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Am Fam Physician. 1999;60(7):1893

This issue features the first in a series of “Problem-Oriented Diagnosis” articles by a new group of contributors, from the Department of Family Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. The article, “Exercise-Related Syncope in the Young Athlete: Reassurance, Restriction or Referral?” by Francis G. O'Connor, LTC, MC, USA, Ralph G. Oriscello, M.D., and Benjamin D. Levine, M.D., begins on page 2001. Guest editors of the series are Francis G. O'Connor, LTC, MC, USA, and Jeannette E. South-Paul, COL, MC, USA.

The Department of Family Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences has nine full-time family physicians and is affiliated with 15 military family medicine residencies in the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force. One of the department's former faculty members, Charles W. Mackett, III, M.D., has served as chair of the AAFP's Committee on Scientific Program for 1998–99, which exemplifies the leadership role these faculty members have in family practice education.

At the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 20 to 25 percent of the graduating medical school class choose family medicine as their specialty. Participating students rotate to the various military family practice residencies. The department houses four fellows in a sports medicine fellowship that has been approved by the American College of Graduate Medical Education. The department also has responsibility over the family medicine clerkship and has 10 clerkship sites. In addition, the department has clinical responsibility over the health center at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Members of the department staff an after-hours indigent clinic in the Maryland–D.C. area.

Primary research interests of the department include issues relating to military readiness and humanitarian assistance, with specific areas of focus including domestic violence, alternative medicine, osteoporosis, obesity, underserved communities, and musculoskeletal and medical problems related to exercise.

According to Dr. O'Connor, articles in the series will overlap areas of research interest in the department. Dr. O'Connor says that in coordinating the series, particular emphasis was placed on developing practical clinical algorithms that offer guidance through common diagnostic dilemmas occurring in clinical practice. Topics planned for the series include exercise-related problems, such as overuse elbow pain and acute knee effusion, and a number of often-encountered problems in the office, including erectile dysfunction, rash in a febrile patient, hypo- and hypernatremia in the elderly, acute headache, osteoporosis, dysphagia, dyspareunia and falls in the elderly.

Articles in this “Problem-Oriented Diagnosis” series from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences will alternate with articles from another family practice department.

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