Course Overview



This course will be held again on
October 17 - 21, 2022.

Information contained in this site is for the 2021 program.
Information for the 2022 program not yet available.



The Comprehensive Primary Care Update

Updates Across All Major Areas of Primary Care and Guidance to Incorporate Them into Practice for State-of-the-Art Patient Care

Primary Care Internal Medicine will be held online this year, using live streaming, electronic Q&A, and other remote learning technologies.


This program provides a comprehensive update of the most important changes and advances impacting primary care practice. Led by Harvard’s leading clinical faculty— representing more than 30 fields of medicine—you will receive the latest updates along with guidance to incorporate them into everyday clinical practice.

State-of-the-art approaches to the most frequent primary care clinical challenges:

  • COVID-19: Updates in epidemiology, acute care, and long-term management
  • Disease prevention and health promotion: Setting and maintaining the agenda
  • Hypertension: Choosing the best strategy for each patient
  • Diabetes: Treatment strategies employing innovative medication combinations
  • Cholesterol management: Setting targets and achieving goals specific to patient risk
  • Examination skills: Improved techniques for joint examinations
  • Depression and Anxiety: Practical stepwise approaches for primary care
  • GERD, Gastritis, and Celiac: Evaluation and treatment strategies
  • Joint diseases: Effective management of articular inflammation and destruction
  • Sleep: Creative approaches to acquisition and maintenance
  • Headaches: Innovative options now available
  • Anemia: Straightforward approaches applied in primary care
  • Asthma: New recommendations for improved outcomes
  • Obesity: Current best choices for outpatient care

Optimal diagnosis, treatment, and clinical outcomes for complex office-based practice

  • Heart failure: Protection and recovery
  • Biomodulators: Must-know information for primary care clinicians
  • Liver diseases: Treatment strategies for preservation of function
  • Neurology: The clinical red flags in primary care
  • Lung: Management of inflammatory conditions
  • Opioids: Dosing, patient selection, addiction, and weaning
  • Anticoagulation: Expanding the use of the new targeted agents
  • Antibiotic stewardship: Advanced decision-making for the most common infections
  • Kidney health: New strategies for nephron protection
  • Atrial fibrillation: Pharmacologic management and the choice of ablation
  • Testing: Prudent choices among imaging technologies
  • Medication interactions: Avoiding unintended conflicts

Acknowledging ourselves, our work, and our changing world

  • Conversations: The art of appreciative inquiry
  • Lifestyle: Interventions that work for challenging patients
  • Telehealth: The new frontier of primary care
  • Payment: Changes in primary care compensation
  • Professional balance: Maintaining effective self-care and life balance

Knowledge Advancement and Skills Development Workshops

You can choose from 36 workshops to tailor the program to your specific practice needs. This year’s workshop choices include:

  • Advanced diabetes management
  • Preoperative evaluation
  • Concussions
  • Tick-borne diseases
  • Dermatology for office practice
  • Otolaryngology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Medical marijuana
  • Wellness coaching
  • Advanced pulmonary medicine
  • Knee orthopedics
  • Shoulder orthopedics
  • Foot and ankle orthopedics
  • Wrist and hand orthopedics
  • Low back pain
  • Contraception
  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Allergy and urticaria
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Breast and ovarian cancer risk calibration
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Adult attention deficit disorder
  • Optimizing independence for older patients
  • Biomodulators 101
  • Biases and behaviors in clinical practice
  • Oral health in primary care
  • Office gynecology
  • Movement disorders
  • Unraveling the mysteries of LFTs
  • Non-diabetes endocrinology
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Male urology
  • Psychopharmacology in the context of dementia
  • Incontinence management


The 2021 program has been enhanced for distance learning. In addition to being live streamed, all sessions will be recorded and made available to participants for online viewing for 90 days after the end of the course. 

Learning Objectives

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

  • Develop new and innovative skills in clinical problem solving.
  • Assess the clinical value of specific diagnostic tests used in general internal medicine and specialty practices, including test sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values.
  • Apply up-to-date skills to diagnose, treat, and manage short- and long-term complications of COVID-19 in the outpatient setting.
  • Recognize the side effects and interactions among medications prescribed by primary care clinicians and their consultants.
  • Summarize the therapeutic potential of newly developed biomodulators and understand interactions with current therapies and newly described untoward side effects.
  • 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.
  • Develop strategies to help patients (and yourself) achieve greater stress resiliency.
  • Integrate lifestyle messages for patient self-care into daily practice.
  • Identify the disease prevention and health promotion priorities of general internal medicine.
  • Explain the origins and value of current guidelines and develop implementation office strategies to ensure treatment of elevated cholesterol, diabetes, heart failure, hypertension, and osteoporosis.
  • Design practical and effective approaches to behavioral health challenges, including alcohol and marijuana misuse and opioid addiction.
  • Describe optimal pain control, including opioid management and buprenorphine treatment.
  • Apply evidence-based palliative care strategies in clinical practice.
  • Create practical home-based interventions for elderly patients that support their autonomy and independence.
  • Understand how federal payment policies offer new opportunities for successful primary care practice.
  • Confidently examine and assess patients with common orthopedic back, shoulder, knee, foot, and hand complaints.
  • Present practical strategies to promote the health benefits of home-cooked meals based on best practices for shopping and cooking.

Educational Experience

Past participants consistently report that this program has inspired and improved their practice of medicine: 

“The best broad-scope educational series I have attended in 20 years.”

“I feel energized and equipped to be the best primary care doctor I can be.”

“I will have a more up-to-date approach to management of common problems such as diabetes, hypertension, headache, sleep disorders.”

“I will definitely employ the latest recommendations for HTN, lipids, bone density, lifestyle modification, COVID.”

“My TIA and stroke management will change most dramatically.”

"Every presentation and every piece of information given to us was backed up with the most recent studies, trials, statistics and evidence-based medicine."