Inside AFP

Practical Therapeutics from Naval Hospital Jacksonville

Am Fam Physician. 2002 Nov 15;66(10):1809.

On page 1867 of this issue you'll find the first in a new lineup of articles developed by the Department of Family Practice at Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Fla., for AFP's longstanding “Practical Therapeutics” series. Starting off with the cover article, “Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome,” by Anthony J. Viera, LCDR, MC, USNR, Steve Hoag, LT, MC, USN, and Joseph Shaughnessy, CDR, MC, USN, the series promises to offer up-to-the-minute information about the conditions that family physicians commonly encounter. Guest coordinator of the series is Dr. Viera, a staff family physician at Naval Hospital Jacksonville.

According to Dr. Viera, the series topics will include off-label applications of selective serotonin receptor inhibitors (SSRIs), care for stress fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, the crashing asthmatic, and more. Publishing is nothing new for the faculty members and residents at Naval Hospital Jacksonville. Faculty members previously have published articles in AFP, as well as other journals. We recall that the program's director, Robert F. Raspa, CAPT, MC, USN, was one of the co-authors of AFP's 1997 Walter H. Kemp Award–winning article, “Evaluation of Pediatric Foot Problems: Parts 1 and 2” (August and September 1, 1996).

For the past 10 years, the research curriculum for residents has included writing letters to the editor that critique articles in the medical literature, and more than 35 of these letters have been published. The curriculum also requires completion and presentation of a quality improvement project, and related efforts have won research competitions at a national level. This program is part of a three-year emphasis on evidence-based medicine, information mastery, and research. The premier evidence-based family practice residency of the Navy, this program offers a scholarly approach to clinical problem solving and, since its inception, graduates have achieved a 100 percent success rate on the board examination.

The Family Practice Residency at Naval Hospital Jacksonville is the oldest and largest of the five Navy Family Practice Residency Programs and the only specialty with a residency there. The family practice program gained full accreditation in 1974, although graduates were eligible for board certification as early as 1971. Since then, a total of 292 family physicians have graduated from the program. The hospital has 93 active beds with as many as 10,000 admissions and 1,200 deliveries each year. The new family practice center handles more than 76,000 outpatient visits each year and serves 240,000 beneficiaries.

The program houses 13 residents at each level, for a total capacity of 39. The three-year program includes rotations in more than a dozen specialties, as well as subspecialty electives. Eight to 10 residents arrive each month from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences to participate in a family medicine rotation. First-year residents may be selected to continue through the residency or may receive orders to serve on the fleet as General Medical Officers. Some may choose special training leading to Flight Surgeon or Undersea Medicine Designation. After two or more years of operational assignments, many return to complete their second and third years of residency.

The faculty of the Department of Family Practice consists of 12 staff physicians, a physician assistant, two nurse practitioners, a behavioral scientist, and 40 civilian and ancillary staff. All of the staff physicians are assistant professors of family medicine and nearly all have participated in faculty development fellowships. One faculty member has been the recipient of a Mead-Johnson Award. Another faculty member serves as the Director for Medical Services.

We are looking forward to publishing what promises to be an excellent series from this dedicated group of family physicians, teachers, and academicians. Special thanks to these contributors for finding time in their military schedules—especially during these uncertain days—to offer their medical expertise to AFP's readers.


Copyright © 2002 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.
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