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International Medical Graduates

Perspective of the College from a former Chair of the Board of Governors

Mahendr S. Kochar, MD, MACP
Executive Director, MCWAH
Sr. Associate Dean, Graduate Medical Education
Medical College of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Former ACP Regent
Former Chair, ACP Board of Governors

The Chair of the Board of Governors is elected for a one year term from among the Governors who are in their last year of the four-year term. The individual serves as Chair-elect for one year and as Chair of the Board of Governors for one year. He/she chairs all the meetings of the Board of Governors and Executive Committee of the Board of Governors. He/she is considered an Officer of the American College of Physicians along with the President, Chair of the Board of Regents and the Treasurer. The Executive Vice President (EVP) is appointed by the Board of Regents and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the College. The Chair of the Board of Governors should be adept in running large meetings using the parliamentary rules. ACP uses Davis's Rules of Order for its meetings.

At the Board of Governors meetings, resolutions are introduced, discussed, and voted upon by the Governors. Those accepted are forwarded to the Board of Regents for their consideration and adoption. If adopted by the Board of Regents, they become the policy of the American College of Physicians. In this regard, the Board of Governors functions similarly to the house of delegates of the American Medical Association. However, in the ACP, the Regents are not bound by the recommendations of the Board of Governors, and it is the Board of Regents that is the policy making body of the ACP.

I was the first international medical graduate to serve as the Chair of the Board of Governors of the American College of Physicians and the first Governor of the combined organization after the merger of the ACP with the ASIM. There are a total of 75 Governors, at least one from each of the 50 states. Some of the larger states, such as New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania have multiple Governors. There are 6 Governors from Canada and 6 from Central and South America. During the merger there were 20 additional transitional Governors who were prominent members of the American Society of Internal Medicine; half the members served a one year term and the other half served a two year term.

The Governor is the chief executive officer of the state chapter of the region from where he/she is elected and serves as the liaison between the membership and the College. The Governor's endorsement is necessary for advancement to Fellowship. The Governor need not know every individual being proposed for advancement and often writes a recommendation based on the letters of nomination and support from other Fellows in the region. Almost all the Members should be eligible for Fellowship after 10 years of Membership. Those with publications and leadership experience can become Fellows sooner.

Every chapter recognizes one to four individuals annually for their accomplishments and service to the ACP with a Laureate Award. Many of these individuals go on to receive Mastership (MACP) in the College. Mastership is awarded to those who have distinguished themselves in the field of Internal Medicine by virtue of their research, teaching, or public service.

ACP has a membership of 120,000 Internal Medicine physicians and medical students interested in Internal Medicine. It is the second largest physician organization after the American Medical Association, which has a membership of approximately 250,000 physicians.

Brief bio:

Mahendr Singh Kochar, MD, MS, MBA, MACP, is a graduate of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Nephrology, Geriatrics, Family Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology and Medical Management. In addition to ACP, he is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and Canada, American College of Cardiology and American College of Clinical Pharmacology. He is Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He served as ACP Governor for Wisconsin 1994-1998 and was Chairman of the Board of Governors of ACP in 1998-99. He was a Regent of the ACP in 1998-2003 and has been a member of several committees.

This article was prepared for the ACP IMG Web site in 2000.

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