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1.  Seasonality and Coronary Heart Disease Deaths in United States Firefighters 
Chronobiology international  2007;24(4):715-726.
United States firefighters have a high on-duty fatality rate and coronary heart disease is the leading cause. Seasonality affects the incidence of cardiovascular events in the general population, but its effects on firefighters are unknown. We statistically examined the seasonal and annual variation of all on-duty coronary heart disease deaths among US firefighters between 1994 and 2004 using the chi-square distribution and Poisson regression model of the monthly fatality counts. We also examined the effect of ambient temperature (apparent as well as wind chill temperature) on coronary heart disease fatalities during the study span using a time-stratified, case-crossover study design. When grouped by season, we observed the distribution of the 449 coronary heart disease fatalities to show a relative peak in winter (32%) and relative nadir in spring (21%). This pattern was significantly different (p=0.005) from the expected distribution under the null hypothesis where season has no effect. The pattern persisted in additional analyses, stratifying the deaths by the type of duty in which the firefighters were engaged at the time of their deaths. In the Poisson regression model of the monthly fatality counts, the overall goodness-of-fit between the actual and predicted case counts was excellent ( χ42 = 16.63; p = 0.002). Two distinct peaks were detected, one in January-February and the other in August-September. Overall, temperature was not associated with increased risk of on-duty death. After allowing for different effects of temperature in mild/hot versus cold periods, a 1°C increase was not protective in cold weather, nor did it increase the risk of death in warmer weather. The findings of this study reveal statistical evidence for excess coronary heart disease deaths among firefighters during winter; however, the temporal pattern coronary heart disease deaths was not linked to temperature variation. We also found the seasonal pattern to be independent of duty-related risks.
PMCID: PMC3756551  PMID: 17701682
Coronary Heart Disease; Seasonality; Chronobiology; Firefighters; Temperature
2.  In-Training Practice Patterns of Combined Emergency Medicine/Internal Medicine Residents, 2003–2007 
This study seeks to evaluate the practice patterns of current combined emergency medicine/internal medicine (EM/IM) residents during their training and compare them to the typical practice patterns of EM/IM graduates. We further seek to characterize how these current residents perceive the EM/IM physician's niche.
This is a multi-institution, cross-sectional, survey-based cohort study. Between June 2008 and July 2008, all 112 residents of the 11 EM/IM programs listed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education were contacted and asked to complete a survey concerning plans for certification, fellowship, and practice setting.
The adjusted response rate was 71%. All respondents anticipated certifying in both specialties, with 47% intending to pursue fellowships. Most residents (97%) allotted time to both EM and IM, with a median time of 70% and 30%, respectively. Concerning academic medicine, 81% indicated intent to practice academic medicine, and 96% planned to allocate at least 10% of their future time to a university/academic setting. In evaluating satisfaction, 94% were (1) satisfied with their residency choice, (2) believed that a combined residency will advance their career, and (3) would repeat a combined residency if given the opportunity.
Current EM/IM residents were very content with their training and the overwhelming majority of residents plan to devote time to the practice of academic medicine. Relative to the practice patterns previously observed in EM/IM graduates, the current residents are more inclined toward pursuing fellowships and practicing both specialties.
PMCID: PMC3236164  PMID: 22224155

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