Dr. Harry Edstrom, chief of the Division of Respiratory Medicine, is the governor-elect of the Atlantic Chapter of the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM).
"This is basically a learning year for me before I take over as governor at the next annual meeting in April 2002 in Philadelphia," he explained. "I'm spending a fair amount of time on the Web site for governors learning about current issues facing board of directors and regions. It's a month-by-month training program."
The total membership of ACP-ASIM is 115,000 physicians, which represents all internists. In Atlantic Canada there are about 110 members, as well as resident and student members.
"As a governor there are two meetings a year I'm expected to attend, the rest of my activities will take place over the Web," said Dr. Edstrom. "Within the geographic area of Atlantic province we try to organize an annual meeting and arrange visiting speakers to help local members keep up to speed on current issues. And there are a number of in-house journals that are particularly helpful for residents, students, and members to keep current about medical and political matters."
The major issue facing internists in the U.S.A. is re-certification whereby practising internists would be required to be re-certified by examination. Dr. Edstrom said in Canada internists do not face this issue because the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons has chosen the route of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) whereby specialists must keep track of the hours they participate in professional development. Fellows are required to earn a minimum of 400 credits during five years of active practice and must enter a minimum of 40 hours of educational activities in four out of five years of active practice.
Dr. Edstrom said ACP-ASIM is a good organization and he is glad to be part of it. He now faces a five-year commitment, including the coming year of preparation and then a four-year term as governor.