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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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I meet many medical students at various ACP-sponsored meetings
who are full of lofty goals which they intend to accomplish-once
they graduate from medical school, that is. Most of them are
surprised to find out there is much to be done on the local level
even as medical students. It is a valuable exercise to learn how to
energize your school's internal medicine interest group (IMIG) and
thereby learn the skills necessary to be a productive
Communication is the very foundation of a successful IMIG. Hold
a group activity planning session and be sure the planned
activities are varied to address different student interests. Send
out monthly, informative e-mails to your classmates. Monthly
e-mails will allow your IMIG to become a constant student presence
and let students know that the IMIG is a useful resource for
information pertaining to internal medicine and ACP. IMIG leaders
should be in touch with faculty leaders at their school as well as
their local ACP Chapter Governors. Contact information for your ACP
Chapter Governor can be found on ACP Online. On your ACP
Chapter web site, you can find out about local meetings where
students can present abstracts as well as various networking
opportunities within your region. You can also find information
about your ACP Chapter student leader and contact him or her to
learn more about what types of student-centered activities are
being sponsored by ACP in your area.
Attending meetings is the best way to introduce yourself to
important Chapter leaders. Long-term ACP members are always
impressed when they meet young medical students who are passionate
about internal medicine. Chapter meetings happen throughout the
year, depending on the individual region, and you can find
information about your ACP Chapter's annual meeting on the Chapter
web site. As a student leader, these meetings are useful to learn
about the current issues of interest to ACP as well as to voice
your concerns as a medical student. ACP leaders are interested in
the student perspective on medical student debt and loan
opportunities. They are also interested in knowing about the
barriers that keep medical students from ultimately applying to
work in primary care. Often ACP Chapter Governors have the
budgetary means to send interested students to regional and even
national meetings. If you find that opportunities are available,
offering them to members of your IMIG is an easy way to develop
excitement amongst your classmates about internal medicine and ACP.
ACP Leadership Day
is one such opportunity. Leadership Day is an annual ACP event in
Washington, D.C., and each year many medical students apply for
grant funding to attend the event. As an IMIG leader, it is your
responsibility to let IMIG members know if funding opportunities
are available. Attending meetings and keeping constant
communication with Chapter leaders will keep you abreast of all of
the wonderful opportunities available to medical students through
Once you have forged important relationships with ACP leaders
and school faculty, it is important to use those resources wisely.
Try to organize free clinics or organize groups to regularly
volunteer in established clinics within the area. These volunteer
opportunities will appeal to medical students who wish to have
additional clinical experience and will have the added benefit of
exposing students to ACP as well as the importance of primary
health care. The hardest thing about organizing such events is
knowing who to contact. Being active within your ACP Chapter and
networking with doctors who may already be involved with community
outreach activities will make it much easier to create these
opportunities for your fellow students. At the end of the day,
students, physicians, and patients will be extremely grateful for
your efforts to create meaningful service opportunities for
If you need help, all Council of Student Members (CSM)
representatives are more than happy to speak with medical students.
Our contact information can be found on ACP Online.
leaders should register with ACP in late summer to qualify for
funding to help with activities at your school. As a student
leader, you have the advantage of immediate access your classmates,
and the more information you can disseminate about internal
medicine activities, the more students can benefit from the
plethora of resources provided by the ACP.
It can be daunting to lead a student interest group when there
are so many other responsibilities and obligations to attend to.
However, reinvigorating your IMIG is not only helpful in the short
term, but it also leaves a strong legacy for the future IMIG
leaders in your school. Leading a successful and active IMIG at
your school will also serve as a springboard to become a successful
leader within the field of internal medicine later in your
Lavanya Viswanathan, MS, 2LT, USAF
Vice Chair, Council of Student Members
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
September 2010 Issue of IMpact
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