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From the ethics of Dr. Frankenstein to preventing cardiovascular disease

PHILADELPHIA, April 2, 2009 -- More than 6,000 internists (adult medicine specialists), subspecialists, medical students, and allied health professionals will meet in Philadelphia for Internal Medicine 2009, the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Physicians (ACP), April 23 - 25 (Thursday - Saturday), at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

ACP is the largest specialty organization devoted exclusively to adult medicine and is the second-largest physician group in the United States. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illnesses in adults.

Highlights of courses, events, and links to more information about Internal Medicine 2009 that provide interesting story angles are below.

Impact of the Changing Environment on Global Health, Saturday, April 25, 11:15 a.m., room 202

A panel will describe the demographic impact of the environment on global health, evaluate the impact of environmental changes on illness and wellness, identify clinical manifestations of key environment-related disorders, describe the emerging drug resistance patterns with reference to environmental change, and discuss prevention and management of environment-related illness.

Violence in Your Patients' Lives: You Can Make a Difference, Friday, April 24, 8:15 a.m., room 201 B

How common is domestic violence among patients? What is the role of the internist in domestic violence intervention? What is the impact of the patient-physician interaction on survivors of violence?

Successful Aging: How to Live (and Want) to Be 100!, Thursday, April 23, 2:15 p.m., room 202, or Friday, April 24, 11:15 a.m., room 204 C

A panel will address how enforced inactivity, such as bed rest, affects elderly people. Does increased or decreased physical activity affect the nutrient requirements of the elderly? Can weight loss be safely prescribed?

Thieves' Market: Fascinating Cases, Thursday, April 23, 8:15 a.m., room 201 A

Can internal medicine really be this much fun? How can the most interesting case that the researcher has ever diagnosed become a teaching tool for internists everywhere?

The First (and Next) 100 Days: What the New President Has Achieved on Health Care Reform -- and Plans to Do Next, Friday, April 24, 4:30 p.m., room 204 B

A panel will analyze what the new administration achieved on health care reform, what to expect in the next 100 days, and how the administration's priorities compare with the American College of Physicians.

Approaches to Health Care in the U.S.: The History of the Canadian Health Care System, Friday, April 24, 2:15 p.m., room 203

A panel will assess the historical development of directions in health care taken by Canada to see what lessons can be learned.

What Can We Learn from Other Countries? Health Care in Utopia, Saturday, April 25, 2:15 p.m., room 203

A panel will review what utopian writers and communities felt would be ideal health care concepts in a more perfect society.

New Ideas for Reforming the U.S. Health Care System: What Can Be Done to Improve Access, Quality, and Efficiency of Care?, Thursday, April 23, 4:30 p.m., Marriott Salon CD

An in-depth presentation on hot public policy issues related to health care reform.

Patient-Centered Medical Home, Thursday, April 23, 2:15 p.m., Marriott Salon CD

A panel will assess the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) model of care.

Literature in Medicine: Science and Its Unpredicted Outcomes, Saturday, April 25, 9:30 a.m., room 102.

Note: This is a reserved course. Please contact the ACP Communications Department if you would like to attend.

We presume that biological science always works for the good of mankind. How do physicians deal with accidental or deliberate creations of monsters -- of horrific outcomes of research? Two classical 19th century novels -- Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde -- will provide the background for a panel discussion about scientific ethics. What were the relevant questions in scientific ethics in the early and late 19th century? How have these questions changed in our time? Why does the 19th century so often represent science as resulting in monstrosity?

Doctors and Ethics in the 21st Century: Lessons from Albert Schweitzer, Friday, April 24, 7:00 a.m., room 201 B

How should physicians think about professional excellence in medicine in the 21st century? Why was Albert Schweitzer widely considered a paragon of moral excellence in medicine in the 20th century? How can Dr. Schweitzer's life and thoughts serve as guides to physician excellence today?

Ethical Challenges: Promoting Personal Responsibility for Health, Thursday, April 23, 7:00 a.m., Marriott Salon F

A panel will look at what is meant by "personal responsibility," how patient incentives for personal health affect practice, and the ethical implications of programs that focus on patient personal responsibility.

Health Care Disparities: Roles of Race and Socioeconomics, Thursday, April 23, 2:15 p.m., room 201 C

A panel will look at the extent of U.S. health care disparities in regard to African-American patients, factors relating to race and socioeconomics that lead to and perpetuate these disparities, and how disparities can be reduced by tactics and efforts at the public and private levels by individuals, nonprofits, employers, and government agencies.

Strategies to Eliminate Racial/Ethnic Disparities, Friday, April 24, 2:15 p.m., room 201 A

A panel will address what health care disparities are, the role health literacy and cultural competence play in reducing health care disparities, and what physicians can do to eliminate health care disparities in their practices.

Spirituality in End-of-Life Care: What Is the Physician's Role?, Thursday, April 23, 8:15 a.m., room 204 B

Explores the impact of spirituality on the healing process and the physician's role in addressing patient issues of spirituality. Are physician expertise, science, and technology the only determinants of a good outcome or are other forces at work as well?

History of Politics in American Medicine, Saturday, April 25, 4:00 p.m., room 202

Addresses what key health care policy issues dominated the political agenda in the U.S. from colonial days to today, how the medical profession's involvement in politics affected the debate on those issues, and what lessons we can learn from history that may guide medicine's future involvement in the political process.

Famous Physicals: Diagnostic Dilemmas in History, Saturday, April 25, 11:15 a.m., room 107

A review of the pathognomonic physical findings in historical figures and celebrities.

Happy Birthday Med Peds! 40 Years of Quality Patient Care, Friday, April 24, 2:15 p.m., room 202

A panel will review the history of med-peds (combined internal medicine and pediatric physicians) from its basic roots in the 1940s to 1960s through its "recognition" as a discipline in 1967 by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the ABP. The panel will discuss the evolution of residency training for med-peds, strategies for a successful med-peds practice of today, and the challenges and rewards that med-peds will face in the next decade.

Contribution of Islam to Modern Medicine, Friday, April 24, 4:30 p.m., room 103 A

Describes the contributions of early Islam to Western medicine from the creation of hospitals in the 8th century; to the establishment of libraries, pharmacology, and preventive medicine; to its unique code of ethics and conduct. Dr. Fitzgerald also will provide examples of key Islamic leaders.

Opening Ceremony, Thursday, April 23, at 9:30 a.m., Hall C

Harold Sox, MD, MACP (, will deliver the keynote address about the future of medical journal publishing. Dr. Sox has served as editor of Annals of Internal Medicine since 2001.

Internists as Artists

Designed to showcase physicians' talents in the visual arts, the "Internists as Artists" exhibit is located in the Exhibit Hall of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia during Internal Medicine 2009. Art exhibits include painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media, woodworking, jewelry, crafts, and ceramics. Please see the Internal Medicine 2009 Media Policy ( for Exhibit Hall regulations.


Contact: Steve Majewski
American College of Physicians

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