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ABIM-ACP Joint CME Project Approved for Pilot Study

Philadelphia -- (February 18, 2004) The American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) are piloting a project to enable certified internists to earn continuing medical education (CME) credit for completing a self-evaluation process known as a Practice Improvement Module. Through the pilot, internists will receive 20 Category 1 CME credits and credit toward maintenance of certification.

The pilot is sponsored by the American Medical Association (AMA). During the pilot, the AMA will issue credits directly. If the experience is successful, ACP will be approved to issue CME credit for Practice Improvement Module completion. The pilot is intended to look at new ways of offering CME credit, particularly for activities related to quality improvement and practice performance.

ACP and ABIM proposed the pilot project to the AMA in May 2003. All internists who have completed (or will complete) a Practice Improvement Module are eligible for CME credit.

"We are glad for the opportunity to test this innovative pilot project, and we hope for a successful outcome so that internists will have more choices as they prepare to recertify," said John Tooker, MD, FACP, MBA, ACP executive vice president and CEO.

"These modules help internists gather and analyze data about how they practice, facilitating opportunities to improve the care provided to patients," explained ABIM President Christine Cassel, MD. "Because important self-directed learning occurs through this process, the Board and the College petitioned to be included in the AMA pilot. We're delighted to work together and with the AMA on this project."

Practice Improvement Modules are a new, elective option developed by the ABIM as part of the Board's maintenance of certification program. These computer-based tools guide physicians through a confidential review of the care they provide to their patients with a specific disease or condition. Current modules focus on preventive cardiology, diabetes, and asthma. Additional modules are under development, including heart failure, hypertension, general prevention, care of the elderly, and care of patients with acute myocardial infarction. Each module leads physicians through a review of current clinical practice guidelines and their own practice patterns. (Additional information about ABIM's Practice Improvement Modules)

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults, reflected in the organization's trademarked phrase "Doctors of Internal Medicine. Doctors for Adults."

The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) is the only recognized board in the specialty of internal medicine and is one of 24 certifying boards recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. The ABIM is an independent, not-for-profit organization whose certificates are recognized throughout the world as signifying a high level of physician competence. Every ten years, ABIM-certified internists and subspecialists must complete the maintenance of certification program to maintain their "Board-certified" status.

Allison Ewing, ACP, 215-351-2649 or 1-800-523-1546, ext. 2649
Leslie Goode, ABIM, 215-446-3466 or 1-800-441-2246

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