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American College of Physicians

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American College of Physicians
FormationJanuary 8, 1915
Headquarters190 North Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is a Philadelphia-based national organization of internal medicine physicians, who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of adults.[1] With 161,000 members, ACP is the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States.[2][3][4] Its flagship journal, the Annals of Internal Medicine, is among the most widely cited peer-reviewed medical journals in the world.[5][6]


ACP was founded in 1915 to promote the science and practice of medicine.[7][8] In 1998, it merged with the American Society of Internal Medicine (ASIM).[9][10] ASIM's focus on the economic, political, and social aspects of medical care both enlarged and complemented its mission.

Known as ACP-ASIM from 1998 to 2003, the organization re-adopted "American College of Physicians" as its corporate name from 2003 on.[11]


ACP is governed by a Board of Regents, ACP's policy-making body, which manages the business and affairs of ACP and is made up of elected officers.[1][12] The Board is advised by a network of ACP committees and by the ACP Board of Governors. The Board comprises elected Governors who implement national projects and initiatives at the chapter level and represent member concerns at the national level.[12] ACP has 85 chapters, per the latest ACP EVP report, with 16 international chapters across 12 countries.[13]

ACP is a founding member of the Council of Medical Subspecialty Societies, which represents 50 subspecialty societies and internal medicine organizations.[1][14]

Membership and Recognition[edit]

Levels of ACP membership are Medical Student, Associate, Member, Fellow (FACP), Honorary Fellow, and those elected to receive Mastership (MACP).[1] Non-Physician Affiliate membership is available to licensed non-physician health care professionals who maintain their professional credentials to practice.[15] Eligible professionals include physician assistants, nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, pharmacists and doctors of pharmacy, and clinical psychologists.

Fellowship and Mastership in ACP recognize outstanding achievement in internal medicine.[16] The distinction of FACP recognizes professional accomplishments, demonstrated scholarship and superior competence in internal medicine. Throughout the year, highly distinguished Fellows are nominated for election to Mastership by ACP members and others familiar with their backgrounds. Each fall, a select group of these Fellows are chosen from among the nominees for Mastership by the ACP Awards Committee and approved by the ACP Board of Regents.[16] Individuals elected to Mastership must demonstrate excellence and significance of his or her contributions to the science and art of medicine in areas such as research, education, health care initiatives, volunteerism, and administrative positions.[16] Only 1-2% of ACP’s 161,000 members have obtained Masterships.[17]

As a way of achieving ACP's goal to "recognize excellence and distinguished contributions to internal medicine,"[18] ACP offers 23 national awards and a number of MACPs each year. Annually, awardees and MACPs are honored at the Convocation ceremony held during the Internal Medicine Meeting.[19]


ACP publishes a range of publications which provide in-depth analysis of issues affecting internal medicine. They include:

  • Annals of Internal Medicine, ACP's weekly peer-reviewed medical journal, is among the most widely cited peer-reviewed medical journals in the world.[5][6] Annals of Internal Medicine publishes a wide variety of original research, review articles, practice guidelines, and commentary relevant to clinical practice, health care delivery, public health, health care policy, medical education, ethics, and research methodology. The most recent (2022) Impact Factor for Annals of Internal Medicine is 39.2.[20]
  • I.M. Matters from ACP, and its companion e-newsletter, I.M. Matters Weekly from ACP, provide news and information about the practice of medicine and report on the policies, products, and activities of ACP.[21]
  • ACP Hospitalist, a weekly online magazine exclusive to ACP members, covers the latest news in hospital medicine, including feature articles, Q&As, and summaries of recent research.[22]

ACP distributes several e-newsletters for its members. They include:

  • ACP Diabetes Monthly and ACP Gastroenterology Monthly, which summarize news about diabetes and gastroenterology/hepatology.[23][24]
  • ACP Advocate, a bi-weekly newsletter featuring news about public policy issues affecting internal medicine and patient care.[25]
  • ACP IMpower, a monthly newsletter offering tools, resources, and information to help ACP Resident/Fellow Members during training and prepare them for their professional futures.[26]
  • IMconnection, a monthly newsletter exclusively for early career physicians that highlights benefits and resources targeted at their career stage.
  • ACP IMpact, a monthly newsletter for medical students to help explore internal medicine career opportunities and access helpful information and resources.[27]
  • I.M. a Chief Resident, a monthly newsletter offering information and resources for chief residents.[28]
  • ACP Global, a bi-monthly newsletter offering a global perspective on news in internal medicine and highlighting ACP's international activities.[29]


ACP’s Advocacy and Regulatory efforts work to improve the health care system and daily experiences for internal medicine doctors and their patients through evidence-based policy papers, grass roots activities, work with congressional leaders, key agencies, regulators, and collaborations with other organizations with similar goals.[30][13] ACP advocates making regulatory and payment systems work better for internal medicine physicians, reduce burnout, and improve patient care. The organization seeks to promote policy reforms on the federal level through legislative, regulatory, and executive actions that benefit the overall health and well-being of patients, physicians, and the practice of internal medicine.[31][1]

The 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.[32] The seventh edition of the ACP Ethics Manual was published in 2019.[33]

The organization offers a variety of practice resources, including, but not limited to, resources for financial well-being; office management; ethics and professionalism; regulatory and compliance requirements; telehealth guidance; coding and payment; and physician well-being.[34] ACP’s Patient and Interprofessional Partnership initiative develops patient-centered, interprofessional education resources for internal medicine physicians, patients, and their clinical teams.[35] The initiative works to promote high quality education that incorporates interprofessional, interdisciplinary and patient perspectives, and that promotes partnership with all members of the healthcare team.[35]

