The internist in the surgical setting: results from the Italian FADOI-ER survey

Submitted: 5 February 2013
Accepted: 5 February 2013
Published: 4 March 2013
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More and more frequently, patients admitted to surgical wards present characteristics similar to those admitted to medical units. They are fragile patients, often elderly, with significant comorbidity. In recent years, to address these emerging clinical issues in a surgical setting, different organizational models involving specialists of different backgrounds were studied, and in particular involving internists and geriatricians. To widen our current knowledge, in 2011 the Federation of Associations of Hospital Doctors on Internal Medicine of Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy (FADOI-ER), proposed a questionnaire to the public healthcare internal medicine departments of the Emilia Romagna region to collect information as to in what way and to what extent internists are involved in the management of surgical patients. In this article, we analyze the results of the questionnaire and make some organizational considerations and proposals. The questionnaire was very simple, consisting of 14 items. The survey was conducted from 1-28 February 2011. Replies were received from 20 internal medicine departments of a total of 75 in the Emilia Romagna region. The FADOI-ER survey has some limitations, the first of which is that only just under 25% of internal medicine departments in the Emilia Romagna region took part. However, the results are still interesting and seem to suggest that internists, because of their particular cultural background and training, could be the preferred partners for comanagement within the context of inpatient surgical procedures. The results of the FADOI-ER questionnaire are also consistent with the data reported in literature and daily clinical experience that highlight the need for a more multi-specialist approach to patient management with medical internists. Further studies will help provide answers as to the best way to conduct this multidisciplinary approach that could represent one of the future challenges for healthcare.



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How to Cite

Gilioli, F., Di Donato, C., Ferrari, V., Bertesi, M., & Chesi, G. (2013). The internist in the surgical setting: results from the Italian FADOI-ER survey. Italian Journal of Medicine, 7(1), 32–38.