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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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Finding accurate and reliable information about internal
medicine training programs can be challenging and difficult to
access because of the larger number and diversity of programs. The
following are some ways of gathering this important information to
help you determine whether a particular program would be the best
match for you.
You'll often be able to find the program's institutional
affiliation (such as medical school or hospital system), and the
kind of patients and the community it serves. Although these sites
can't provide some types of less tangible data such as the
educational philosophy and the culture of a program or institution,
they are a good source of basic information and help to put a
'face' to a program.
Accurate factual information about each program is available on
the ERAS website. Programs participating in the
match are required to update this database at least annually.
The Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)
is the governing regulatory body for all US residency training
programs. They maintain a public portion of their website that is open
to medical students. Although this site is a bit difficult to
navigate, it gives information on the accreditation status of both
a program and its sponsoring institution. This site should be
checked to be sure that programs and institutions are accredited
and not having significant compliance issues.
This is a wonderful source of information about what a residency
program is really like. Residents who graduated from your medical
school are usually quite eager to share their experience with those
applying to their program or considering doing so. Because of their
shared experience with you, they also tend to be very honest about
what is good and bad at their program and can give you a first-hand
idea of the culture and overall educational experience. If you
don't know if any graduates from your school are in a particular
residency program, simply check with the Department of Medicine
(usually the residency program administrator, residency program
director, or Vice Chair for Medical Education) - they usually keep
track of where students who have applied in medicine have gone.
They may be able to facilitate contacting them for you. The Dean's
office can provide information on the previous year's match results
(make sure to go back 3 years since those who graduated in that
time frame will still be in training). If you are interviewing at a
program where a former student from your school is training, it is
worthwhile attempting to contact them before your interview, and
many times they will meet with you on your interview day. Most
residency programs where you are applying will help you make
contact with that person if you explain the circumstances.
Even if someone has been out of training for a number of years,
they are likely able to provide some very helpful information about
the nature of the program, the institutional culture, and the
community and geographical area. Although you will likely not know
who these individuals are, people in the Department of Medicine
(such as the residency program administrator, residency program
director, your clerkship director, or the Vice Chair of Medical
Education) can help guide you in finding out who they might be and
how to best contact them.
Although who actually does this in different schools may vary
(such as the Chair of Medicine, Vice Chair for Medical Education,
or your clerkship director), this person typically knows a lot
about specific residency programs, and their input may be very
helpful as they usually know students who have applied to programs
in past years and how well they have done, and particularly if
there have been any difficulties with specific programs.
You may be surprised that people you interact with frequently
actually have close ties with individuals at a program or
institution in which you have interest. Just ask them if they know
anyone or anything about these programs.
Although they obviously can't give insight into a specific
program, they can offer a more personal perspective to what you are
thinking. For example, geography is an issue as it is important to
have some support system (friends, family) close by as residency
can be challenging and lonely at times. Remember that residency
choice is a major life decision and the input of your friends and
family is important.
Pay close attention to the learning environment in the program
and don't just rely on name recognition or reputation. Know what
type of environment you learn best in and seek it out. If possible,
it is best to talk directly to residents. Some useful questions to
It would seem that these should be a good source of information
about a residency program by those with direct experience. However,
similar to other review sites, the individuals who comment tend to
have either overly negative or positive views of a program, and it
is difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions from most of these