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College Briefs

Regents debate gifts to physicians, migraines

From the May 2001 ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright © 2001 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

In addition to addressing recertification, the Board of Regents in March addressed the following issues:

  • Migraine guidelines. The Regents approved three migraine headache guidelines developed by the College’s Clinical Efficacy Assessment Project. (The American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Headache Society also worked with the College to create the protocols.) The three guidelines—“Neurodiagnostic Testing in Non-Acute Headache,” “Pharmacological Management of Acute Attacks of Migraine” and “Preventive Treatment for Migraine Headache”—are being submitted for publication.

  • Gifts to physicians from industry. The Regents endorsed a statement from an AMA task force on the appropriateness of physicians’ accepting gifts from drug makers.

The statement says that physicians should be aware that accepting gifts that do not comply with ethical guidelines “may give the appearance of undue influence and jeopardize the physician-patient relationship.” Alan R. Nelson, MACP, chair of the task force and the College’s Special Advisor to the Executive Vice President, told the Regents that the statement will be used to educate pharmaceutical companies and their drug representatives about ethical guidelines governing physician gifts.

The College’s fourth edition of the “Ethics Manual” strongly discourages physicians from accepting individual gifts and subsidies. (See www.acponline.org/ethics/index.html#manual for more information.)

  • Principles of editorial freedom. The Regents approved four principles of editorial freedom for Annals of Internal Medicine. The principles state that the Annals’ Editor has the fundamental freedom to determine journal content. The principles also describe actions the editor should take to resolve any perceived interference with that freedom.

  • Membership. The Regents heard a report from the Membership Committee stating that College membership has flattened. Of particular concern was the fact that the number of new Associates joining the College fell by about 1,000 last year.

    Membership officials gave several possible explanations for the decline. Growing resident debt is eroding residents’ ability to pay membership dues, they said, and anecdotal evidence suggests that fewer program directors pay Associates’ dues.

  • Resolutions. The Regents also voted to adopt more than a dozen resolutions the Board of Governors passed at their meeting before Annual Session. Those included resolutions on chiropractor scope of practice, appropriate influenza vaccine distribution and attracting and maintaining Associate and young physician members.

The Regents also voted to refer more than a dozen resolutions to College committees or staff for further study. Those included resolutions on re-examining the College’s relationship with the ABIM, interactions between phar­maceutical companies and physicians, reimbursement for oncology services and reduced membership dues for Latin American Associates.

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Regents nominations due Aug. 1

From the May 2001 ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright © 2001 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

As part of the College’s ongoing efforts to include members in the nominations process, the 2001-02 Nominations Committee is soliciting recommendations for new Regent positions that will become vacant in 2002. All nominations are due Aug. 1.

Nominees should demonstrate qualifications such as commitment to the College, dependability, leadership and the ability to represent the College in numerous and diverse arenas. Letters of nomination should highlight these characteristics and specify the reasons a nominee is qualified for the position. Regent nominees must be Fellows or Masters.

The Nominations Committee is particularity interested in receiving nominations of women, ethnic minorities, international medical graduates, chairs of medicine and practicing physicians. Although few Regent vacancies are available each year, the Nominations Committee will give all nominations careful consideration.

Nominations for first-term Regent must be submitted by a standard nominating proposal that includes the following information:

  • A brief description of his/her current activities;

  • Special attributes that the candidate would bring to the Board of Regents;

  • Previous and current service in College-related activities;

  •      Service in organizations other than the College (medical and non-medical); and

  • A seconding letter.

A separate letter must be submitted for each nomination.

Without the appropriate material, the nomination will not be advanced for review. Potential Regent candidates are required to have one letter of nomination and one letter of support (the author of this letter must be identified by the nominator). All other letters received in support of the candidate will be discarded.

Officer and Regent candidates must have new letters of nomination each year; old letters will be discarded.

Please send your confidential nominations no later than Aug. 1, 2001, to Nominations Committee, Attn: Patricia Carter, ACP–ASIM, 190 N. Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1572. If you have any questions, please e-mail Mrs. Carter at pcarter@acponline.org or call her at 800-523-1546, ext. 2815, or 215-351-2815.

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Board of Governors resolutions for fall meeting due June 8

From the May 2001 ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright © 2001 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

New resolutions to be heard at the September 2001 Board of Governors Meeting are due June 8, 2001.

ACP–ASIM members may initiate a resolution addressing any issue or topic by submitting it to their Governor and/or chapter council. A resolution becomes a resolution of the chapter once the chapter council approves it.

Members interested in researching the College’s position on an issue prior to submitting a resolution may access this information online at www.acponline.org/advocacy. In accordance with the College’s resolution process, resolutions should clearly distinguish the action requested within the resolved clause(s) as either a policy resolve (“Resolved that ACP–ASIM policy...”) or as a directive, which requests action/study on an issue (“Resolved that the Board of Regents ...”). Contact your Governor if you have any questions regarding the resolution format.

New resolutions and recommendations for follow-up are acted upon by the Board of Governors and presented to the Board of Regents. Once the Board of Regents has accepted recommendations, resolutions are either adopted as policy or forwarded to College staff and/or committees for study and/or implementation.

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College members can buy books online at a discount

From the May 2001 ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright © 2001 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

College members can now receive a 10% discount on most medical and scientific titles they purchase online.

College members receive the discount on all titles they purchase at the Online Bookstore, a joint venture between the College and J.A. Majors, a medical book distributor. Members who wish to purchase books published by the College may still do so by shopping at ACP–ASIM Online and will continue to receive a 20% member discount.

To get to the Online Bookstore, go to www.acponline.org/catalog/books/, then click on the online bookstore link in the second paragraph.

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