The Role of the Medical Consultant

Hugo Q. Cheng, MD and Leonard Feldman, MD

SUMMARY

Medical consultation is an important clinical component for most hospitalists. Traditionally, consultants evaluated patients at the request of the referring physician (RP) and provided an assessment and recommendations. Today, hospitalists are also asked to provide both “curbside” advice and more comprehensive comanagement of medical problems. Hospitalists who are effective consultants communicate skillfully and act professionally. The following module describes the different roles that hospitalists can perform as medical consultants and provides strategies for improving communication and RP satisfaction.

GOAL

To educate hospitalists about their evolving role as medical consultants and to improve patient care by improving the consultant’s ability to communicate with and understand the needs of the referring physicians.

TARGET AUDIENCE

This activity is designed for hospitalists.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After completing the module, the participant will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Recognize why consult medicine is an important topic and describe how it has been traditionally performed.
  2. Compare the different responsibilities and expectations of the medical consultant when performing comanagement or curbside consultation.
  3. Assess strategies that may increase referring physician (RP) compliance with the consultant’s recommendations.
  4. Propose methods that promote more effective communication with RPs through verbal discussion.
  5. Formulate methods that promote more effective communication with RPs through written consultation reports.
  6. Propose professional behavior for medical consultants.
CME INFORMATION

Accreditation Statement:
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint sponsorship of University of Virginia School of Medicine, ASiM, and the Society of Hospital Medicine. The University of Virginia School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation Statement:
The University of Virginia School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Release date: October 6, 2014. Expiration date: October 6, 2017.

Estimated time to complete activity: 2 hours

FACULTY & FACULTY DISCLOSURES

Full Disclosure Policy Affecting CME Activities:
The University of Virginia School of Medicine, as an ACCME accredited provider, endorses and strives to comply with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) Standards of Commercial Support, Commonwealth of Virginia statutes, University of Virginia policies and procedures, and associated federal and private regulations and guidelines on the need for disclosure and monitoring of proprietary and financial interests that may affect the scientific integrity and balance of content delivered in continuing medical education activities under our auspices.

The University of Virginia School of Medicine requires that all CME activities accredited through this institution be developed independently and be scientifically rigorous, balanced and objective in the presentation/discussion of its content, theories and practices.

All faculty presenters participating in an accredited CME activity are expected to disclose relevant financial relationships with commercial entities occurring within the past 12 months (such as grants or research support, employee, consultant, stock holder, member of speakers bureau, etc.). The University of Virginia School of Medicine will employ appropriate mechanisms to resolve potential conflicts of interest to maintain the standards of fair and balanced education to the participant. Questions about specific strategies can be directed to the Office of Continuing Medical Education, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia.

The faculty and staff of the University of Virginia Office of Continuing Medical Education have no financial affiliations to disclose.

Leonard Feldman, MD (Chair)
Associate Professor of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 
Med-Peds Urban Health Residency Program Director
Associate Program Director, Osler Medical Residency
Director, Comprehensive General Medicine Consult Service
Editor, Consultative & Perioperative Medicine Essentials for Hospitalists
Baltimore, Maryland
Dr Feldman reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.

Hugo Q. Cheng, MD
Clinical Professor of Medicine 
Division of Hospital Medicine
Director, Medicine Consultation Service and Comanagement with Neurosurgery Service 
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California
Dr Cheng reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.

Bartho Caponi, MD (Peer Reviewer)
Clinical Assistant Professor
Division of Hospital Medicine
University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics
Madison, Wisconsin
Dr Caponi reports having no significant financial or advisory relationships with corporate organizations related to this activity.

Disclosure of Discussion of Non-FDA–Approved Uses for Pharmaceutical Products and/or Medical Devices
The University of Virginia School of Medicine, as an ACCME provider, requires that all faculty presenters identify and disclose any off-label uses for pharmaceutical and medical device products. The University of Virginia School of Medicine recommends that each physician fully review all the available data on new products or procedures prior to clinical use.

Off-Label Product Discussion:
All faculty have indicated that they have not referenced unlabeled or unapproved uses of drugs or devices.

DISCLAIMER

The opinions and recommendations expressed by faculty and other experts whose input is included in this program are their own. This enduring material is produced for educational purposes only. Use of the University of Virginia School of Medicine name implies review of educational format design and approach. Please review the complete prescribing information of specific drugs or combination of drugs, including indications, contraindications, warnings and adverse effects before administering pharmacologic therapy to patients.

Click here to download the references for this educational activity.

INSTRUCTIONS

The following is an interactive educational module designed to help you gauge your basic knowledge of the topic and then direct you to areas you may need to focus on. It consists of 3 sections: an unaccredited pre-test, a study program, and a CME post-test. All 3 sections must be completed to receive CME credit.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 2.00 Equivalent
Course opens: 
10/06/2014
Course expires: 
10/06/2017
Cost:
$0.00
Rating: 
0

Available Credit

  • 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 2.00 Equivalent

Accreditation Period

Course opens: 
10/06/2014
Course expires: 
10/06/2017

Price

Cost:
$0.00
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