera had decided that becoming a physician was what he wanted to do.


Advocacy Update: The National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program application cycle is now open!

NHSC Scholars receive:

  • Payment for tuition, required fees, and other reasonable educational costs
  • A monthly support stipend
  • Assistance in finding a practice site

Upon graduation, NHSC scholarship recipients serve as primary care providers between two and four years in an NHSC-approved site in a high-need Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).

To learn more visit

Internal Medicine Interest Group of the Month: The School of Medicine and Dentistry at University of Rochester Medical Center

In the spirit of the biopsychosocial model professed at the U of R, our group strives to make students aware of the social and economic factors that impact the practice of internal medicine in our evolving health care system. Our events reflect these goals by exposing students to different subspecialties of internal medicine, as well as innovations in the delivery of health care.



Ask the Program Director: Call for Questions!

Curious to find out what Program Directors are thinking?


Winning Abstracts from the 2011 Medical Student Abstract Competition: In-Vivo Corneal Confocal Microscopy as a Diagnostic Test for Neuropathy in Type 1 Diabetes - A Cohort Study

The morbidity of type 1 diabetes includes abnormality of small nerve fiber morphology occurring early in the course of diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy (DSP). This can be detected by examination of intra-epidermal nerve fibers by invasive skin biopsy.


Subspecialty Careers: Medical Oncology

The word oncology is derived from the Greek word ongkos, meaning "a bulk or mass," which later was changed to mean "a tumor." Medical oncology is the subspecialty which involves the diagnosis and management of benign and malignant neoplasms.


In the Clinic: Breast Cancer Screening & Prevention

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death in women. Recently recognized risk factors include alcohol use and increased breast density, in addition to the long-recognized familial, age-related, and reproductive risk factors. Clinical calculators to estimate breast cancer risk are widely available and are helpful but do not consider more recently identified risk factors or risk associated with specific genetic abnormalities.


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. Many internal medicine clerkship directors recommend this series of articles for students on the internal medicine ambulatory rotation.


Highlighted Articles from ACP Internist®

Food allergies are a tough nut to crack
As public awareness of food allergies increases, identification and management into adulthood can be difficult to sort out, carrying the risk of misdiagnosis, according to specialists who are trying to improve physician education. Take our poll on food allergies.

Internists don't need to defer treating pain
Pain is one of the most common symptoms seen by primary care physicians, but it can be the most difficult to handle. Chronic pain often requires time-intensive, complex regimens that call for careful management and monitoring, which is not easy to achieve in a busy primary care practice.

Mindful Medicine: Attribution error results from a positive stereotype
A 58-year-old man diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 38, a case of latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood, reports worsening control of his blood sugars despite increasing doses of insulin. An internist must sort through the facts of the case to find out what's responsible.


Highlighted Articles from ACP Hospitalist®

You can reduce antibiotic resistance
Leading an antibiotic stewardship program is within the reach of hospitalists at even the smallest community hospitals

Your Practice: Rapid response systems are in place, but do they work?
After establishing rapid response systems, hospitals must follow through by measuring their effectiveness.

Pocket-sized procedures
Ultrasound images, formerly only available from machines weighing hundreds of pounds and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, can now be viewed on devices significantly smaller in both size and price.

Perspectives: The scourge of seven on/seven off

Medical Education: Strategies for succeeding as an inpatient physician