Course Overview


The Comprehensive 2019 Primary Care Update

Updates, advances, and best practices to optimize patient care and clinical outcomes.

Designed for busy clinicians, this comprehensive Harvard Medical School CME program ensures that you are current with the most important clinical changes and innovations impacting primary care, and prepared to integrate them into your practice. In one immersive experience, participants learn advances and improved approaches to:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diseases of the colon
  • Smoking cessation
  • Obesity
  • Hematologic disorders
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Asthma care
  • Pain control
  • Cholesterol management
  • Hypertension 
  • Cognitive decline
  • Liver disease
  • Headaches of all types
  • Osteoporosis
  • Polyarthritis
  • COPD
  • Menopause management
  • Anticoagulant use
  • Kidney disease
  • GERD
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression and anxiety

All sessions are led by active clinical faculty — the top tier of clinical teachers from all of the Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals.

Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants and Advanced Nurse Practitioners attending this course can choose from 48 knowledge-enhancing and skills-building workshops to customize a learning experience ideally suited to their practice needs. Sample workshop topics include:

  • Pain management
  • Preoperative evaluation
  • Complex diabetes
  • Medical marijuana
  • Suturing techniques
  • Otolaryngology
  • Dermatology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Movement disorders
  • Gynecology
  • Allergies
  • GI cases
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Prostate conditions
  • Joint examination skills
  • Dementia and delirium
  • Incontinence management
  • Travel medicine


Optional Half-Day Add-On Program
Lifestyle Medicine in Primary Care Practice
Friday Afternoon, 1:45 pm – 5:00 pm

This special program teaches expedient, evidence-based lifestyle medicine interventions for preventing, treating, and even reversing chronic disease. 

Participants learn:

  • State-of-the-art approaches to weight loss, stress, resiliency, sleep quality and nutrition within a primary care setting
  • Guidance to prescribe exercise for maximal health impact
  • Techniques for health coaching and motivational interviewing
  • Strategies for empowering patients to adopt plant-based home cooking
  • Tips for engaging patients
  • Best practices for incorporating lifestyle medicine into your current practice

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Develop new and innovative skills in clinical problem-solving to achieve the best outcomes for all patients
  • Evaluate updated guidelines for the care of the most common conditions of outpatient practice: hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolism
  • Design practical and effective approaches to behavioral issues including partner violence, alcohol and marijuana misuse, and opioid addiction
  • Assess the clinical value of specific diagnostic tests used in general internal medicine and specialty practices, including test sensitivity, specificity and predictive values
  • Identify the disease prevention and health promotion priorities of general internal medicine
  • Recognize the side effects and interactions among medications prescribed by primary care clinicians and their consultants
  • Develop a working understanding of biomodulators and the interactions of these novel agents with the medications prescribed in primary care practice
  • Discuss the expected results of therapies and summarize current treatment strategies for cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurologic/neurovascular, endocrine, ophthalmic, orthopedic, immunologic, reproductive, dermatologic, gastrointestinal, hepatic, geriatric, psychiatric, metabolic, and sleep medicine conditions
  • Describe optimal pain control, including opioid management and buprenorphine treatment
  • Apply evidence-based palliative care strategies in clinical practice
  • Explain how national payment policies impact primary care practice
  • Demonstrate clinical examination skills
  • Integrate lifestyle messages into daily practice and self-care
  • Develop a renewed understanding of how to best manage the stresses that are part of your professional commitment to patient care, continuity, and access