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Understanding MOC Requirements
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Revised edition revisits and expands on issues of earlier
editions and addresses new topics
PHILADELPHIA, January 3, 2012 -- The American College of
Physicians (ACP) has released the sixth edition of its Ethics
Manual, published as a supplement to the current issue of
Annals of Internal Medicine, ACP's flagship journal, and
available online at www.annals.org.
The manual is intended to facilitate the process of making ethical
decisions in clinical practice, teaching, and medical research, and
to describe and explain underlying ethics principles, as well as
the physician's role in society and with colleagues.
New topics in the updated manual address the patient-physician
relationship during health catastrophes, providing culturally
sensitive care, use of human biologic materials in research, social
media and online professionalism, industry sponsored research, and
the challenges of taking care of so-called very important persons,
such as those with a degree of fame or prestige.
ACP's Ethics Manual also revisits and expands on issues
of previous editions, such as end-of-life care, complementary and
alternative medicine, physician-assisted suicide,
physician-industry relations, genetic testing, and research
"ACP's Ethics Manual covers many of the ethical
tensions in medicine and attempts to shed light on how existing
principles extend to emerging concerns," said Virginia L. Hood,
MBBS, MPH, FACP, president of ACP, and the former chair of ACP's
Ethics, Professionalism, and Human Rights Committee. "We believe
that ACP's Ethics Manual provides the best approach to the
challenges addressed in it."
ACP's Ethics Manual is developed primarily for doctors
of internal medicine but has been widely used by other physicians
and is often cited in medical and ethical literature. The first ACP
Ethics Manual was published in 1984. This sixth edition is
an update of the 2005 fifth edition and was developed by ACP's
Ethics, Professionalism, and Human Rights Committee and was
approved by ACP's Board of Regents in July 2011.
"Medicine continues to pose challenging ethical dilemmas for
patients and their physicians," said Lois Snyder, JD, director of
ACP's Center for Ethics and Professionalism and lead author of the
manual. "We hope ACP's Ethics Manual will provide guidance
to clinicians, educators, researchers, and policymakers that will
enhance trust in individuals, and the profession, by patients and
In an accompanying editorial, Ezekiel Emanuel, MD, PhD, a
medical ethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, praises ACP's
Ethics Manual for having many clear and specific
Dr. Emanuel writes: ACP's Ethics Manual "is an
important guide for physicians. It goes well beyond the usual
banalities to take brave stands on current issues. Yet this
document is a worthy heir to the tradition of medical oaths and
codes that stretches back millennia."
As an added bonus for ACP members and subscribers to Annals
of Internal Medicine, ACP's flagship journal, a continuing
medical education (CME) quiz and a maintenance
of certification (MOC) module are available at www.annals.org.
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical
specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in
the United States. ACP members include 132,000 internal medicine
physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical
students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and
treatment of illness in adults. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.