That information is included in the new campaign, “What is Internal Medicine?”
The ACP explains that the educational effort is geared toward strengthening the identity of internists and reinforcing pride in internal medicine as a profession. That's apparently needed, as a high percentage of medical school graduates are choosing specialties other than general internal medicine and family practice.
The ACP campaign also explains that internists are not family physicians. While both are primary-care doctors, internists prevent, diagnose and treat illness in adults, while family physicians may also treat children and have training in surgery and obstetrics.
The campaign also includes a new definition of “internal medicine,” developed with input from other internist organizations and vetted by internists: “Internal medicine physicians 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.”
Internists can order coffee cups featuring the definition printed on them, along with words touting internists as “your doctor's doctor.” T-shirts with the definition are available as well, and they also include the phrase “I think, therefore I.M.”
Posters are available which list internists' values such as patient engagement, research and care coordination. And internists are invited to share their ideas on Twitter at #IMdefined.
So far, the campaign seems to be met with enthusiasm—though some have used the hashtag to air gripes about Obamacare and the burdens experienced during the American Board of Internal Medicine's recertification process (something the ACP is not involved with).
Some doctors have switched the ACP's T-shirt slogan to read: I.M., therefore I think.
Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks