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

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College briefs

From the October ACP Observer, copyright 2006 by the American College of Physicians.

Call for Board of Governors Resolutions

The deadline for members to submit new resolutions to their Governors for hearing at the April 2007 Board of Governors Meeting is Friday, December 15, 2006. Initiating a resolution provides ACP members an opportunity to focus attention at the ACP national level on a particular issue or topic that concerns them. A resolution becomes a resolution of the chapter once the chapter council approves it.

ACP members are encouraged to use the Electronic Resolutions System (ERS) to search for previous resolutions related to a topic under consideration in order to inform, inspire, and direct your efforts. To get started, view the tip sheet online on how to conduct a search via the ERS.

In accordance with the ACP BOG Resolutions Process, resolutions should clearly distinguish the action requested within its resolved clause(s) as either a policy resolve (“Resolved that ACP policy…”), or a directive, which requests action/study on an issue (“Resolved that the Board of Regents…”). If more than one action is proposed, each should have its own resolved clause. Please contact your Governor if you have any questions regarding the resolution format.

Specialty society a little-known perk of ACP Membership

The Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) is one of the lesser-known benefits of ACP membership. All ACP members are automatically included in the council, whose mission is to improve the quality of medical care by fostering professionalism and physician competence.

Founded in 1965 as the Tri-College Council, CMSS was created to provide an independent forum for medical specialists to discuss issues of national interest and mutual concern. Founding members were the ACP, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Surgeons. The society soon expanded to include all the societies that had a primary board with membership in the American Board of Medical Specialties.

In early 2005, the CMSS Council voted to expand their membership slowly by offering full membership to a limited number of subspecialties and associate membership to a small number of organizations with which the CMSS interacts. Today, 23 societies with an aggregate membership of well over 433,000 physicians are members of CMSS.

CMSS serves to represent the views of specialist physicians in influencing policy, medical education and accreditation from a broad, cross-specialty perspective. The council has six major areas of commitment:

  • Education - monitoring and developing strategies for postgraduate education that improve patient outcomes
  • Relationships - coordinating communication with related bodies
  • Representation - assuring broad-based representation to major entities in medical education and evaluation
  • Advocacy - coordinating advocacy of specialty medicine
  • Information - coordinating information exchange among medical specialty societies and disseminating information to the public
  • Inclusion - facilitating the inclusion of member subspecialties in the activities of CMSS

CMSS’s connection with ABMS is particularly important given the movement toward maintenance of certification (MOU). The Joint Planning Committee, which is made up equally of CMSS and ABMS members, facilitates specialty society and specialty board relations. CMSS has recently become active in the physician performance perspective related to MOC Part IV.

CMSS’s component groups are another important part of CMSS activities. The Organization of Program Directors Associations provides an opportunity for residency program directors to meet with their colleagues from other specialties and positively influence graduate medical education. The Continuing Medical Education Directors Component Group influences the evolution of CME and decisions of the ACCME, while the Membership Directors Component Group shares experiences and strategies.

CMSS is also involved in discussions of pay for performance and the scope of practice of non-physician providers. The Council is actively investigating work force issues in cooperation with the Association of American Medical Colleges.

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