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1.  The pitfalls of premature closure: clinical decision-making in a case of aortic dissection 
BMJ Case Reports  2011;2011:bcr0820114594.
Premature closure is a type of cognitive error in which the physician fails to consider reasonable alternatives after an initial diagnosis is made. It is a common cause of delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis borne out of a faulty clinical decision-making process. The authors present a case of aortic dissection in which premature closure was avoided by the aggressive pursuit of the appropriate differential diagnosis, and discuss the importance of disciplined clinical decision-making in the setting of chest pain.
PMCID: PMC3189641  PMID: 22679162
2.  Predicting performance using background characteristics of international medical graduates in an inner-city university-affiliated Internal Medicine residency training program 
IMGs constitute about a third of the United States (US) internal medicine graduates. US residency training programs face challenges in selection of IMGs with varied background features. However data on this topic is limited. We analyzed whether any pre-selection characteristics of IMG residents in our internal medicine program are associated with selected outcomes, namely competency based evaluation, examination performance and success in acquiring fellowship positions after graduation.
We conducted a retrospective study of 51 IMGs at our ACGME accredited teaching institution between 2004 and 2007. Background resident features namely age, gender, self-reported ethnicity, time between medical school graduation to residency (pre-hire time), USMLE step I & II clinical skills scores, pre-GME clinical experience, US externship and interest in pursuing fellowship after graduation expressed in their personal statements were noted. Data on competency-based evaluations, in-service exam scores, research presentation and publications, fellowship pursuance were collected. There were no fellowships offered in our hospital in this study period. Background features were compared between resident groups according to following outcomes: (a) annual aggregate graduate PGY-level specific competency-based evaluation (CBE) score above versus below the median score within our program (scoring scale of 1 – 10), (b) US graduate PGY-level specific resident in-training exam (ITE) score higher versus lower than the median score, and (c) those who succeeded to secure a fellowship within the study period. Using appropriate statistical tests & adjusted regression analysis, odds ratio with 95% confidence intervals were calculated.
94% of the study sample were IMGs; median age was 35 years (Inter-Quartile range 25th – 75th percentile (IQR): 33–37 years); 43% women and 59% were Asian physicians. The median pre-hire time was 5 years (IQR: 4–7 years) and USMLE step I & step II clinical skills scores were 85 (IQR: 80–88) & 82 (IQR: 79–87) respectively. The median aggregate CBE scores during training were: PG1 5.8 (IQR: 5.6–6.3); PG2 6.3 (IQR 6–6.8) & PG3 6.7 (IQR: 6.7 – 7.1). 25% of our residents scored consistently above US national median ITE scores in all 3 years of training and 16% pursued a fellowship.
Younger residents had higher aggregate annual CBE score than the program median (p < 0.05). Higher USMLE scores were associated with higher than US median ITE scores, reflecting exam-taking skills. Success in acquiring a fellowship was associated with consistent fellowship interest (p < 0.05) and research publications or presentations (p <0.05). None of the other characteristics including visa status were associated with the outcomes.
Background IMG features namely, age and USMLE scores predict performance evaluation and in-training examination scores during residency training. In addition enhanced research activities during residency training could facilitate fellowship goals among interested IMGs.
PMCID: PMC2717068  PMID: 19594918
3.  Colorectal Tumors Within an Urban Minority Population in New York City 
Data on gender- and age-specific predisposition to colorectal tumors and colorectal tumor location and stage among the urban minority population in Northeastern United States is limited.
To study the age and gender distribution of colorectal tumor type, location, and stage of colorectal tumors among urban minorities.
Retrospective analysis of a database of 4,043 consecutive colonoscopies performed over a 2-year period.
Of study participants, 99% were Hispanic or African American and two-thirds were women. Age, gender, colonoscopy findings, and biopsy results were analyzed in all study subjects. Outcome measures are expressed as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).
Colonoscopies, 2,394 (63.4%), were performed for cancer screening. Women had higher visit volume adjusted odds to undergo colonoscopy (OR 1.35; CI 1.26–1.44, P < .001). Individuals, 960 (23.7%), had adenomas, and 82 (2.0%) had colorectal cancer. Although cancers were outnumbered by adenomas in the colon proximal to splenic flexure (OR 0.48; CI 0.29–0.80 P = .002), 51% of all abnormalities and 35.4% of cancers were found in this region. Of cancers, 75% belonged to AJCC stage 0 to 2. Men had higher odds for both adenomas and cancers (OR 2.38, CI 2.0–2.82, P < .001). More polyps occurred at a younger age. Of the cancers, 38% were noted among the 50- to 59-year-old subjects. However, the odds of colorectal cancers were higher at age greater than 70 years (OR 1.91; CI 1.09–3.27, P < .05), specifically among men (OR 2.27, 95% CI 1.07–4.65, P < .05).
Our study of colonoscopies demonstrates lower odds of colonoscopy after adjusting for visit volume and greater predilection for colorectal cancer among urban minority men. Although older individuals were more likely to have colorectal cancer, a high percentage of colorectal tumors were noted at a younger age. These findings emphasize the vital need for preventive health education and improving early access to colorectal screening among urban minority men. A large proportion of colorectal tumors were found proximal to splenic flexure, which supports colonoscopy as the preferred method for colorectal cancer screening in the urban minority population in New York City.
PMCID: PMC2219849  PMID: 17370031
colonoscopy; minority; Hispanic; colorectal cancer; adenoma
4.  The research rotation: competency-based structured and novel approach to research training of internal medicine residents 
In the United States, the Accreditation Council of graduate medical education (ACGME) requires all accredited Internal medicine residency training programs to facilitate resident scholarly activities. However, clinical experience and medical education still remain the main focus of graduate medical education in many Internal Medicine (IM) residency-training programs. Left to design the structure, process and outcome evaluation of the ACGME research requirement, residency-training programs are faced with numerous barriers. Many residency programs report having been cited by the ACGME residency review committee in IM for lack of scholarly activity by residents.
We would like to share our experience at Lincoln Hospital, an affiliate of Weill Medical College Cornell University New York, in designing and implementing a successful structured research curriculum based on ACGME competencies taught during a dedicated "research rotation".
Since the inception of the research rotation in 2004, participation of our residents among scholarly activities has substantially increased. Our residents increasingly believe and appreciate that research is an integral component of residency training and essential for practice of medicine.
Internal medicine residents' outlook in research can be significantly improved using a research curriculum offered through a structured and dedicated research rotation. This is exemplified by the improvement noted in resident satisfaction, their participation in scholarly activities and resident research outcomes since the inception of the research rotation in our internal medicine training program.
PMCID: PMC1630691  PMID: 17044924
5.  Letter to the editor 
Critical Care  2005;9(4):414-416.
PMCID: PMC1269425  PMID: 16137393

Results 1-5 (5)