Latest updates on ACP's priorities, initiatives

ACP Spotlight offers readers a look at ACP's current top priorities and initiatives, as well as highlights from our e-newsletter, I.M. Matters Weekly from ACP.

ACP offers recommendations to improve care for unhoused people

A new ACP position paper aimed at improving care and social needs of unhoused people offers recommendations for policymakers and physicians.

The paper, published by Annals of Internal Medicine on Feb. 27, defines unhoused people as "those who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence." It was drafted by ACP's Health and Public Policy Committee and approved by the Board of Regents on Feb. 20.

One recommendation calls on health care professionals to be knowledgeable about screening for and identifying symptoms of homelessness and approaches to treating unhoused patients throughout their training and career. ACP recommends homelessness and the underlying individual and structural issues related to homelessness and housing-based health inequities be incorporated into all levels of medical education.

In the recommendations, ACP notes that health is a human right and access to safe and affordable shelter is an essential component to implementing and recognizing that right. ACP calls for public policy efforts to prioritize facilitating safe and affordable housing for all and urges policymakers to address the drivers of homelessness and support and fund programs addressing the immediate health and shelter needs of this population.

An additional recommendation calls for an evidence-based and sustainable long-term national strategy to address homelessness that also recognizes and reflects local characteristics and conditions. Another recommendation supports laws decriminalizing symptoms of housing instability and homelessness to "allow unhoused individuals to undertake life-sustaining activities in public in the absence of available safe shelter while also sufficiently balancing greater public health interests." The paper notes that this is a short-term stopgap measure and should occur alongside long-term efforts to prevent homelessness.

Finally, ACP urges private and public payers to cover and provide payment for unhoused populations' health care services, and the College supports research and implementation of effective approaches to provide accessible care to patients.

2024 ACP Board Review Courses to be held

Image by crizzystudio
Image by crizzystudio

Physicians preparing for American Board of Internal Medicine certification examinations can enroll in the ACP Board Review Courses taking place this spring and summer. The spring course will be held from June 3-7, 2024, in the Chicago area. The summer course will be held July 15-19, 2024, in the Washington, D.C., area. Virtual formats are available for both courses. More information about each course and registration rates is online.

Registration open for ACP's live online POCUS Mentorship Program

ACP's Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Mentorship Program allows internal medicine physicians a chance to solidify their POCUS skills through live instruction, virtual expert-led demonstrations, online modules, and high-yield image micro-quizzes. From May through October 2024, internal medicine physicians can attend one-on-one mentored scanning sessions covering content across five key POCUS skill areas, including:

  • pulmonary ultrasound,
  • focused cardiac ultrasound,
  • kidney and bladder ultrasound,
  • evaluation of the abdomen for free fluid, and
  • focused vascular evaluations of the lower extremities for deep venous thrombosis.

All prospective participants must be practicing physicians and must have completed ACP's POCUS: Foundational Skills for Internal Medicine Physicians or POCUS: Advanced Skills for Outpatient Practice course or an equivalent alternate course. More information is online.

ICYMI: Highlights from I.M. Matters Weekly

  • Bariatric surgery improves long-term diabetes outcomes more than medication, lifestyle interventions. Patients who underwent bariatric surgery for type 2 diabetes had remission rates of 18.2% at seven years and 12.7% at 12 years, compared to 6.2% and 0%, respectively, in patients treated with medical and lifestyle interventions, a new review found. It was published by JAMA on Feb. 27 and summarized in the March 5 I.M. Matters Weekly from ACP.
  • Recommendations released on statin therapy for people with HIV. The guidance from a panel of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services addresses primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in patients ages 40 to 75 years and younger than age 40 years. It was published online Feb. 27 and summarized in the March 5 I.M. Matters Weekly from ACP.

I.M. Matters Weekly from ACP is an e-newsletter published every Tuesday and available online. Subscribe online.