The Southern Medical Journal (SMJ)  is the official, peer-reviewed journal of the Southern Medical Association. It has a multidisciplinary and inter-professional focus that covers a broad range of topics relevant to physicians and other healthcare specialists.

Review Article

Open Access: Design and Impact of a Novel Rural Hospital Alliance

Without rural hospitals, many patients may not have access to essential services, or even any health care. Rural hospitals provide a community hub for local access to primary care and emergency services, as well as a bridge to specialized care outside the community. The goal of this review was to…

Perspectives

Optimizing Patient Experience to Improve Physician Survey Scores

A patient’s perception of his or her hospital experience has become an important driver in hospital metrics and reimbursement. Patient-centered care is one of the six domains of healthcare quality according to the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research.1 Studies show that patient experience is correlated with tangible outcomes such…

Posted in: Quality Health Care, Patient Safety, & Best Practices14

Original Article

Gender Differences in Hospital Outcomes among COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Objectives: Many epidemiological studies have shown that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) disproportionately affects males, compared with females, although other studies show that there were no such differences. The aim of the present study was to assess differences in the prevalence of hospitalizations and in-hospital outcomes between the sexes, using a…

Posted in: Infectious Disease126

Original Article

Substance Use Disorders among Adolescents in the United States: 2000–2019

Objectives: Substance use disorders (SUDs) are characterized by impairment caused by the recurrent use of alcohol, illicit drugs, or both. SUDs are pervasive and endemic among US adolescents, with potentially negative health and social consequences. Although the term experimentation normalizes adolescent substance abuse, the long-term consequences of this behavior beginning…

Original Article

Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Colectomy Outcomes for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Objectives: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) encompasses Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). These two chronic inflammatory conditions can differ in severity, presentation, and anatomical localization, and can greatly affect quality of life if not managed properly. Given the many healthcare challenges during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, we studied…

Posted in: Gastroenterology40

Original Article

Evaluation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Curriculum of a Pediatrics Residency Program

Objectives: Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training is essential to graduate medical education, but it lacks standardization. Although the impact of providers’ biases and cultural competency on patient outcomes is well documented, the value of and satisfaction with DEI curricula in Pediatrics residency training programs is not well studied. This…

Original Article

Prevalence of Women in Medicine Programs at University-Based Internal Medicine Residency Programs

Objective: Women physicians face various forms of inequities during their training process that inhibit them from reaching their full potential. As a response, several academic institutions have established women in medicine (WIM) programs as a support system. Our objective was to investigate the prevalence of WIM programs at university-based Internal…

Original Article

Exploring Communication about Fall Risk and Prevention between Internal Medicine Residents and Geriatric Patients: A Needs Assessment

Objectives: In the United States, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for geriatric patients. With a growing aging population, medical trainees must gain experience with geriatric assessments, including fall risk and prevention. To the authors’ knowledge, no prior studies have explored who most often initiates fall…

Posted in: Principles of the Geriatric Assessment1

Perspectives

Help Me Help You: How to Request a Letter of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation (LORs) are an essential component of a career in medicine. The process for obtaining certain letters, particularly those associated with scheduled periods of professional transition, often is governed by established institutional or specialty norms. The process of requesting LORs in more common scenarios—local or national awards, committee…

Original Article

Effect of Delirium on Interhospital Transfer Outcomes

Objectives: Interhospital transfer (IHT) and in-hospital delirium are both independently associated with increased length of stay (LOS), mortality, and discharge to facility. Our objective was to investigate the joint effects between IHT and the presence of in-hospital delirium on the outcomes of LOS, discharge to a facility, and in-hospital mortality….

Letter to the Editor

Impact of Psoriasis on Patients’ Social Network Behavior

To the Editor: Social media has an increasingly important role in life. Healthcare-related topics make up an important aspect of social posts because approximately 25% of social media users follow friends’ health updates online and approximately 10% post about their own health.1 The impact of social media on our actual…

Posted in: Dermatology10

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