American College of Physicians: Time to elevate gun safety conversations with patients

Amid rapidly increasing gun violence across the U.S., the American College of Physicians issued a statement saying it is time for physicians to prioritize having conversations about gun violence and safety with patients.

After a mass shooting took place in Nashville, Tenn., on March 27, just 10 minutes away from the office of Ryan Mire, MD, president of the ACP, he urged other healthcare professionals to join him in elevating the issue and beginning these conversations with patients, noting "how close we all are to becoming a victim of gun violence."

The ACP's newly debuted initiative to further these conversations between physicians and patients includes an online toolkit of resources to guide physicians through these difficult conversations. The toolkit also features information about discussing firearm injuries and associated risks — something that was prompted by a call to action for the profession from Annals of Internal Medicine, which asked physicians to "pledge to speak with their patients about firearm injury when risk factors are present." 

"ACP has long advocated for a public health approach and common-sense measures that would help to curb this escalating crisis," Dr. Mire said in a press release statement. "And ACP continues to address firearm injury through public policy and advocacy efforts, publication of related research and other content in Annals of Internal Medicine, events that examine the impact on clinicians and the public, and collaboration with others to enact change."

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