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Am Fam Physician. 2002;66(8):1383

The article “Diagnosis of Clumsiness in Children” (page 1435) by S. Sutton Hamilton, M.D., marks the first in a new series of “Problem-Oriented Diagnosis” articles contributed by the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio. Guest editor of the series is Susan Louisa Montauk, M.D., professor of clinical family medicine.

In planning the series, Dr. Montauk attempted to identify topics that are important to family physicians but have not been extensively covered in the family practice literature. The experience was fashioned around her department's budding writers; some faculty members who had not yet done a lot of writing learned how to work their way through the process. She believes that pairing new authors with more experienced authors is a great way to train writers.

After Dr. Montauk developed a list of topics, she matched writers with topics and mentors, keeping in mind their areas of expertise and interest. While all manuscripts considered for publication in AFP go through a rigorous review process, new authors learned that, even before submission, manuscripts must go through multiple revisions. Some of the authors learned what they didn't like about writing, and others learned that they loved it—and those are good things to know, says Dr. Montauk.

The Department of Family Medicine at the University of Cincinnati has nearly 50 faculty members. A total of 633 medical students were enrolled this year, roughly 160 students for each year. Third-year medical students participate in a mandatory four-week family medicine clerkship.

Fifty-two residents are in training in the department; of those, 42 are participating in a three-year family medicine residency (14 residents for each year) and 10 are in a five-year medicine/psychiatry combined residency (two residents for each year). Half of the family medicine residents are involved in international health and periodically work overseas, learning about tropical medicine and medicine in third-world countries. They also participate in research on medical care in other cultures. This year a new track has been started that emphasizes care for underserved populations. Additionally, this year there are five geriatric fellows.

Dr. Montauk speaks of her departmental colleagues with enthusiasm and pride. The training guide now used by many family medicine clerkships was written by faculty in her department, then edited by her before its publication by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. In 2001, the department's director, Jeffrey Susman, M.D., recently co-edited the Student Guide to Primary Care, a text for medical students in their first two years. One faculty member, Therese Zink, M.D., is working on a project in domestic violence under a Robert Wood Johnson grant. Another, Gregg Warshaw, M.D., is a nationally recognized and highly published geriatrician. The department also produced the medical college's current assistant dean for continuing medical education, John Kues, Ph.D., and associate dean for medical student education, Andrew Filak, M.D.

Our thanks go to Dr. Montauk and her dedicated group of educators for contributions to the “Problem-Oriented Diagnosis” series.

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