Letter from the editor

*Please note: you cannot receive credits for this posting*

By Dr. Steve Wong

It’s hard to believe that this is our 7th year at This Changed My Practice. I’m still pleasantly surprised at the range of topics we get and the responses from our readers. While we do feature major clinical trials that address “Big Topics” like heart failure, we also strive to provide articles that are practical and impactful in your practice. While major randomized trials form the basis of how we deal with many major diseases, we also need resources to help us with the common, day-to-day ailments patients present with. I hope that you’ve found TCMP to be a unique and approachable resource that offers a mix of new data and actionable topics that enhances your practice.

As in other years, the articles that seemed to resonate the most with our readers were indeed ones that addressed the more practical, common issues:

Top 5 articles (by number of responses) that will change reader’s practices:

  1. MOVE an injury not RICE by Dr. Jennifer Robinson
  2. Whether or not to use systemic corticosteroids to treat a skin disease by Dr. Eileen Murray
  3. Symptoms attributed to Chronic Lyme Disease by Dr. Ric Arseneau
  4. Indications and value of self-administered vaginal swabs for STIs and vaginitis by Dr. Roberto Leon
  5. Geriatric urinary incontinence: just ask! by Dr. Martha Spencer

This year, we’ve also presented some articles that could act as a toolkit and summary of guidelines:

  1. First Canadian guideline on perioperative cardiac risk assessment and management for patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery by Drs. Terence Yung and Erin Morley
  2. Step by step approach to determine the safety of prescribing Hormone Replacement Therapy by Dr. Roberto Leon
  3. Management of Perioperative Bridging Anticoagulation in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation by Drs. Christopher Cheung and Kenneth Gin
  4. Evaluation of penicillin allergy by Dr. Jennifer Grant

While we’re talking about actionable items, I’d also like to draw attention to the fact that security of your online accounts is more important than ever – not only for your patient’s privacy but for your own personal, financial and social safety. You’ll recall the prominent Equifax hack this year. Just this week, a database of 1.4 billion passwords from many sites was discovered online (https://thehackernews.com/2017/12/data-breach-password-list.html). Security is always a trade off between convenience and safety. Physicians are a very tempting target for hackers and I urge everyone to consider a password manager but even beyond that, learn about and activate 2-factor authentication for all of the accounts that offer it (logging in requires both a password and another factor such as a random number generator or a text message sent to your phone). Links for these topics below:

  1. Managing your passwords by Dr. David Topps
  2. Learn about 2-factor authentication: https://www.cnet.com/news/two-factor-authentication-what-you-need-to-know-faq/
  3. Sign up your email address to be alerted if it shows up on a hacker database (and use a unique password for this site, too!) https://breachalarm.com/

As always, thanks for being part of our TCMP family. On behalf of all of us at This Changed My Practice, I wish all of you a happy, healthy holiday season!

Steve Wong, MD, FRCPC
Internal Medicine
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, UBC
Medical Director, This Changed My Practice, UBC CPD


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