• ASSOCIATION NOTES Dentists Get Cancer Ed

    The American Dental Association has received a $1.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop and implement a continuing education program to teach dentists oral cancer prevention. The goal of the five-year grant is to increase the number of dentists who counsel at-risk patients about stopping tobacco use, according to principal investigator Sol Silverman, DDS, professor of oral medicine, University of California at San Francisco. The program, he added, also will lay the foundation to increase detection of oral cancer at its earliest stage.

    “Initially, our project will target practicing dentists in the United States,” Silverman explains. “We also will explore the potential use of this continuing education program for other healthcare professionals, including dental hygienists, nurse practitioners, and primary care physicians.”

  • NOTABLE MEETINGS Docs Fail at Heart Failure Treatment

    Despite strong evidence demonstrating the benefits of adding beta-blockers to standard therapy, thousands of heart failure patients are not receiving this class of drugs, according to data presented in September at the Heart Failure Society of America 6th Annual Scientific Meeting. The data is based on a nationwide survey of 400 cardiologists, internists, and general practitioners — the first in a series of surveys that together support the ongoing educational program called the Heart Failure Report Card. Eighty-seven percent of physicians polled say they clearly understand the benefits of beta-blockers, however, they report that they prescribe beta-blockers to only one-third of their heart failure patients. Based on the responses, researchers concluded that the key to optimizing heart failure treatment is education about the use of emerging therapies. A new Web site, www.HeartFailureReportCard.org, has been developed to help visitors learn more about heart failure and ways to manage the condition.

    Pain Meetings May Attract Headlines

    State regulators are taking steps to help physicians provide relief to cancer patients and others suffering from chronic pain, according to pain policy expert Aaron M. Gilson, PhD, chief policy researcher and assistant director of the University of Wisconsin Pain & Policy Studies Group. Despite the availability of many approaches to the treatment of pain, it remains inadequately managed due in part to concerns about addiction and legal sanctions. The American Academy of Pain Medicine will be address these issues during its 19th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, from February 18 to 23, 2003. And, from February 20 to 23, the American Society of Pain Management Nurses will hold its 2003 annual conference in Kansas City, Mo. Expect headlines to be generated from each of these meetings.

  • GENDER DEMOGRAPHICS That's Why the Lady Is a Vet

    By 2005, women will become the majority of veterinary medicine professionals, says the American Veterinary Medical Association. While the number of female veterinarians in the United States has more than doubled since 1991, to 24,356, the number of male veterinarians has fallen 15 percent, to 33,461, reports the Employment Policy Foundation, which analyzes data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although women have made great strides in other professions, like law and medicine, where they make up about half of the students, the rapid increase in the number of women in veterinary medicine, a profession once almost exclusively male, is striking.