You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
Become a Fellow
ACP offers a number of resources to help members make sense of the MOC requirements and earn points.
Understanding MOC Requirements
Earn MOC points
The most comprehensive meeting in Internal Medicine.
April 11-13, 2019
Internal Medicine Meeting 2019
Prepare for the Certification and Maintenance of Certification (MOC)
Exam with an ACP review course.
Board Certification Review Courses
MOC Exam Prep Courses
Treating a patient? Researching a topic? Get answers now.
Visit AnnalsLearn More
Visit MKSAP 17 Learn More
Visit DynaMed Plus
Ensure payment and avoid policy violations. Plus, new resources to help you navigate the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).
Access helpful forms developed by a variety of sources for patient charts, logs, information sheets, office signs, and use by practice administration.
ACP advocates on behalf on internists and their patients on a number of timely issues. Learn about where ACP stands on the following areas:
© Copyright 2018 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved. 190 North Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106-1572
Toll Free: (800) 523.1546 · Local: (215) 351.2400
"Most of the great leaders in medicine in general have come
from internal medicine because of the breadth and depth of its
academic and clinical work. It draws the best and brightest."
-- David Gremillion, MD, FACP
Internal medicine physicians, or internists, are specialists who
apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis,
treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum
from health to complex illness. They are especially well trained in
the diagnosis of puzzling medical problems, in the ongoing care of
chronic illnesses, and in caring for patients with more than one
disease. Internists also specialize in health promotion and disease
Internal medicine physicians can be called "internists,"
"general internists," and "doctors of internal medicine." (But
don't mistake them with "interns," who are doctors in their first
year of residency training.) Although internists may act as primary
care physicians, they are not family physicians, family
practitioners, or general practitioners, whose training is not
solely concentrated on adults and may include surgery, obstetrics,
Internists routinely see patients with conditions such as heart
disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and chronic lung disease.
An internist may consult with doctors in other fields of medicine,
or may be called to consult on a patient by another specialist.
To become an internist, a graduate of a four-year medical school
must complete a residency in internal medicine, which usually lasts
three years. Once general internal medicine residency training is
complete, a physician may begin to practice internal medicine, or
an internist may then choose to subspecialize in a particular area
of internal medicine, for example, cardiology or infectious
diseases. Subspecialty training, called fellowship, calls for two
to three years of additional training.
Most general internists provide care for their patients in an
ambulatory setting (office or outpatient), and follow their
patients when hospitalized (inpatient setting). Other internists
are known as "hospitalists" and care for patients only in the
The term internal medicine comes from the German term innere
medizin, popularized in Germany in the late 19th century to
describe physicians who combined the science of the laboratory with
the care of patients. Many early 20th century American doctors
studied medicine in Germany and brought this medical field to the
United States. Thus, the name "internal medicine" was adopted. As
with many words adopted from other languages, it unfortunately
doesn't exactly fit an American meaning.
"You have the opportunity to learn so much about so many
different aspects of medicine and really apply all of it to giving
the best care possible to your patients." -- Tiffany Winstone,