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

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New College courses can help complete recertification

One-day classes can save you time by helping you finish self-evaluation modules in a group setting

From the October ACP Observer, copyright 2003 by the American College of Physicians.

Many physicians complain that they can't find the dozens of hours it can take to complete each self-evaluation process (SEP) module required by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) recertification process.

Starting next year, however, the College is launching a series of learning sessions that should provide a welcome hand. Beginning this February, ACP will offer the first of six SEP-based learning sessions scheduled throughout 2004 in cities across the country. Each session will help internists complete one general internal medicine SEP module in a single day.

As part of the recertification process, internists must complete five SEP modules, in addition to a secure exam. One of those five modules has to be a medical knowledge module, which is the classification of the modules the College is offering.

The College's group-learning format uses a strategy that the ABIM encourages internists to use when completing self-evaluation modules, said Patrick C. Alguire, FACP, the College's Director of Education and Career Development.

"This type of audience participation and discussion is much more likely to result in people remembering and using the content," he explained.

Taking one of the full-day SEP-based sessions can also save you a great deal of time in your bid to recertify. Instead of spending hours searching for answers alone or as part of a small study group, you'll be working with two expert faculty members and a large group of your peers to answer the module's multiple-choice questions.

Expert faculty using PowerPoint slide presentations and an electronic audience response system will lead internists through the modules question by question. After selecting an answer, audience members will see a breakdown of how many physicians chose each response. The faculty will then lead a group discussion analyzing each answer.

While the instructors won't have the actual answers, they will have studied the questions in advance and be familiar with all the nuances of the material. As you work through the questions at the sessions, you can fill out the answer key during the session and then mail it to the ABIM at the end of the session to have it graded.

Because the general internal medicine SEP modules include questions related to all internal medicine fields such as cardiology and rheumatology, you can use the sessions to identify where you need more study, a key goal of the self-evaluation process.

And while sessions help you complete a module quickly, they also give a competitive edge. The ABIM grades the modules on a "pass-fail" basis and does not rank your performance. During the learning session, however, you can see how well you do compared to your colleagues, as well as hear their approaches to each question.

Each one-day session follows the College's three-day recertification review courses for the exam portion of the recertification process. (Two sessions will be held as Annual Session pre-Session courses next April in New Orleans. For more information, see "SEP-based learning session schedule.")

You can sign up for only a SEP-based session or combine it with a three-day review course. (The review courses typically begin on Thursday; the SEP sessions will follow on Sunday.)

Registration costs $200 for ACP Members, $100 for Associates and $350 for nonmembers. Modules must be purchased from the ABIM and cost an additional $120 ($60 for residents). The modules will be distributed on-site.

Direct questions regarding payment for the modules offered at the sessions or enrollment in the recertification program to ABIM, 510 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19106-3699; phone: 215-446-3593 or 800-441-2246, ext 3593; fax: 215-446-3590; Web.

The ABIM will have representatives at each of the six sessions next year to answer questions about the recertification process and enroll attendees who have not yet begun the recertification process.

To register for one of the College's SEP-based sessions, call ACP Customer Service at 800-523-1546 or 215-351-2600. You can also register online.

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SEP-based learning session schedule

  • Feb. 15, 2004: Orlando, Fla.
  • March 28, 2004: Washington
  • Sept. 12, 2004: Philadelphia
  • Oct. 10, 2004: Chicago

Annual Session pre-Session courses

  • April 20, 2004: New Orleans
  • April 21, 2004: New Orleans

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