Small-town physician inspires medical students to pursue family medicine | Study finds link between trauma, cardiovascular trouble in women | Antidepressants tied to risk of bone fracture among menopausal women
June 30, 2015
Family Medicine SmartBrief

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Small-town physician inspires medical students to pursue family medicine
Family physician Samuel Church’s passion for his work and his community has inspired a number of medical students to switch their specialty to family medicine. Church, based in Hiawassee, Ga., sees up to 30 patients a day and is on call 24/7. Brett Magner, M.D., said Church is "a community advocate and role model" and describes his rotation with Church as "crucial" to his decision to specialize in family medicine. AAFP News (6/29)
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Clinical News
Study finds link between trauma, cardiovascular trouble in women
An analysis of nearly 50,000 women, about 35,000 of whom had experienced a traumatic event, found that those who developed severe post-traumatic stress disorder were 60% more likely to experience a heart attack or stroke than those who did not go through a traumatic event. Women who experienced a traumatic event but did not develop PTSD were 45% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, researchers report in the journal Circulation. Researcher Jennifer Sumner said 10% of women will develop PTSD, and they are more likely to do so than men, so it's important to understand the physical health effects. HealthDay News (6/29)
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Antidepressants tied to risk of bone fracture among menopausal women
Menopausal women who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy may have increased odds of bone fractures. Women who took SSRIs experienced 76% more fractures by the end of the first year of treatment, according to a study in The BMJ, Injury Prevention. Lower bone mineral density may be the cause of the increased risk, according to the authors, who recommend considering shorter treatment periods. Medical News Today (6/28)
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U.S. adults lack awareness about their prediabetes, study finds
Diabetes test
A U.S. study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that only 288 people out of 2,694 adults with elevated HbA1C were aware of the problem. Researchers also found that adults who were aware of their condition were 30% more likely to exercise and engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, and almost 80% more likely to try losing weight and to have at least a 7% reduction in their body weight in the past year. Reuters (6/29)
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Study finds high obesity prevalence among childhood cancer survivors
A 1,996-patient study in the journal Cancer found that 36% of adults who were treated for cancer as children and survived the disease for at least 10 years were obese, higher than the percentages in earlier studies. Researchers also identified obesity in 45% of such patients who received cranial radiation treatment, compared with 29.4% of those who did not receive CRT. Obesity and genetic variation were also found to be connected in those patients who were exposed to CRT. Family Practice News (6/27)
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Practice Management
Study: Web-based tools show promise in helping patients with chronic pain
A study in Pain found that Web-based tools could reduce chronic pain patients' need for frequent face-to-face doctor consultations and help them manage their conditions. Researchers revealed that the anxiety, disability and average pain levels experienced by participants significantly decreased after they received online pain management programs for eight weeks, regardless of the frequency of their office visits with clinicians. Reuters (6/26)
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Health Policy & Legislation
Report: Many ACA exchanges have narrow physician networks
A new report shows that more than 40% of silver health plans on state and federal exchanges use networks comprising 25% or fewer physicians in the area. Such narrow networks enable insurers to lower costs by sending patients to high-value clinicians and cutting reimbursement levels in exchange for greater volume for physicians. The American College of Physicians has urged CMS and insurance regulators to revise standards for evaluating the adequacy of networks. Medscape (free registration) (6/26)
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Professional Issues & Trends
Survey: Patients want to connect online with physicians
More than one-third of respondents to a national survey said they had used e-mail to contact their physician and 18% had used Facebook to do so over the past six months, researchers report in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. About 57% said they wanted access to their medical information through their doctor's website. "The findings highlight the gap between patient interest for online communication and what physicians may currently provide," study leader Joy Lee said in a statement. The Huffington Post (6/29), Tech Times (6/25)
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Inside the AAFP
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AAFP CareerLink - Connecting Family Physicians and Employers
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Kindness, at least actual, is in our power, but fondness is not."
-- Samuel Johnson,
poet and essayist
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About AAFP
This news roundup is provided as a timely update to AAFP members and other health care professionals about family medicine topics in the news media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of family physicians who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues. Opinions expressed in Family Medicine SmartBrief are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the American Academy of Family Physicians. On occasion, media articles may include or imply incorrect information about the AAFP and its policies, positions or relationships. For clarification on AAFP positions and policies, we refer you to
External Resources are not a part of the AAFP website. AAFP is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AAFP. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by AAFP of the sponsors of the site or the information presented on the site.
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