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Easy lernin’: CME, InfoPOEMs, etc

June 1, 2010

So after 7 years of university and 1 of my 2 years of residency, I feel a little bit ‘read-out.’ Too much reading! Hard to retain facts. ARgggssss!

I’ve been in school since I was 3 1/2 years old. From Junior Kindergarten to Residency, there are a lot of different styles of learning to be encountered. These days, even thinking of them, I feel like banging my head against the wall.

Now, I read around cases, attend academic weeks (lectures mainly), do Resuscitation practice, and join my friends and colleagues for nights of working through McMaster Modules which are a form of problem-based learning. That’s about all I can handle of the formal stuff, but the way I truly stay up -to-date on the major advances in medicine is not any one of those. It’s these magical things called “InfoPOEMS.” InfoPOEMS are short, quick reads about the latest evidence in areas of practice that are relevant to most generalists. P.O.E.M. stands for “Patient-Oriented Evidence that Matters” and they are right on the money.

MedScape has the CME Top 10

This is a great mailout that summarizes the top ten tiny Continuing Medical Education (CME) activities they host; many of the topics are news to me! Sign up HERE!

Here’s an example:

They also send out ‘Top News of the Week’ which has some really helpful articles that are relevant to your specialty (in my case, Family Practice), like this one:

1. Single Dose of Aspirin Effective in Relieving Migraine Pain MedscapeCME Clinical Briefs, April 20, 2010


The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) gives one big story- often derived from a meta-analysis or systematic review per InfoPOEM

some of the latest, useful ones:

1. Quetiapine + haloperidol = faster resolution of ICU delirium [if you are CMA member, you can read and discuss the infoPOEM, but if not, then consider the original paper]
Bottom line: In intensive care unit (ICU) patients with delirium, the addition of scheduled quetiapine to as-needed haloperidol results in faster resolution of delirium, decreased time spent in delirium, and less agitation. (LOE = 1b)

2. Management options equally effective for simple UTI [original paper]
Bottom line
: Empiric treatment, symptom-guided treatment, or dipstick-guided or clean-catch urine-guided treatment in women with suspected uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) will all result in similar duration and severity of symptoms. (LOE = 1b-)

3. Kidney donation does not increase long-term mortality risk. WHAT?! WOW! Everyone grab your kidney and do a little dance!
Bottom line: Although the 90-day postnephrectomy death rate is significantly increased for live kidney donors, long-term mortality is similar or lower for live kidney donors compared with matched control patients. (LOE = 2b)

4. Rifaximin prevents recurrent hepatic encephalopathy. [original paper]
Bottom line: In patients with chronic liver disease and recurrent hepatic encephalopathy (HE), the use of daily rifaximin over a 6-month period reduces the risk of a breakthrough episode of HE, as well as the risk of HE-related hospitalization. (LOE = 1b)


And of course, my mom sends me fun articles from time to time:

1. Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do).

This is the first book from the people who created Tinkering School. With projects, activities, experiences, and skills ranging from “Superglue Your Fingers Together” to “Play with Fire,” along with 48 other great ideas, the book is a manifesto for kids and parents alike to reclaim childhood. Easy to follow instructions, fun facts, and challenging undertakings that will engage and inspire whole households. . .

2. Grow Your Own Drugs (a UK TV show and now a book)

Yah, my parents were hippies back in the day, but my dad loves his statin* as much as my mom loves her Synvisc*. Regardless, she sent me this link to an Ecologist interview with James Wong, the host of the BBC TV show.

* I’m as skeptical of these as I am of unregulated naturopathic medications

See! Learnin’ can be fun and easy when relevant stuff falls into your lab (or inbox).

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