Training in psychosomatic medicine: A psychiatric subspecialty recognized in the United States by the American Board of Medical Specialties
ABSTRACT Psychosomatic Medicine (PM) is a subspecialty of Psychiatry approved by the American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in 2003. Since its approval, subspecialty training programs in PM have been created in the United States. Training programs are designed to educate trainees in the psychiatric care of the complex medically ill, and are centered around development of certain core competencies by trainees. Completion of an ACGME-accredited training program in PM allows the graduate to sit for the PM subspecialty board examination. Development of centers with academic PM programs will lead to an increase in the depth of knowledge about the care of the complex medically ill with psychiatric comorbidities, and may thus lead to improved medical outcomes for this population. There are also individual benefits to subspecialty training in PM. In addition, there are barriers to extended postgraduate training that may require systems-level interventions to overcome.
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ABSTRACT: Patients and purchasers prefer board-certified physicians, but whether these physicians provide better quality of care and outcomes for hospitalized patients is unclear. We evaluated whether care by board-certified physicians after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was associated with higher use of clinical guideline recommended therapies and lower 30-day mortality. We examined 101,251 Medicare patients hospitalized for AMI in the United States and compared use of aspirin, beta-blockers, and 30-day mortality according to the attending physicians' board certification in family practice, internal medicine, or cardiology. Board-certified family practitioners had slightly higher use of aspirin (admission: 51.1% vs 46.0%; discharge: 72.2% vs 63.9%) and beta-blockers (admission: 44.1% vs 37.1%; discharge: 46.2% vs 38.7%) than nonboard-certified family practitioners. There was a similar pattern in board-certified Internists for aspirin (admission: 53.7% vs 49.6%; discharge: 78.2% vs 68.8%) and beta-blockers (admission: 48.9% vs 44.1%; discharge: 51.2% vs 47.1). Board-certified cardiologists had higher use of aspirin compared with cardiologists certified in internal medicine only or without any board certification (admission: 61.3% vs 53.1% vs 52.1%; discharge: 82.2% vs 71.8% vs 71.5%) and beta-blockers (admission: 52.9% vs 49.6% vs 41.5%; discharge: 54.7% vs 50.6% vs 42.5%). In multivariate regression analyses, board certification was not associated with differences in 30-day mortality. Treatment by a board-certified physician was associated with modestly higher quality of care for AMI, but not differences in mortality. Regardless of board certification, all physicians had opportunities to improve quality of care for AMI.Journal of General Internal Medicine 04/2006; 21(3):238-44. DOI:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00326.x · 3.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Psychiatric disorders are common in HIV patients, and previous work suggests that these patients experience delays in treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). We investigated whether a current psychiatric disorder (1) affected the time to initiation of HAART, (2) predicted the likelihood of being prescribed HAART for at least 6 months, and (3) affected survival in urban AIDS patients. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of AIDS patients with no prior history of HAART who were enrolled and followed at the Johns Hopkins University HIV clinic between January 1996 and January 2002. Patients were stratified based on the presence of a psychiatric disorder. Cox proportional hazards regression models estimated the relative risk of receiving HAART and survival, whereas multivariate logistic regression models estimated the relative odds of remaining on HAART. During the study period, 549 patients with AIDS and no prior antiretroviral treatment were enrolled in the clinic. Eighteen percent (n = 100) were defined as having a current psychiatric disorder, 39% (n = 215) were defined as having no psychiatric disorder, and 43% (n = 34) were indeterminate. Patients with a psychiatric disorder were 37% more likely to receive HAART (Cox adjusted hazard ratio [95% confidence interval (CI)]: 1.37 [1.01-1.87]), had greater than twice the odds of being prescribed HAART for at least 6 months (adjusted odds ratio [95% CI]: 2.14 [1.24-3.69]), and were 40% more likely to survive (Cox adjusted hazard ratio [95% CI]: 0.61[0.37-0.99]) as compared with those without a psychiatric disorder. Patients with psychiatric disorders are receiving HAART and are able to reap the survival benefit by remaining on it.JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 01/2005; 37(4):1457-63. DOI:10.1097/01.qai.0000136739.01219.6d · 4.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The relationship between physicians' cognitive skill and the delivery of evidence-based processes of care is not well characterized.Therefore, we set out to determine associations between general internists' performance on the American Board of Internal Medicine maintenance of certification examination and the receipt of important processes of care by Medicare patients. Physicians were grouped into quartiles based on their performance on the American Board of Internal Medicine examination. Hierarchical generalized linear models examined associations between examination scores and the receipt of processes of care by Medicare patients. The main outcome measures were the associations between diabetes care, using a composite measure of hemoglobin A(1c), and lipid testing and retinal screening, mammography, and lipid testing in patients with cardiovascular disease and the physician's performance on the American Board of Internal Medicine examination, adjusted for the number of Medicare patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease in a physician's practice panel; frequency of visits; patient comorbidity, age, and ethnicity; and physician training history and type of practice. Physicians scoring in the top quartile were more likely to perform processes of care for diabetes (composite measure odds ratio [OR], 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07-1.27) and mammography screening (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.08-1.21) than physicians in the lowest physician quartile, even after adjustment for multiple factors. There was no significant difference among the groups in lipid testing of patients with cardiovascular disease (OR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.91-1.10). Our findings suggest that physician cognitive skills, as measured by a maintenance of certification examination, are associated with higher rates of processes of care for Medicare patients.Archives of internal medicine 08/2008; 168(13):1396-403. DOI:10.1001/archinte.168.13.1396 · 13.25 Impact Factor