All posts by Jennifer Price

June’s Free SMJ Article: “Do Physicians Underrecognize Obesity?”

Beginning with the June 2014 issue, a special series on obesity will be featured in the Southern Medical Journal over the coming months. This public health issue has been popularly termed an “epidemic” in the United States, and that can be understood in the context of motivating public health and healthcare professionals, as well as patients, to evaluate seriously the implications of this disorder. In strict medical terminology, however, “epidemic” is not an appropriate descriptor. My own assessment is that the incidence rate and prevalence of obesity in the US population are increasing, and this remains alarming, no matter what terminology is used. In the June issue, Rothberg and colleagues, through a study at three academic ambulatory clinics, explore whether physicians underrecognize obesity and I commend to you not only this article which has been made free for the “SMA Pulse”, but also the complete series of articles appearing throughout the next several issues of the Southern Medical Journal as fine examples of the dedicated efforts under way to learn more about obesity, to prevent and manage excessive and morbid weight gain, and to apply evidence-based protocols to care for the clinical needs of these patients.

G. Richard Holt, MD, MSE, MPH, MABE, D BE
Southern Medical Journal

Click here to view the article.

May’s Free SMJ Article: “Endoscopic Surveillance for Gastric Ulcers”

In this free article from the May 2014 issue of the Southern Medical Journal for the Pulse, Esmadi and colleagues from the University of Missouri Medical Center address the challenge of how best to identify the presence of a malignancy associated with a gastric ulcer. Across the general US population, there is a prevalence of gastric ulcers of 4%, and esophagogastroduodenoscopy is required for the proper diagnosis. What then should be the appropriate surveillance of these ulcers to not miss an associated malignancy? In their review of three years of surveillance, the authors place some emphasis on the proper role of biopsies at the time of endoscopy and the considered use of this modality for following patients. It becomes a matter of assessing both the evidence-base for endoscopic surveillance and the risk/benefit ratio to patients. Additionally, one must consider the impact on healthcare costs in the United States with too-frequent endoscopy.

I commend this article to the readers, especially those in primary care, internal medicine, gastroenterology, and general surgery.

G. Richard Holt, MD, MSE, MPH, MABE, D BE
Editor-in-Chief, Southern Medical Journal

Click here to view the article.