Valerie J. Lang, MD, and her hospitalist colleagues in the division of Hospital Medicine at the University of Rochester (N.Y.) School of Medicine and Dentistry hold their own journal club twice a month. “We include the General Medicine division [their outpatient counterparts], which adds a nice perspective to our inpatient work,” she says.
Like the physicians at the Hospital of St. Raphael, these doctors also rotate topic selection and presentation. “For example, the last time [it was my turn], I presented a meta-analysis of DVT prophylaxis in medical inpatients along with a review of how to interpret meta-analyses,” Dr. Lang says.
The General Internal Medicine division at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in New Brunswick, where the four-person hospital medicine group (HMG) resides, takes a slightly different approach. The group has a weekly journal club, reviewing a month’s worth of four major journals, one per week, says Gabriela S. Ferreira, MD.
The Waterbury Hospital HMG, Waterbury, Conn., has its journal club once a month—at a restaurant. “One hospitalist presents an article, and then we eat and get drunk and have a generally good time,” says Rachel Lovins, MD, director of the hospitalist program.
When pressed about whether cocktail availability interferes with information retention, Dr. Lovins admits that’s the reason the presentations are made early in the evening. But she also backs down a bit: “We don’t actually get drunk but the social stuff is so important. It’s glue.”
Although the group totals 20 hospitalists, only a core group of six to 10 usually attends the dinners. Dr. Lovins makes sure everyone gets the pertinent information. “When I present an article, I always write up a summary page and hand it out at the meeting and also e-mail to the rest of the group,” she says. “But I’m a dork and no one else really does that.”
It’s All Timing
Sometimes it’s not about the method of receiving information, but about when and where you receive it. For example, when David Pressel, MD, PhD, director of Inpatient Service, General Pediatrics at Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., encounters a patient with a new and different condition, he researches it immediately. “When learning is attached to a patient you see,” he says, “you’re more likely to cement that information in your mind.”
Dr. Wright uses a similar methodology. “I try to look up a couple of articles on every patient every day, with periodic reviews,” she says.
Other physicians, like Benny Gavi, MD, a hospitalist at Stanford Hospital & Clinics in California, print out articles of interest. “I take one or two articles in the pocket of my white coat to read when I have time, for example, when waiting for a meeting to start,” he says. “The pile is also near where I have lunch and I take an article when I eat.”
One hospitalist, who wishes to remain nameless, uses another time to get his literature scoop: at his daily poop, so to speak, during that block of time each day when he sits and reads. “Continuing education is a lifelong process and can happen anytime,” he says, whimsically. TH
Andrea Sattinger is a freelance writer based in North Carolina and a longtime contributor to The Hospitalist.
- Bennett, HJ. A piece of my mind. Keeping up with the literature. JAMA. 1992;267(7):920.