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Regents examine adding seats to board, other issues

From the March ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright 2002 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

At its January meeting, the Board of Regents discussed issues including recertification, adding representatives from other subspecialties to the Board of Regents, revamping dues for Associate members and a policy barring discrimination against resident physicians.

While recertification continued to be a hot topic among the Regents, the Board decided to postpone making any policy decisions until the Board of Governors meets in April. Recertification was slated to be a top agenda item at the Governors' meeting last fall, but the meeting was canceled because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. (See "College leaders renew their focus on recertification,")

In other business, the Regents voted to explore expanding the board to increase subspecialist representation by adding five new seats in 2003. The College will meet with subspecialty organizations and several others this spring to explore their interest level as well as eligibility criteria.

If there is sufficient enthusiasm for the plan, nominations for the new seats will be solicited this fall, and candidates may be installed as early as 2003 Annual Session in San Diego.

Here is an overview of other actions the Regents took:

  • Associates issues. The Board approved a position statement from the Council of Associates that says no physician-in-training should be discriminated against based on gender, sexual preference, race, ethnicity, religion or country of origin. The Council worried that the Sept. 11 attacks may have subjected some residents and fellows to discrimination because of their culture, religion or ethnicity.

    The Regents also agreed to consider ways to increase Associate membership and involvement in the College. The Regents, however, decided against reducing Associate dues to promote those goals. The College will instead consider allowing Associate members to pay their membership dues on an installment plan to ease their financial burden.

  • Physicians and health plans. The Board endorsed a document designed to improve relations between physicians and health plans. "Guidelines for the Role of Participating Physicians in Health Plans," a document that was developed by the AMA and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, encourages physician involvement in plans' clinical decision-making committees and credentialing processes.

  • Effective Clinical Practice. The Regents approved the decision to pursue an alternate business model for the Effective Clinical Practice journal. While the journal has received positive reviews, it has not been an economically viable publication.

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