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General Internal Medicine

department of medicine

Section of general internal medicine

Scholarly Interests

 

The academic interests of the faculty of the Section of General Internal Medicine (GIM) are truly a reflection of their clinical practice. Scholarly endeavors of section faculty are broad, with GIM faculty collaborating with faculty members from other departments in the medical school, as well as faculty across the University.

Current scholarly endeavors include:

  • Decision making regarding colorectal cancer screening for low-literacy African American patients.  In collaboration with the Department of Public Health in the College of Health Professions, Drs. Stephanie Ward, Karen Lin, and Brian Meyer are involved in a multiyear project to improve Colorectal Cancer (CRC) screening among African Americans. Working together with Drs. Sheryl Ruzek, Thomas Gordan and Sarah Bass, they will study physician-patient communication and medical decision making as a means for improving CRC screening. Initial work on the internal medicine residents’ perceptions of patient barriers to CRC has recently been completed; ongoing investigative efforts of the group are focused on the understanding patient attitudes towards CRC screening.
  • Understanding patient knowledge and beliefs about obesity and weight loss.  With funding from the Department of Medicine through a faculty development award, Dr. Stephanie Ward is conducting a series of projects to first assess patient perceptions of the health risks associated with obesity as well as motivators and barriers to attempts at weight loss. Data from this project will be utilized to create and revise a health risk knowledge survey and a perceptual mapping instrument which will allow for comparisons of perceptions of obesity between races.
  • Family violence and health.  While the ill effects of violence in the home in children and young women are now well known, the same cannot be said about the effect of family violence on older women’s health. In her NIH funded study, Project Empower, Dr. Anuradha Paranjape will examine the associations between lifetime exposure to family violence and health outcomes among older African American women. Specifically, 300 women over the age of 60 years will be interviewed during or after a primary care visit; data from this study is expected to improve the way we define and measure family violence and understand the impact violence can have on those affected. Dr. Paranjape expects future work will focus on helping physicians identify and assist older survivors of family violence.
  • Black market drugs. Funded by grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the TUSM Office of Minority Affairs, Dr. Lawrence Ward is investigating the prevalence of patients taking prescription medications not specifically prescribed for them by a health professional. In collaboration with Dr. Nima Patel, an ambulatory clinical pharmacist in the Department of Pharmacy Practice of Temple University’s School of Pharmacy, face-to-face interviews are currently being conducted in several practice settings throughout Temple University Hospital.
  • Medical education.  Seeking to enrich ambulatory education for the residents, Drs. Brian Meyer and Lawrence Ward have recently developed several innovative outpatient experiences. These experiences include Palliative Care, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Health Care Financing and Nutrition. They are currently focusing on appropriate evaluation methods of the Health Care Financing and Nutrition electives to determine changes in attitudes, and improvement of knowledge and systems based practices of participating house staff. Future work will focus on evaluation of the other electives.

To promote interdisciplinary efforts in undergraduate medical education, Drs. Lawrence Kaplan, and Alisa Peet are collaborating with faculty in the Department of Nursing, School of Health Professions to study team building using simulation technology, and with Department of Psychiatry faculty to promote reflective learning strategies.

 

  • HIV Program.  The HIV Program, led by Drs. Ellen Tedaldi and Mary van den Berg-Wolf, has had an ongoing research program since its inception. Details regarding this program and current activities can be found on their web page.