Editorial

Introducing Hospital Images Dx—A call for submissions

Copyright © 2006 Society of Hospital Medicine

Of the many skills a hospitalist nurtures and develops, seeing and processing visual images is paramount. From the moment we enter the hospital each day, we look at patient faces, trying to fathom their levels of pain, of illness, and of response to therapy. We look at their rashes, facial droops, surgical wounds, and neck vein elevation. When we are done visually scrutinizing our patients, we inspect their rhythm strips or electrocardiograms and then move on to their X‐rays and advanced imaging.

Although we are, in a sense, slaves to the images before us, we also enjoy medicine for the challenge that these images providethere is always something novel to see. For the experienced clinician, a deep sense of satisfaction perfuses our limbic system with the quick recognition of the delta wave of Wolf‐Parkinson‐White on an EKG or the first vesicle of a zoster outbreak in a patient with initially unexplained cutaneous pain. What we recognize easily tends to come from having seen something beforefor better or worse, we depend on pattern recognition.

Unfortunately, we are all busier than we like and receive more journals than we have time to read. To make JHM even more germane and stimulating, we are initiating Hospital Images Dx. The main goal of Hospital Images Dx will be to show interesting images that a hospitalist might encounter, both the common and the obscure. Images, whether subtle or awe‐inspiring, should generally be able to speak the proverbial thousand words. To supplement those thousand words spoken by the submitted image, accompanying text will be limited to 250 words. The text should give a brief clinical summary of the patient's problem, relevant adjunct data, and 1 or 2 succinct teaching points related to the image. Our goal, simply stated, is for the reader to walk away after reading Hospital Images Dx with an image and a couple of key teaching points stored away for a rainy day.

We anticipate a substantial number of exciting submissions to Hospital Images Dx. Health care providers clearly get excited about the things they see as well as about the recordsthe imagesthat document both mundane and unusual encounters with a patient or a patient's data. We hope to tap into this enthusiasm and to teach a few things along the way. The editors look forward to receiving your Hospital Images Dx submission soon!

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