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Chicago Universities Collaborate on ‘Problem-Oriented Diagnosis’ Series



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Am Fam Physician. 2000 Feb 15;61(4):922.

In a special collaborative effort, members of two different family medicine departments in Chicago are contributing articles to AFP's “Problem-Oriented Diagnosis” series. David R. Rudy, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the Chicago Medical School of Finch University of Health Sciences, is coordinating the series along with Martin Lipsky, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Northwestern University Medical School. The article “Ectopic Pregnancy,” by Josie L. Tenore, M.D., from Northwestern University, starts off the series on page 1080.

The two family medicine departments are joining together to address common challenges in screening and diagnosis. According to Dr. Rudy, topics planned in the series include ectopic pregnancy, vaginitis, preoperative assessment, sports preparticipation examination, colorectal cancer screening, breast cancer, thyroid nodule, carotid artery disease and hepatitides. The topics were selected according to relevance and amount of new information available and were matched with faculty and the respective departments based on expertise of the contributors, all of whom have a special interest in these subjects and have done their best to convey up-to-date information that draws from experience and evidence.

[corrected] The Department of Family Medicine at the Chicago Medical School evolved from the Department of Primary Care, which was founded in 1975. The department has had just two chairs, with Dr. Rudy assuming the role in 1991 after the departure of Dr. Lawrence Hirsch. Dr. Hirsch arrived in 1975 as founding professor and chairman of this department and elected retirement in 1991, at the age of 69. The department currently has seven full-time faculty members, with 40 clinical faculty members in clinical affiliates in the Chicago area. The three closest affiliates are Swedish Covenant Hospital, Lutheran General Hospital and Mt. Sinai Hospital, which is where most student clerkships are done. The clerkship also extends to five other area hospitals.

Research interests of the department include urinary tract infection, headache, dyslipidemia and cervical cytology. Dr. Rudy has a personal research interest in hypertension and insulin resistance, and is interested in teaching and learning about osteoporosis and colon cancer—watch for Dr. Rudy's upcoming report on colon cancer in this series.

The Department of Family Medicine at Northwestern University Medical School was founded in 1997 through a combined effort of Northwestern University and Evanston Northwestern Health Care. The department now employs eight full-time faculty members along with a network of employed clinician educators. The department also relies heavily on volunteer faculty members, who now number more than 20 and who make major contributions to educational programs. A new family practice residency is being established, with recruiting for the first class of residents beginning in Y2K. The department already has an affiliated residency program at St. Joseph Hospital, Chicago. Special research interests of the department include medical education, health services and health policy (e.g., over-the-counter medications, physician coding, health literacy). Dr. Lipsky serves on the AAFP Home Study Self-Assessment editorial board and is a previous AFP contributor.

Dr. Rudy and Dr. Lipsky recognized this series as an opportunity to combine their academic strengths while bringing AFP readers a unique perspective on diagnostic problems in medicine. Our hats are off to Drs. Rudy and Lipsky for this innovative approach.



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