American College of Physicians

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is a national organization of internists, who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and care of adults.[1] With 154,000 members, ACP is the largest medical-specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States, after the American Medical Association.[2][3][4] Its flagship journal, the Annals of Internal Medicine, is considered one of the five top medical journals in the United States and Britain.[5]

American College of Physicians
American College of Physicians Logo.png
FormationJanuary 8, 1915
Headquarters190 North Independence Mall West,
Philadelphia, PA

Mission and historyEdit

Founded in 1915,[6] ACP's stated mission is to "enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine."[7] In 1998, it merged with the American Society of Internal Medicine (ASIM).[8][9] ASIM's focus on the economic, political, and social aspects of medical care[10] both enlarged and complemented its mission.

Known as ACP-ASIM from 1998 to 2003, the organization re-adopted "American College of Physicians" as its corporate name from 2003 on.[11]


The college is governed by a board of regents, the main policy-making body that oversees its business and affairs.[12] The board of regents is made up of elected officers. The board of governors serves as an advisory board to the board of regents, along with a various councils and committees.[13] The board of governors is composed of elected governors who implement projects and initiatives at a chapter level and represent member concerns at the national level. The board of governors is composed of elected governors in chapters and regions of the United States, Canada, Central and South America, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.

The organization is represented in the American Medical Association,[14] the Council of Medical Specialty Societies,[15] and other associations.

Membership and recognitionEdit

Levels of membership are Medical Student, Associate, Member, Fellow (FACP), and Master (MACP).[16] Fellowship and Mastership in ACP recognize outstanding achievement in internal medicine. Fellows are recommended by their peers, endorsed by their local chapter leadership, and reviewed by a national credentials subcommittee. Masters are nominated from among the Fellows of ACP for annual election to this group. Board certification in internal medicine is not required,[17] though potential members must be "board eligible."[18]

Non-Physician Affiliate membership is available to licensed non-physician health care professionals, or a physician holding an internationally equivalent degree and who maintain their professional credentials to practice.

Publications and productsEdit

The American College of Physicians distributes numerous publications and products to members. They include:

  • Annals of Internal Medicine,[19] the weekly peer-reviewed medical journal, in print twice per month and alternately online
  • ACP Internist,[20] an award-winning monthly newspaper for internists
  • ACP Hospitalist,[21] monthly publication written for those in hospital practice.
  • ACP JournalWise,[22] program that summarizes the most important medical articles from more than 120 medical journals around the world
  • ACP's Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program (MKSAP)[23] gives internists the opportunity to test their knowledge and compare results with national averages. ACP also produces MKSAP for Students, and provides education and career information, and administers an In-Training Examination for residents.
  • ACP Smart Medicine[24] is a clinical decision support tool for internal medicine that provides information and guidance on a range of diseases and conditions. Physicians can earn CME credit through the program. ACP Smart Medicine content from Annals of Internal Medicine, ACP JournalWise, and ACP clinical practice guidelines.


The Washington, D.C., office monitors and responds to public policy issues that affect public health and the practice of medicine. Activities include development of policy statements and communication with legislative and administrative sectors of government.

The Center for Ethics & Professionalism seeks to advance physician and public understanding of ethics and professionalism issues in the practice of medicine in order to enhance patient care by promoting the highest ethical standards.[25] The sixth edition of the ACP Ethics Manual was published in 2012.[26]

The High Value Care initiative[27] aims to help patients receive the best possible care from physicians while reducing unnecessary costs to the healthcare system. The initiative includes clinical and public policy recommendations, curriculum, and resources for physicians.[28] For patients, ACP offers resources about the benefits, harms, costs and treatments options for common clinical issues.

Education and information resourcesEdit

ACP develops several types of clinical recommendations, including Clinical Practice Guidelines, Guidance Statements, and Best Practice Advice papers.[29] The different types of guidance are meant to be read differently. Guidelines are seen as the strongest recommendation, while guidance statements review existing guidance and best practice advice reviews available evidence.[29]

In 2015, the ACP advocated for a public health approach to gun violence, supporting restrictions on automatic weapons, universal background checks, and legal mechanisms to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.[30]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sokanu - "What is an Internist?". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  2. ^ "Physicians group declares its opposition to assisted suicide". Star Tribune. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 2 August 2001.
  3. ^ Osmosis - "Prep for the Medicine Shelf" Archived 2014-08-18 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 20 October 2014
  4. ^ "Doctors fear physician shortage". Atlanta Journal Constitution. 15 November 2009.
  5. ^ Fernandez, Bob (20 August 2008). "Journal vs. the bad seed". Philadelphia Inquirer.
  6. ^ "Medical Men Will Meet Here Feb 6". The Gazette. Montreal, Quebec. 4 October 1932.
  7. ^ "Who we are". American College of Physicians.
  8. ^ "Society elects internist to serve as governor". Iowa City Press-Citizen. 13 May 1999.
  9. ^ Khan, Faroque Ahmad (2017). Serving Faith, Profession, and Community: Fifty Years of Imana (1967–2017). Partridge Publishing. ISBN 9781482889819.
  10. ^ "Dr. Collins to head medical group". The Daily Item. 12 May 1978.
  11. ^ Philadelphia Business Journal - "Health Care". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  12. ^ ACP - "Board of Regents". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  13. ^ - "How grassroots input shapes ACP policies". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  14. ^ American Medical Association - "Medical Specialty Showcase". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  15. ^ CMSS - "Member Societies" Archived 2014-10-20 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 20 October 2014
  16. ^ ACP - "Membership". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  17. ^ ABIM - "Certification Guide". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  18. ^ ABMS - "Board Eligibility". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  19. ^ Annals of Internal Medicine - "Annals of Internal Medicine". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  20. ^ ACP Internist - "ACP Internist". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  21. ^ ACP Hospitalist - "ACP Hospitalist". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  22. ^ ACP JournalWise - "ACP JournalWise". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  23. ^ DB's Medical Rants - "MKSAP 16 on an iPad". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  24. ^ HCPLive - "Physician Group Launches Clinical Support Tool for Internal Medicine Doctors" Archived 2014-10-20 at Retrieved 20 October 2014
  25. ^ "Medical Ethics and Professionalism". American College of Physicians. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  26. ^ HealthLeaders Media - "ACP Issues Revised Ethics Manual" Archived 2014-09-19 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 20 October 2014
  27. ^ Medpage Today - "'High Value' Care Goal of New ACP Partnership". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  28. ^ Choosing Wisely - "Free Online Cases Teach Physicians About Choosing Wisely and High Value Care". Retrieved 20 October 2014
  29. ^ a b Vander Schaaf, Emily B. (September 2015). "Translating Clinical Guidelines Into Practice". North Carolina Medical Journal. 76: 230–234. doi:10.18043/ncm.76.4.230.
  30. ^ Ende, Jack (2 October 2017). "ACP Calls for Policies to Reduce Injury and Deaths from Firearms". Annals of Internal Medicine.

External linksEdit