July/August 2011

Ruth Parker FACP and Lorenzo DiFrancesco FACP members of the Emory  Grady Health Literacy Team in Atlanta examine pill bottle labels outside of Grady Hospital Photo courtesy of Kara L Jacobson MPH

Promoting literacy to increase adherence

Roughly 80 million Americans navigate health care's complexities with limited health literacy skills. Learn easy steps that help patients understand what they need to do, without the need for formal literacy screening or for questions that might embarrass a patient.

Aiding patients' decisions on PSA screening

Routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening of all men over a certain age began about 20 years ago, but the certainty about whether that was or is wise medical practice is long gone.

Tread lightly: Discussing obesity difficult for internists

Internists are increasingly viewed as the first in line to tell patients that they are obese.

Use caution when seeking medical information online

Researching medical knowledge online involves knowing three different types of resources, summary sites, society sites and primary literature. Knowing when to use each ensures the physician makes the correct diagnosis, and preserves the patient's confidence.

Priming to diagnose an atypical case, avoid representativeness

A patient's deteriorating mental health status points to an underlying cause. But it takes “priming” for an endocrinologist to look for the right diagnosis despite the lack of a prototype case.

How today's health care teams can play to win

Chronic, complex diseases require a team approach. The size of these teams is growing, as is the types of people involved in them. Internists must be key players to provide high-value, cost-conscious care.

When will the lights go out on fee-for-service?

Physicians have been paid according to the number of visits or procedures they bill for a very long time, almost half a century for Medicare.

Are your patients health literate?

Determining a patient's health literacy can be a challenge for physicians.

Med school debt becomes budgeting burden for primary care

A newly minted primary care physician graduates with a budget that leaves him or her $800 in the red each month. Compared to their subspecialist counterparts, the debt leaves primary care physicians feeling undervalued, especially since they value their work to be as hard and as important.

Incentive programs yield mixed results for expectant internists

Three programs that promised more reimbursement for primary care delivered mixed results. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services laid out who actually received more for using computers in medicine, and how much.

Hang out a digital shingle

Physicians need to understand how to establish their identities and their practices online in order to attract patients in the social media age.

ACP members tell Congress their views on SGR, health reform

Internists descended on Capitol Hill to explain how the legislative process impedes good clinical care. The legislators agreed with the doctors on that. But disagreement on health care reform left physicians and politicians with a cynical view.

Chapter awardees

Chapters honor Members, Fellows, and Masters of ACP who have demonstrated by their example and conduct an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, research, or service to their community, their chapter, and ACP.


Everett W. Sanderson, FACP; Bowen E. Taylor, FACP; Paul Florentino, FACP; Luis Landa, MACP; and Eduardo Barroso, FACP.

MKSAP Quiz: Sudden visual loss in one eye

Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?.