November/December 2013

Illustration by David Cutler

Patients increasingly checking ‘Dr. Google’

More than a third of patients have gone online to identify a medical condition, raising concerns about “cyberchondria” and requiring physicians to adapt to help patients differentiate the helpful websites from the misleading ones.

Coping skills, counseling best for low back pain

Despite all the best evidence and guidelines, patients with low back pain are still spending time, effort and money on things that aren't helping them in the long run.

Doctors have an online presence, even if they don't know it yet

Patients are using physician rating websites to find their doctors and find out more about them. ACP Member Kevin Pho, MD, of, explains why doctors need a plan in place to make sure that accurate and positive information makes its way to the top of a search engine.

One doctor trying to cure a country

Aziz Kamali, MD, FACP, seeks to rebuild his homeland of Afghanistan by restoring medical care.

A physician copes with chronic pain

A diagnosis of breast cancer leads to chronic pain that has lingered for 6 years. A physician learns a lesson in adaptation, resilience and moving on. Humility and hope are keys.

ACP services satisfy a broad array of internists' needs

The Chair of ACP's Board of Regents fills a guest spot, answering questions about how ACP's many products, programs and services add value to membership.

Five questions that may decide success of health care reform

As open enrollment begins under the Affordable Care Act, its success depends upon who signs up, how easy it is to do so, and whether the states help their residents do so. Physicians can help their patients sign up.

E-mailing with patients can improve patient-centered care

Technological advances are also patient communication and satisfaction measures, helping people arrange appointments, review test results and receive medical advice.

Helping patients navigate the Web is tricky, but worthwhile

This issue includes stories on patients using the Internet to diagnose themselves, on low back pain (one of the most common reasons for a clinical visit), and on managing a physician's online reputation.

ICD-10 doesn't have to be intimidating

To help internists become even more comfortable with the new code set, ACP looks at how the codes are structured and how to cross-walk from old to new for some of the most common ones.

Practice Tips: The self-pay conundrum and other tricky HIPAA omnibus requirements

While many of the omnibus changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act are subtle and may not require a great deal from a practice, the penalties for noncompliance are severe.

New labeling on long-acting opioids, fluoroquinolones

This regulatory update covers a labeling change for all long-acting opioid analgesics, and another on fluoroquinolone drugs to better describe the serious side effect of peripheral neuropathy.

Nominees named for College Officer and Regent positions

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

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.

MKSAP Quiz: Intermittent abdominal discomfort

A 61-year-old woman is evaluated for intermittent abdominal discomfort and a bloating sensation. Approximately 2 months before the swelling started, the patient had a pruritic, gradually progressive rash characterized by redness of the face, and a pruritic rash on her chest, upper back, shoulders, hands, and lateral hips. She has no muscle pain, weakness, or joint pain. Pertinent family history includes breast cancer in her mother and ovarian cancer in her grandmother. Mammogram, Pap test, and colonoscopy, all performed within the last year, were normal. Following a physical exam and lab findings, what is the most appropriate diagnostic study for this patient?.

Crossed Words: Holiday surprise

ACP Internist's puzzle feature challenges readers to find clues placed horizontally in rows to reveal an answer written vertically.

ACP announces new Leadership Academy

The ACP Leadership Academy is ACP's new leadership development program designed to provide early-career internists with the skills and knowledge necessary to become leaders in medicine.