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ACP offers a number of resources to help members make sense of the MOC requirements and earn points.
Understanding MOC Requirements
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April 11-13, 2019
Internal Medicine Meeting 2019
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As a first-year medical student, it is easy to feel
overwhelmed-between a new school, oftentimes a new location, and
the large amount of material you are expected to assimilate in a
relatively short period. In this setting, the first thing students
usually give up is involvement in activities for their professional
development. After all, it seems that our "real" careers are still
so far down the road. However, as a fourth-year student, I can
attest to the importance of this involvement as you apply for
residency and in your career in general. The benefits are
limitless, but I have outlined what I have personally been rewarded
with for early involvement in such activities as the internal
medicine interest group at my school, ACP's Leadership Day, and
attending the national ACP Internal Medicine Meeting.
Time Management Skills: As physicians, time
will be our most valuable resource, and learning early on how to
manage your time will make this easier for your future career.
Because I have been involved in several activities in depth, I have
learned to be extremely efficient with my schoolwork but also with
my activities outside of the classroom. This has actually freed up
more time for things like spending time with my friends and family,
something that will become increasingly more difficult as I enter
residency. I am glad that I have practiced this important skill
Leadership: As an early participant in
professional activities, you will also have the opportunity for
local and national leadership positions. These positions can help
hone your ability to organize, delegate, and speak publicly-the
same skills you will need as a resident. Whether you are on the
board for your internal medicine interest group, on your local
council for student members, or on the national Council of Student
Members, others will look to you to represent their interests and
interact with faculty at a high level. This experience not only
allows you to be comfortable with interacting with faculty, but
also provides you with numerous connections.
Networking: Most people are not born with
networking skills but instead need to develop them through repeated
interactions and opportunities to practice. Professional
activities, such as attending national and local conferences,
afford medical students the opportunity to practice their
networking skills and make important connections to others in the
medical field. There are opportunities at conferences to make
connections with a myriad of people from medical students to
leaders in medicine. Even something as simple as speaking with a
presenter at the poster session or at the end of a lecture can be
the beginning of a relationship. More important, these
relationships can lead to valuable mentor-mentee relationships.
Having a mentor: Being mentored is an important
facet of your career whether you are a medical student or a
seasoned physician. Every physician I have admired has first
credited their mentor for where they are in their career. Getting
involved early with professional activities like your school's
interest group allows you to develop a relationship with a faculty
member who can guide you as you make course selections during your
fourth year and help you apply to residency programs that are a
good fit for you. At ACP's national conference, we have a medical
student mentoring breakfast, which allows students to connect with
experienced physicians, often program directors, who can provide
advice on matching to the right residency program for you. Most
conferences also have mentorship opportunities specific to certain
groups, such as women and underrepresented minorities in medicine.
Finding other physicians with your background can help you overcome
Citizenship: Perhaps the most valuable aspect
of getting involved with activities outside the classroom is
citizenship. Physicians are often seen in their communities as
leaders, contributors, and pillars of strength. Professionalism
goes far beyond how we conduct ourselves in the hospital or clinic
and extends to our community involvement. Through participation in
professional activities, you can learn about legislation affecting
physicians now and in the future, speak with our legislators about
your concerns and experiences, and have opportunities to volunteer
and give back.
Being involved in professional activities is intimidating,
especially when you are just starting out. You may not think you
have enough time-but you need to make time for this important
endeavor. While I do not advocate that you get involved in every
opportunity, you should consider getting involved to a greater
extent in one or two that spark your interest: depth is better than
breadth! The relationships and skills you build will last you a
lifetime and, as I have found, what you get back will be much more
than you give.
Christin M. Giordano, PA
University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Class of
Chair, Council of Student Members
November 2015 Issue of IMpact