AFP DEPARTMENT COLLECTION
This department addresses legal, psychological, and ethical issues physicians may encounter in their day-to-day practice. Each article contains a brief case scenario, followed by a commentary section written by a consultant who responds to the particular issue addressed in the scenario.
Sep 01, 2021 Issue
Using Race with Caution in the ASCVD Calculator
The use of race in clinical decision-making is a source of controversy in U.S. modern medicine. Definitions of race are inconsistent throughout the medical literature and in medical education, and most experts in biology and social sciences agree that race has a limited biologic basis and is actually a social concept influenced by culture and politics, not genetics.
Jul 01, 2021 Issue
Addressing Loneliness and Social Isolation in Older Adults
Social isolation and loneliness are increasingly recognized as complex clinical and public health problems, particularly in older adults, leading to adverse mental and physical health outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to physical distancing policies, which have exacerbated loneliness and social isolation.
May 1, 2021 Issue
Identifying and Addressing Vicarious Trauma
Vicarious trauma is part of a spectrum of responses to trauma exposure, including secondary traumatic stress, caregiver fatigue, compassion fatigue, and burnout. These conditions have varying definitions and categorizations, with overlapping symptoms, diagnostic criteria, and management strategies.
Mar 1, 2021 Issue
Caring for the Physician Affected by Substance Use Disorder
A 34-year-old physician, H.M., is an established patient in my practice. H.M. presents for a follow-up visit after finishing inpatient treatment for opioid use disorder.
Jan 1, 2021 Issue
Making Recommendations to Reduce Noise Exposure
A 23-year-old patient, M.P., presents to your office with upper respiratory symptoms. When you enter the room, M.P. is using earbuds to listen to music on a personal listening device. The volume is loud enough for you to hear the music but not distinguish details. After addressing the patient's symptoms, you ask about M.P.'s listening habits.
Nov 1, 2020 Issue
How to Manage a Patient with Weight Regain
A 50-year-old patient, M.W., successfully reached their goal weight by losing 15 lb (6.8 kg) over six months on a Mediterranean diet. After maintaining the weight loss for more than a year, my patient is now 30 lb (13.6 kg) over their ideal body weight of 140 lb (63.5 kg).
Sep 1, 2020 Issue
Palliative Care During Public Health Emergencies: Examples from the COVID-19 Pandemic
In public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, some patients—especially older patients or those who have chronic health conditions—are confronted with treatment choices as they face life-threatening illness.
Jul 1, 2020 Issue
A Primary Care Approach to Adverse Childhood Experiences
A 41-year-old long-time patient presented with concerns about irritability, depression, and anxiety after getting into another fight with her mother-in-law. The patient was concerned that her symptoms were getting worse, and she was worried about lacking control over her emotions and behavior.
May 15, 2020 Issue
The Older Driver
Advancing age on its own is not a reason to stop driving. The ability to drive may enable older adults to maintain family and social interactions and to promote independence by accessing community resources, services, and volunteer opportunities.
Mar 1, 2020 Issue
Emotional Support Animals: Considerations for Documentation
Companion animals are increasingly viewed as part of the family, and studies show many mental and physical benefits of pet ownership. Federal regulations require patients to obtain health care professional documentation for emotional support animals to allow these animals to accompany the owner on air travel or to live in housing that might otherwise restrict pets.