Education and Information Resources[edit]

The organization develops several types of clinical recommendations.[36]

  • Clinical Practice Guidelines, which address screening, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases relevant to internal medicine and its subspecialties. They are based on a systematic review of available evidence.[36]
  • Clinical Guidance Statements, which, like Clinical Practice Guidelines, address screening, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases relevant to internal medicine and its subspecialties. However, they involve a review and methodological critique of existing and sometimes conflicting guidelines rather than a systematic review of available evidence.[36]
  • Best Practice Advice, which are developed by ACP's High Value Care Task Force to address the value of diagnostic tests and therapeutic interventions for various diseases. They are based on an evaluation of the benefits, harms, and costs of a test or treatment and how this can be translated into the value of an intervention.[36]
  • Practice Points, which provide advice to improve the health of individuals and populations and promote high value care based on the best available evidence derived from assessment of scientific work. ACP Practice Points aim to address the value of screening and diagnostic tests and therapeutic interventions for various diseases, and consider the determinants of health, including but not limited to genetic variability, environment, and lifestyle.[36]

ACP received the designation of a GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) Center in 2024, and is the first and only organization in the United States to receive it.[37] The designation recognizes the organization's work of producing high-value clinical guidelines and a formal recognition of the stringent protocols in its development of those guidelines.

ACP works actively in the field of performance measurement in recognition of its importance in the changing health care environment and to shape its impact on Internal Medicine. The Performance Measurement Committee (PMC) oversees ACP's Performance Measures.[38][39] The PMC applies criteria to assess the validity of performance measures for healthcare. The criteria are evaluated with a modified RAND-UCLA appropriateness method to determine whether they are evidence-based, methodologically sound, and clinically meaningful.[39] ACP develops clinical policy papers and performance measurement commentaries published in scientific journals to educate ACP members about performance measurement initiatives.[39]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "ACP Facts". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 5, 2024.
  2. ^ "ACP - American College of Physicians". EFIM. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  3. ^ Osmosis - "Prep for the Medicine Shelf" Archived August 18, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 20, 2014
  4. ^ "Doctors fear physician shortage". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. November 15, 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Journal Rankings on Internal Medicine". Scimago Jr. 2023. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  6. ^ a b "50 Top Medical Journals by Medical Specialty". AMN Healthcare. June 7, 2023.
  7. ^ "Medical Men Will Meet Here Feb 6". The Gazette. Montreal, Quebec. October 4, 1932.
  8. ^ "History of ACP". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 12, 2024.
  9. ^ "Society elects internist to serve as governor". Iowa City Press-Citizen. May 13, 1999.
  10. ^ Khan, Faroque Ahmad (2017). Serving Faith, Profession, and Community: Fifty Years of Imana (1967–2017). Partridge Publishing. ISBN 9781482889819.
  11. ^ Philadelphia Business Journal - "Health Care". Retrieved October 20, 2014
  12. ^ a b "Leadership". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  13. ^ a b "ACP 2022-2023 EVP Report". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 12, 2024.
  14. ^ "About Us". Council of Medical Specialty Societies. Retrieved June 12, 2024.
  15. ^ "Affiliate Membership". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 12, 2024.
  16. ^ a b c "ACP Honors Outstanding Contributions to Medicine in Annual Convocation Ceremony". ACP Newsroom. April 17, 2024.
  17. ^ Luhn, Bryan (October 20, 2023). "UH's Dr. Lechauncy Woodard Earns Prestigious Mastership fro American College of Physicians". University of Houston.
  18. ^ "About Us". ACP Online. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  19. ^ "Awards, Masterships and Competitions". ACP Online. Retrieved June 12, 2024.
  20. ^ "Journal Rankings; Impact Factor". OOIR. June 2024.
  21. ^ I.M. Matters - I.M. Matters . Retrieved June 5, 2024
  22. ^ "About Us". ACP Hospitalist. Retrieved June 12, 2024.
  23. ^ "Subscription Information". ACP Diabetes Monthly. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  24. ^ "Subscription Information". ACP Gastroenterology Monthly. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  25. ^ "ACP Advocate". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  26. ^ "IMpower". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  27. ^ "Medical Student Membership". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  28. ^ "I.M. a Chief Resident". ACP Online. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  29. ^ "ACP Global Engagement". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  30. ^ "ACP Advocacy". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 10, 2024.
  31. ^ Bush, Thomas; Jensen, William A.; Katsumoto, Tamiko R. (October 21, 2022). "U.S. medical organizations and climate change advocacy: a review of public facing websites". BMC Public Health. 22 (1950).
  32. ^ "Medical Ethics and Professionalism". American College of Physicians. Retrieved October 4, 2020.
  33. ^ Snyder Sulmasy, Lois; Bledsoe, Thomas (January 15, 2019). "American College of Physicians Ethics Manual: Seventh Edition". Annals of Internal Medicine. 170 (2). doi:10.7326/M18-2160.
  34. ^ "Practice Resources". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 12, 2024.
  35. ^ a b "Patient and Interprofessional Education". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 12, 2024.
  36. ^ a b c d e "Clinical Guidelines & Recommendations". American College of Physicians.
  37. ^ Rhodes, Andrew. "ACP becomes first organization in US to earn GRADE designation for guideline development". Healio. Retrieved June 7, 2024.
  38. ^ "Performance Measurement Committee". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 12, 2024.
  39. ^ a b c "Performance Measures". American College of Physicians. Retrieved June 12, 2024.

External links[edit]