Medical School Teaching Video Featured in Prestigious Journal

November 7, 2007

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – “Abscess Incision and Drainage, A Procedure in Clinical Medicine,” a teaching video produced by Wake Forest University School of Medicine, is featured in the Nov. 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and will become a part of its on-line educational series.
The manuscript and 10-minute video created by lead author Michael T. Fitch, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues from the Department of Emergency Medicine, detail the basic physician procedure for abscess incision and drainage. This procedure is used to treat many common skin and soft tissue infections, including abscesses caused by antibiotic-resistant organisms such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The manuscript and video join the ever-growing series of published videos and manuscripts for physician procedures in the “Videos in Clinical Medicine,” series by the NEJM.
Fitch and his colleagues are all part of the Educational Research and Development Group within the Department of Emergency Medicine. The group has been gathering high quality resources and materials for a “procedures” curriculum for medical school students.
“This video was our first major effort as part of this project,” Fitch said. “We were really happy with how it came together.”
While abscess incision and drainage is a very common procedure, Fitch said there’s little research available and there were no good resources to use for teaching. That’s when they realized they could create something themselves, Fitch said. Fitch is one of this year’s awardees in the Brooks Scholar in Academic Medicine program, a fund that supports junior faculty in both research and teaching. Creating the video and manuscript became one of his scholar program components. The project was funded in part by the School of Medicine and the core teaching faculty.
As they prepared to shoot the video, Fitch said he and colleagues realized they all approach abscess incision a little differently. As a result, they tried to present the procedure so that doctors at all experience and skill levels would find it useful. He also points out that the NEJM publication is timely because abscess incision and drainage are often used as part of the treatment for MRSA patients with skin abscesses. Fitch said the video emphasizes that for most MRSA patients with skin abscess infections, antibiotics are not required and that abscess incision and drainage alone is effective.
“I am really proud of the fact that we’re going to be a part of this on-line series for the New England Journal of Medicine,” Fitch said.
Others involved with the project included David E. Manthey, M.D., Henderson, D. McGinnis, M.D., Bret A. Nicks, M.D., and Manoj Pariyadath, M.D.

Media Contacts: Bonnie Davis,, (336)716-4977; or Karen Richardson,, (336) 716-4587.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. U.S. News & World Report ranks Wake Forest University School of Medicine 18th in primary care and 44th in research among the nation's medical schools. It ranks 35th in research funding by the National Institutes of Health. Almost 150 members of the medical school faculty are listed in Best Doctors in America.

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