Internists’ defining moment
Outliers was reminded of an Introduction to Philosophy course when we heard about the American College of Physicians’ new “What is Internal Medicine?” public relations campaign. Rene Descartes’ most famous line gets a retread in the effort: “I think, therefore I.M.”
That slogan along with a few others are available on T-shirts, coffee mugs and posters as the prominent organization representing internal medicine physicians endeavors to, well, tell the public what internal medicine physicians do.
For one thing, the Philadelphia-based American College of Physicians, with 137,000 members, wants the public to understand that there is a big difference between internists and interns. One is a board-certified doctor of internal medicine, while the other is a medical school graduate in his or her first year of post-graduate training. Who knew? But the ACP isn’t having an existential crisis. The educational effort is geared toward strengthening the identity of internists and reinforcing pride in internal medicine as a profession.
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 posters in the campaign list internists’ values such as patient engagement, research and care coordination. And internists are invited to share their ideas on Twitter at #IMdefined.
If you’d like your own internist merch, go to bit.ly/1446QD8
The ACP used a “word cloud” to highlight concepts central to internal medicine.