News & Stories

George Litman, M.D.

Obesity Theme for 29th Annual Internal Medicine Update Course

Obesity isn’t often considered a clear winner. In the United States, 41 percent of the population is obese, and that’s nothing to cheer about. But its overwhelming importance as a public health risk made it a unanimous choice as a theme for this year’s Internal Medicine Update Course, says George Litman, M.D., professor emeritus and interim vice chair for education in the Department of Internal Medicine, who has chaired the event since 2008.

Dr. Litman was excited about the encompassing theme of obesity to connect a robust schedule of sessions and workshops held May 2, 3 and 4 at the Northeast Ohio Medical University Education and Wellness (NEW) Center. The department chairs who determine the educational sessions agreed: Obesity Concepts, Causes and Current Therapy: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach” would help them provide the latest approaches (diagnostic and therapeutic) to the obesity-related problems that primary care physicians see every day.

“I think it’s the best update course yet,’’ said the enthusiastic Dr. Litman on the second day of the three-day event.

Keeping primary care physicians current and patient-focused

For 29 years, NEOMED has served as an educational hub through the annual update course, bringing together primary care physicians for continuing education sessions. Notable presenters this year include Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, who delivered this year’s Harvey Lecture, titled “Advances in Cardiodiabetology.’’ Stephanie Moore, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, presented on the topic “The Future of Medicine: Returning to our Roots.’’

“The most important thing to me is that we are focusing on a single topic in a way that it’s useful to patients,’’ Dr. Litman said, noting that this is the first time the update has included workshops. At one Thursday afternoon workshop, physicians had the chance to refine their understanding of an oral physical exam. During a workshop on conducting a physical exam, they could find out how to use a special scope to examine skin lesions in a primary care setting.

And finally, they could participate in a hands-on session by Moshe Torem, M.D., professor of psychiatry, on mindful meditation—a technique that shows people how to relax—”including doctors!’’ Dr. Litman said with a laugh.

Most attendees were physicians, with a few nurse practitioners as well. NEOMED students were also welcome at sessions.