American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®

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ACP, other groups ask AMA to get out of credentialing

From the May 1998 ACP Observer, copyright © 1998 by the American College of Physicians.

ACP and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) are part of a new coalition of medical organizations that is calling on the AMA to get out of the business of credentialing physicians.

ACP and ABIM have joined medical societies and boards representing family practice, pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology in asking the AMA to end its leadership of the American Medical Accreditation Program (AMAP), which credentials physicians. The coalition wants the AMA to roll AMAP, still a pilot program, into a new credentialing program that would be run by a separate not-for-profit organization.

In a consensus statement, the group said that the AMA's goals with AMAP are "seriously limited by the inherent conflicts of interests that exist when any constituency-based organization seeks to judge and accredit its own members."

ACP Executive Vice President Walter J. McDonald, FACP, said that while physicians need to be involved in the credentialing process, the AMA should not be involved so directly. "My preference is that physicians have a fair amount of influence over what's generated," he said, "but that it be done by an organization that doesn't have an inherent conflict of interest."

The consensus statement was delivered to the AMA late last month.

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