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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address FOT 730 Zip 3407
Phone  (256) 551-4611
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Huntsville Medical Campus-General  Huntsville Med-Internal Med Pgm Professor Emeritus

Biographical Sketch 
Dr. Robert M. Centor is currently the Associate Dean for the Huntsville Regional Medical and Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After many years at the Medical College of Virginia, he moved to Birmingham in 1993 and served as the Division Director of General Medicine until 2008. He also served as the Interim Dean of the Tuscaloosa clinical campus for the University of Alabama School of Medicine from 1995-97. Dr. Centor finished his undergraduate work at the University of Virginia in 1971 and finished medical school at the Medical College of Virginia in 1975. He then joined the housestaff, eventually becoming chief resident and joining the Division of General Internal Medicine in 1981. He served as Program Director of the Housestaff Training Program for five years and subsequently, five years as the Chairman of the Division of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Centor has served as President of the Society for Medical Decision Making, the Association of Chiefs of General Internal Medicine and the Society for General Internal Medicine. He currently serves on the Board of Regents of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Centorís research interests have focused in the area of medical decision-making. He has published widely in the diagnosis and management of adult sore throats. Recently he has focused on understanding what makes ward-attending rounds successful. This interest stems from his frequent ward attending over the past 32 years. He also has a strong interest in clinical problem solving. He has co-authored several clinical problem-solving exercises and several clinical vignettes over the past several years.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
ACLGIM  Past-President 
ACP  Member, Board of Regents 
GRMC of AAMC  Member 
SGIM  Past-President 
SHM  Member 
SIDM  Member 
SMDM  Past-President 

Research/Clinical Interest
In the 1980s, he began studying the diagnosis and treatment of streptococcal pharyngitis, leading to his description of a four-item prediction rule,based on clinical findings,to guide the diagnosis of streptococcal(versus viral)pharyngitis. The findings of this research have been widely implemented in practice,and his prediction rule now is commonly referred to as the Centor score.He is frequently invited to talk about his passion as well as his recent contributions on the debate about practice guidelines on sore throat management. With over 100 publications in highly prestigious peer-reviewed journals, Dr. Centor is the ultimate mentor. He knows how to ask the "right" question to advance the evidence of excellence in medical education.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
The diagnosis of strep throat in adults in the emergency room. Centor RM, Witherspoon JM, Dalton HP, Brody CE, Link K. Med Decis Making. 1981;1(3):239-46.
Throat cultures and rapid tests for diagnosis of group A streptococcal pharyngitis. Centor RM, Meier FA, Dalton HP. Ann Intern Med. 1986 Dec;105(6):892-9.
Assessing the responsiveness of functional scales to clinical change: an analogy to diagnostic test performance. Deyo RA, Centor RM. J Chronic Dis. 1986;39(11):897-906.
Clinical and microbiological evidence for endemic pharyngitis among adults due to group C streptococci. Meier FA, Centor RM, Graham L Jr, Dalton HP. Arch Intern Med. 1990 Apr;150(4):825-9.
NSTEMI or Not: A 59-Year-Old Man with Chest Pain and Troponin Elevation. Schleifer JW, Centor RM, Heudebert GR, Estrada CA, Morris JL. J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Oct 6. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available.
Re: role of non-group a streptococci in acute pharyngitis. Centor RM. J Am Board Fam Med. 2010 May-Jun;23(3):423; author reply 423. No abstract available.
Hypercalcemia and acute renal failure in milk-alkali syndrome: a case report. Ulett K, Wells B, Centor R.
J Hosp Med. 2010 Feb;5(2):E18-20.
Expand the pharyngitis paradigm for adolescents and young adults. Centor RM.
Ann Intern Med. 2009 Dec 1;151(11):812-5.
Screening for alcohol abuse using CAGE scores and likelihood ratios. Buchsbaum DG, Buchanan RG, Centor RM, Schnoll SH, Lawton MJ.
Ann Intern Med. 1991 Nov 15;115(10):774-7.
Reassessment of clinical practice guidelines: go gently into that good night. Shaneyfelt TM, Centor RM.
JAMA. 2009 Feb 25;301(8):868-9. No abstract available.
Signal detectability: the use of ROC curves and their analyses. Centor RM.
Med Decis Making. 1991 Apr-Jun;11(2):102-6. Review.
Severe acute pharyngitis caused by group C streptococcus. Shah M, Centor RM, Jennings M.
J Gen Intern Med. 2007 Feb;22(2):272-4.
Pharyngitis management: defining the controversy. Centor RM, Allison JJ, Cohen SJ.
J Gen Intern Med. 2007 Jan;22(1):127-30. Review.
Pharyngitis management: focusing on where we agree. Centor RM, Cohen SJ.
Arch Intern Med. 2006 Jul 10;166(13):1345-6. No abstract available.
Academic general internal medicine: past, present, future. Centor RM, Huddle TS.
Am J Med. 2006 Feb;119(2):172-5. No abstract available.
American internal medicine in the 21st century: can an Oslerian generalism survive? Huddle TS, Centor R, Heudebert GR. J Gen Intern Med. 2003 Sep;18(9):764-7.

medical education, clinical reasonings, sore throat, pharyngitis, decision analysis, practice guidelines