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Am Fam Physician. 1998;58(5):1041

In your day-to-day encounters with patients, how do you navigate through the complicated medical, ethical, legal and economic issues that arise, not to mention the family matters and cross-cultural concerns that come up? How do you handle delicate family issues when one of your unwed teenage patients turns up pregnant? What should you do when you encounter a patient who has been driving with uncontrolled epilepsy? How do you encourage someone in denial to seek treatment for HIV infection? When should you suspect that one of your elderly patients is a victim of abuse? Who do you entrust with the medical care of your own family members? How do you approach a mother who is grief-stricken over her child's terminal illness and lashes out in anger?

Would you like to know how your colleagues steer through these and other issues arising in the context of the physician-patient relationship? If the answer is “yes,” then you may want to turn to AFP's newest feature, “Curbside Consultation,” which debuts on page 1211 of this issue. Coordinated by AFP's assistant deputy editor, Caroline Wellbery, M.D., this feature will contain real-life scenarios submitted by readers, followed by expert commentaries that offer practical suggestions for dealing with difficult situations.

If you have encountered a dilemma in your practice that you'd like to share, you are invited to submit a short case scenario (no more than 200 words) to Caroline Wellbery, M.D., Department of Family Medicine, 212 Kober-Cogan, Georgetown University Medical Center, 3800 Reservoir Rd., NW, Washington, D.C. 20007 (telephone: 202-687-8647; fax: 202-687-7230; e-mail: Selected case scenarios will be sent out for commentary and published with permission, and entries will be edited to maintain confidentiality.

We think this commentary will round out AFP's repertoire of clinically useful features. If you would like to share your reaction, please drop me a note (8880 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64114; e-mail:

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Copyright © 1998 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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