Internal Medicine 2014: Orlando sun and Doctor's Dilemma® fun

The College's annual meeting returns to Florida, birthplace of the extremely popular Doctor's Dilemma##reg; competition.

Twenty years ago, ACP members traveled to Florida for their annual meeting, and a few residents from Southern chapters played a new game they called Doctor's Dilemma®. This year, the College returns to Florida for Internal Medicine 2014, to be held in Orlando on April 8-12. And teams from around the world will compete in the 20th-anniversary championship of Doctor's Dilemma®, which has become a popular conclusion to each annual meeting.

Before the championship, though, internists will have numerous opportunities for education and entertainment, beginning on April 8 and 9 with new and returning pre-courses. New options include “Gastroenterology and Hepatology for the Internist” and “ICD-10 Boot Camp,” both on Wednesday. Other pre-courses will cover diabetes, cardiology, hospital medicine and preparation for the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) exam.

“The diabetes pre-course, always popular, is once again filling up quickly, as is the Maintenance of Certification prep course,” said Barbara Licht, ACP's director of educational meetings and conferences.

Of course, attendees don't have to come early for a pre-course to make progress on MOC, since points are available for completion of multiple-choice question modules based on scientific sessions and participation in hands-on activities in the Herbert S. Waxman Clinical Skills Center. “With the changing ABIM recertification requirements, this is an easy way to keep up and comply with the requirements,” she said.

While they're visiting the Waxman Center, attendees may want to stop by the Exhibit Hall to snag a complimentary massage in the new Rest and Relaxation booth. There's also (non-CME) information to be had in the Innovation Theater, which will host 9 industry programs at this meeting.

The meeting's many, many CME activities include a hospital medicine track and sessions across all the subspecialties. “All internists will find the information they need at the annual meeting, whether their practice is traditional, hospitalist, exclusively outpatient, and/or focused on education or administration,” said Janet Pregler, MD, FACP, chair of the Internal Medicine 2014 Scientific Program Committee.

She expects discussions of the hottest clinical news of the past year, including the blood pressure guideline from the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8) and the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association cholesterol guideline.

“As a general internist, I'm still wrestling with how to implement these in my practice, and I want to hear expert opinions and thoughts from fellow internists about this at the meeting,” Dr. Pregler said.

Finally, when they've finished wrestling with clinical issues, medicine residents from around the world will battle each other in the Doctor's Dilemma® finals.

Back in 1994, the competition was initiated by the Florida chapter, which had incorporated it into their chapter meeting. The chapter's Governor, Philip Altus, MD, MACP, invited 2 fellow Governors, from Alabama and Georgia, to challenge their residents to a competition of Southern states during the annual meeting. The Florida chapter won.

The competition gradually grew to 12 teams by 2000 and 32 teams by 2005, when the name was trademarked and the championship game was held as the final event of the meeting for the first time. The structure was expanded, with the competitions being held throughout all 3 days of the meeting: elimination rounds on Thursday, semi-final matchups on Friday and the championship on Saturday.

This year's competition will narrow 40 teams down to a top 4 who will compete at the conclusion of the final session, which will feature meeting highlights and take-home messages, starting at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 12. The winning team will keep the coveted “Osler Cup” for the 12 months until the next championship, during the College's centennial celebration at Internal Medicine 2015 in Boston.