Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Proud to Be a Family Physician!

This week I am in Denver at the American Academy of Family Physician's Annual Scientific Assembly. This is a terrific conference, chock-full of the latest evidence-based medical advice. Each year I leave here with new tools to help my patients, although as I have mentioned in previous blogs, today's hot news may be that yesterday's advice was wrong!

Here are a few things that I learned or reinforced today:
1. Using Tylenol (acetaminophen) and Advil (ibuprofen) together is not only safe, but has a more powerful punch for pain relief than either drug alone.

2. Prescribing narcotic pain relievers for acute low back pain prolongs the disability from the back pain (we should use muscle relaxants and less addictive pain relievers.)

3. Using the Framingham risk assessment tool will help me to counsel patients on whether or not they should take a cholesterol lowering medication.

4. Pushing diabetics to lower their Hemoglobin A1C's (a long term measure of blood sugar levels) as low as possible can actually lead to worse outcomes than accepting a mid-range level.

5. I had the pleasure of hearing and meeting our Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, as she addressed our academy. I am proud that she is a fellow FAMILY PHYSICIAN and admire her vision of healthier, more FIT Americans!

BOTTOM LINE: Physicians, like all professions, must continue to learn and re-learn what evidence and OUTCOME based studies teach us really help our patients! Stay tuned for more insights from this week...

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