American College of Physicians
|American College of Physicians|
|Formation||January 8, 1915|
|Headquarters||190 North Independence Mall West,
The American College of Physicians (ACP) is a national organization of internal medicine physicians (internists)—specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. With 137,000 members, ACP is the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP provides information and advocacy for its members as they practice internal medicine and related subspecialties.
Mission and History
ACP's mission is to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine. It was founded in 1915 to promote the science and practice of medicine. In 1998, ACP merged with the American Society of Internal Medicine (ASIM), which was established in 1956 to study economic aspects of medicine. Known as ACP-ASIM from 1998 to 2003, the organization then re-adopted American College of Physicians as its corporate name.
ACP is governed by a Board of Regents elected by ACP members. The Board is advised by a network of ACP committees and by the ACP Board of Governors, which is composed of elected Governors in chapters and regions of the United States, Canada, Central and South America, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. ACP sponsors the Council of Subspecialty Societies, which is composed of representatives of internal medicine subspecialty societies and related organizations.
ACP is represented in the American Medical Association, the Federated Council for Internal Medicine, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, and other organizations.
Levels of membership in ACP are Medical Student, Associate, Member, Fellow (FACP), and Master (MACP). Fellowship and Mastership in ACP are the organization's way of noting outstanding achievement in internal medicine. Fellows are recommended by their peers, endorsed by their local chapter leadership, and reviewed by a national credentials subcommittee. Masters are nominated from among the Fellows of ACP for annual election to this highly selective group. Board certification in internal medicine is not required. However, potential members must be "board eligible."
Non-Physician Affiliate membership is available to licensed non-physician health care professionals working on a patient-care team led by an MD, DO, or a physician holding an internationally equivalent degree and who maintain their professional credentials to practice.
Internists complete a three-year internal medicine training program after medical school, focusing on how to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases primarily affecting adults. Those wishing to become subspecialty internists can then complete one to three years of additional training in such fields as cardiology, nephrology, hematology/oncology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, pulmonology, geriatric medicine, infectious diseases, and hepatology.
Annals of Internal Medicine, published by ACP weekly online and twice-monthly in print, is one of the most-cited medical journals in the world. ACP JournalWise summarizes the most important medical articles from more than 120 journals. ACP Internist is an award-winning monthly newspaper for internists, while ACP Hospitalist is written for those in hospital practice.
ACP’s Washington, D.C., office monitors and responds to public policy issues that affect public health and the practice of medicine. Activities include development of policy statements and communication with legislative and administrative sectors of government.
ACP's Center for Ethics & Professionalism seeks to advance physician and public understanding of ethics and professionalism issues in the practice of medicine in order to enhance patient care by promoting the highest ethical standards.
Education and Information Resources
ACP supports the optimal practice of medicine by providing opportunities for continuing medical education. ACP medical education programs include its annual scientific meeting, Internal Medicine 2013, held in San Francisco April 11–13. Internal Medicine 2014 will be held April 10–11 in Orlando.
ACP’s Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program (MKSAP) gives internists an opportunity to test their knowledge and compare their results with national averages. In addition, ACP offers postgraduate board review courses, recertification courses, and chapter/regional meetings. For future internists, ACP provides education and career information, produces MKSAP for Students, and administers an In-Training Examination for residents.
ACP develops three different types of clinical recommendations: Clinical Practice Guidelines, Clinical Guidance Statements, and Best Practice Advice. ACP's goal is to provide clinicians with recommendations based on the best available evidence; to inform clinicians of when there is no evidence; and to help clinicians deliver the best health care possible.
The Center for Practice Improvement and Innovation helps internal medicine practices achieve quality performance while succeeding in today's health care environment. The Center offers practical written guides, practice management tools, and personalized advice. The Medical Laboratory Evaluation Program (MLE) offers proficiency testing for laboratories in the United States and abroad.
ACP works with internists and health literacy and communication experts to create innovative health information tools to help patients better understand and manage their health. Resources include patient education brochures and DVDs for physicians who wish to raise awareness and educate their patients and communities.