November/December 2017

Illustration by David Cutler

A ‘smart’ approach to performance drugs

An increasing prevalence of the use of cognitive-enhancing substances, or so-called “smart drugs,” among healthy people has raised concerns among internists and medical ethicists.

Patients and priorities in prostate cancer care

Prostate cancer requires men to work through a multitude of treatment options, and if the patient ends up settling on active surveillance, then the internist's role is even more important moving forward.

In this together

Correcting medical errors in a systematic manner has come a long way, but have we made progress in helping our colleagues and ourselves deal with mistakes?

A ‘near-death’ experience that's good news for patients

For all of its known flaws, the Affordable Care Act has extended coverage to millions of Americans, and was saved in the U.S. Senate by a slim margin. It's time for Congress to put aside partisan differences and come together to strengthen and heal Obamacare instead of trying to bring it down.

Adapting primary care to include transgender patients

The best way to treat transgender individuals in the ambulatory care setting involves coordination headed by culturally competent primary care.

Managing ENT problems in primary care

The most common ear, nose, and throat conditions of sinusitis, hearing loss, vertigo, and tinnitus can be evaluated and treated in the primary care office, but the internist must take care to work through the wide range of symptoms.

DynaMed Plus Quiz: Shortness of breath

A 40-year-old trophy-winning professional knitter reports increasing shortness of breath and dry cough for the past week, as well as hoarseness and throat pain for the past three days. Upon questioning, she reports feeling “feverish” and being unusually tired of late. Following a review of systems, physical exam, and lab tests, what is the most likely diagnosis?

Customer service can make or break a practice

Patients who receive friendly, competent information are more likely to trust their clinicians, and customer service begins with the management and the physicians setting an expectation for professional behavior among all staff and clinicians.

Government service offers Fellow a chance to help millions

Mandy Krauthamer Cohen, MD, MPH, FACP, North Carolina's new secretary of its Department of Health and Human Services, sees government service as a way to help a wide constituency—patients.

Prescribing for opioid addiction meds, CNS suppressants

This column reviews details on recent recalls, warnings, and approvals.

Nominees named for College Officer and Regent positions

The Governance Committee of the American College of Physicians places in nomination candidates for College governance.

Readers respond on abdominal wall pain, health care prices

Readers weigh in on abdominal wall pain and profits in health care insurance.

‘Smart’ drugs could be bad idea

This issue covers performance-enhancing drugs, prostate cancer options, and transgender health.