As detection and treatment methods improve and more people survive cancer, care of the survivors is becoming more important for hospitalists. According to the National Cancer Institute, the 5-year survival rate for all types of cancer has been steadily rising from 50% for patients diagnosed in 1976 to 67% for patients diagnosed in 2003. Yet most hospitalists receive little or no training in recognizing the potential late effects of common cancer therapies and how they can impact treatment decisions during hospitalization. Adult survivors, particularly of childhood cancers, are often at much higher risk for developing severe or life-threatening health problems that could require hospitalization. Our cover story takes a look at what hospitalists need to do when caring for this unique patient population.
Also in this issue, we provide extensive coverage of the annual Society of Hospital Medicine meeting, held in Las Vegas in March. Learn about the latest things you shouldn't do, courtesy of a popular session on non-evidence-based medicine by ACP Hospitalist editorial board member Leonard Feldman, MD, FACP. Another expert advises on cognitive techniques you can easily incorporate into your workday to help yourself become an even better physician, while in another of our articles, you can learn how to order physical, speech, and occupational therapy efficiently for your patients. Also from the conference, learn how to diagnose fevers of unknown origin, and read what policy experts have to say about health care reform and what it means for hospitals and hospitalists.
Finally, we have patient cases from around the world in our Brief Case feature, written this month by hospitalists from the University of California, San Francisco, and Hôpital St. Thérèse in Haiti. If you'd like to submit a patient case report, either individually or as part of an institution, write to us anytime.
Editor-in-Chief, ACP Hospitalist