Musings: Blog of the JAAPA Editorial Board
Blog of the JAAPA editorial board.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Thanks for joining us at AAPA 2017. We’ll be publishing a selection of poster abstracts online later this yearbe sure to visit to read them.

Don’t miss these great sessions today:
Common Patient Presentations With Unusual Diagnoses: Think Zebras, Not Horses, presented by James Van Rhee MS, PA-C, from 10-11 a.m. in Level 3, South Seas Ballroom CDF.

Postoperative confusion in older adults, presented by Freddi Segal-Gidan, PA, PhD, from 4-5 p.m. in Level 3, South Seas Ballroom ABE.

Be sure to mark your calendar for AAPA 2018 (May 19-23 in New Orleans) and AAPA 2019 (May 18-22 in Denver). And come visit us at the Wolters Kluwer booth!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Today is the last day for the exhibit hall, which is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come visit JAAPA at booth 1007. Snap a selfie at the booth, upload it to social media with the hashtag #jaapa50, and receive a gift.

More than 250 exhibitors showcase the latest medical technology, education and career resources, pharmaceutical therapies, and treatment tools. Wear your comfortable shoes, get your 10,000 steps in, and have brunch at 11 a.m. from various "brunch bites" stations in the exhibit hall.

The King is dead; long live the King: Get a photo with Elvis from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. today. Fun fact: Elvis can trace his ancestry back to a small Long Island town called Southold, making him a distant cousin of a JAAPA editor.

Want a chance to win cash? Play Medical Pursuit and enter to win a daily cash prize. Playing is easy–just use the playing card found in your conference bag and visit booths to get answers to your questions. Once you have all of your answers, drop off your card into one of the designated boxes at the entrance to the exhibit hall for your chance to win!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Be sure to come out tonight to cheer on your favorite team at the National Medical Challenge Bowl. Miami-Dade College won last year (and in 2014)--can they repeat? The event is in Level 2, Mandalay Bay Ballroom EFGH. Eighty-one teams will battle for the title, answering more than 250 questions about medicine.

At the Challenge Bowl, JAAPA will formally present awards to the winners of the 2017 Tanya Gregory Student Writing Contest. The winning article in the clinical category is the February 2016 CME article “Evaluating scrotal masses” by Peter O’Reilly, PA-C; Jennifer Le, PA-C; Anna Sinyavskaya, PA-C; and Ellen D. Mandel, DMH, MPA, PA-C, of the Pace University-Lenox Hill Hospital PA program in New York City. The winner in the nonclinical category is the April 2016 Becoming a PA article “Contact precautions,” by Cameron Young Sweeney, a second-year student in the Wake Forest School of Medicine PA program in Winston-Salem, N.C. Congratulations to the winners for their excellent articles. Stay tuned to for details on next year's student writing contest.

Speaking of awards, we’re pleased to announce that JAAPA won a gold for Best Case History in the 2017 American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors editorial contest. The article, “An unusual cause of pericardial effusion,” by Christina Lamkin, PA-C, and Lawrence R. Hamner III, MD, appeared in the September 2016 issue of the journal, and attracted a bit of media attention last fall. You  may not have encountered quite so unusual a story, but if you have an unusual case report, consider writing it up for our Difficult Diagnosis department. Author guidelines are here

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

​Conference registration is open from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. today through Thursday, and 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday on the Level 2 foyer. A blood drive by the American Red Cross takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today in Level 2, Surf EF.

Connect to the wifi network AAPA17 with the password Beyond50. Then head to the PA History Society (open 7 a.m.-4 p.m. today through Thursday on the Level 2 foyer). Pick up cool giveaways including a special edition poster, water bottles, pens, and a comic book featuring Chipper Wallet, PA-C (more about Chipper and other PAs in the media in our July issue).

Zubin Damania, MD, delivers the keynote speech at 4 p.m. today. Damania is a sought-after speaker, thought leader, and physician who has delivered two TEDMED talks on the frustrations of practicing medicine in a broken system. A former hospitalist at Stanford, he’s also known for his popular medical rap videos and comedy sketches under his alter ego, ZDogg, MD. In this session, he’ll explore the root causes of dysfunction in the healthcare system and explain how new models can alleviate some of these challenges and improve patient care delivery.

Today is research day. This morning, Research in Action (RIA) presentations will feature research that aims to further understanding of and advance the PA profession. The afternoon’s RIA presentations will focus on research that may be used to advance treatment options for patients.

The AAPA ePoster Stations, open through Friday on the Level 3 foyer, feature original research from PAs, PA students, and other professionals on topics from case studies and clinical research to educational and outreach innovations. Select ePoster abstracts will be published online by JAAPA later this year and will be indexed in Ovid. ePoster Meet the Author Sessions are held from 12 to 2 p.m. daily through Friday.

Even if you’re not a researcher, one simple way you can support PA research is to become a peer reviewer. Both ePosters and the RIA series rely on peer reviewers from JAAPA to maintain the high quality of submissions and participants. And JAAPA uses peer reviewers extensively to review journal articles. Join us from 10-11:30 a.m. in Level 2, Surf A for a workshop on how to become a peer reviewer. Meet JAAPA editors and editorial board members and put your clinical expertise to use helping to improve your journal!

The exhibit hall will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Thursday. Look for JAAPA at booth 1007. Take a selfie at our booth, upload it to social media with the hashtag #jaapa50, and receive a gift! An interactive map of the exhibit hall is here.

Need information? The information desk is on the Level 3 foyer. Also on Level 3, in Palm F, you'll find a lactation room for nursing mothers, open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. today through Thursday, and 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday.

First time in Vegas? Here are some tips and precautions. Remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, unless you post it on social media :D

Monday, April 17, 2017

Brian T. Maurer, PA-C

If you’ve got a moment to spare in your typical 24/7 online presence, consider perusing Licata and Baker’s timely article “Updated guidelines on digital media use by children” in this issue of JAAPA.  (Disclosure: It’s only available online.)

Licata and Baker provide busy clinicians with an overview of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP’s) updated guidelines for counseling parents and children on the judicious use of electronic devices.The AAP’s 2011 guideline suggested limiting screen time to less than 2 hours a day for children ages 3 to 18 years, with 2 hours of screen abstinence before bedtime; children under age 2 years were to go completely without screen time. Current guidelines suggest that digital media should be used sparingly in children under age 2 years. (Many children tap their first app on a digital device while they are still in diapers.)

Clinicians need to encourage parents to set reasonable boundaries in the digital world for their children. The authors reference two groups—the Center on Media and Child Health and Common Sense Media—dedicated to promoting responsible digital media use.

Blue light from digital screens can decrease the production of melatonin, adversely affecting sleep. Given the statistics that one-third of children under age 3 years have a TV in their bedroom and 72% of children ages 6 to 17 years have at least one digital screen in their bedroom, we can now add digital media to the list of differential diagnoses for insomnia. The authors highlight state-of-the-art technologies now available to reduce blue light interference.

So, start the conversation: educate and empower parents to reduce screen time and promote improved sleep in their children.
(Clinical pearl: If you can’t convince parents to remove multiple digital devices from their children’s sleeping chamber, consider having them remove the child instead. There’s less unplugging required.)

I encourage all primary care clinicians to tweet and retweet this timely online-only article. (hashtag #reducedigitalmediauseinchildren-andotherhomosapiens.)

And now dear reader, if you would be so kind to excuse me: my spouse has just texted that dinner is being served downstairs.

Brian T. Maurer has practiced general pediatrics for more than 30 years. He is the author of Patients Are a Virtue and blogs at The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and may not reflect AAPA policies.