JAMA Case Studies in "Clinical Crossroads" Address Chronic Illness's Ethical, Economic, Psychosocial Issues

Beginning in May 1994, project staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston created "Clinical Crossroads," a monthly series of clinical case studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Unlike traditional case conferences, which typically focus on the presentation and diagnosis of acute illness, the "Clinical Crossroads" articles were designed to also address the ethical, psychosocial and economic issues that patients and physicians face in treating chronic illness.

Key Results

  • As of January 2005, project staff had held 114 case conferences attended by clinicians, and published 95 Clinical Crossroads articles and 74 one-year follow-up articles in JAMA.

  • JAMA editors also published 106 letters and three editorials in response to Clinical Crossroads articles, as well as five patient education pages that physicians can copy and share with their patients.