Rarely does the World Health Organization declare a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” but this happened Feb. 1, in response to an unusual cluster of neonatal malformations, specifically microcephaly, recognized in South and Central America over the last few months. Our lead story this month is on the topic of the Zika virus, and we are very grateful to Drs. Kontra and Bayliss for helping to educate us about this evolving threat to our prenatal patients. For those physicians with further questions, Dr. Kontra will deliver the Family Medicine Grand Rounds on this subject at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16, in Stager. If you are unable to attend, the event will be archived for viewing at your convenience.
 
If you are feeling “burned out” these days, a recent national survey tells us that you are not alone. Our story on physician burnout highlights this issue and identifies the medical specialties at greatest risk. You might want to take your dose of Xanax before you read that story. Please also see the updates from our Physician Advisor team, as well as news from the Blood Utilization Committee regarding modifications to our Massive Transfusion Protocol and expedited blood release policy. We also summarize the comments of Dr. Victor Freeman from a recent CME event regarding proper clinical documentation, which should be of value to us all in the environment of the Affordable Care Act.

Finally, in case you did not hear, the most important news is that the groundhog did not see his shadow this week, so we look forward to an early spring. Carl Manelius assures me that the groundhog is never wrong, so let’s hope they are both right!

Tony

Charles A. Castle, MD
Associate Physician Executive
Progress Notes' Editor-in-Chief
charles.castle@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

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