Latest updates on ACP's priorities, initiatives

ACP Spotlight offers readers a look at ACP's current top priorities and initiatives, as well as highlights from our e-newsletter, ACP Internist Weekly.

ACP issues call to protect reproductive health care

ACP's recommendations oppose government restrictions that would erode equitable access to reproductive health care services, including family planning, sexual health information, the full range of medically accepted forms of contraception, and abortion. ACP also opposes criminal or civil penalties for providing or otherwise facilitating clinically appropriate health care services that meet the standard of care. The recommendations specifically denounce regulations that allow private citizens to enforce state laws and the use of personal health information to prosecute or penalize individuals. Finally, ACP affirms that individuals should have access to high-quality health care regardless of where they live, including the ability to have legally prescribed drugs shipped and delivered and the freedom to travel across state or U.S. borders to access health care services. “Reproductive Health Policy in the United States: An ACP Policy Brief” was published Feb. 28 by Annals of Internal Medicine.

ACP joins the Coalition for Trust in Health and Science

The newly established Coalition for Trust in Health & Science, which includes more than 50 leading health organizations, will support science-based health decisions based on credible information and enhanced trust in health and science organizations and professionals, as well as debunk disinformation and misinformation. The group also aims to help patients make science-based, personally appropriate choices and decisions for themselves, their families, and the communities in which they live and work. More information is online.

ACP's other recent efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation include:

  • Speaking out about COVID-19 misinformation as a serious threat to public health;
  • Publishing evidence-based scientific content weekly in Annals of Internal Medicine and maintaining a robust collection of material related to COVID-19;
  • Hosting virtual forums for members on important clinical and public health topics;
  • Developing Rapid Living Practice Points based on the work of ACP's Health & Public Policy Scientific Medical Policy and Clinical Guidelines Committees;
  • Working with YouTube to produce videos addressing misinformation and improving public education and perception around COVID-19;
  • Serving on the advisory committee for an initiative by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies, National Academy of Medicine, and World Health Organization to identify credible sources of health information for social media companies; and
  • Developing the COVID-19 Resource Center, which was activated in April 2020 and provided real-time, up-to-date information and comprehensive resources during the pandemic.

ACP offers live, virtual POCUS Mentorship Program

Image by plo
Image by plo

This program gives internal medicine physicians a chance to perfect their POCUS skills through ongoing live, virtual expert-guided scanning sessions. From May through October 2023, training will be offered across five key POCUS skill areas: pulmonary ultrasound, focused cardiac ultrasound, kidney and bladder ultrasound, evaluation of the abdomen for free fluid, and focused vascular evaluations of the lower extremities for deep venous thrombosis.

All participants must have completed an ACP POCUS: Foundational Skills for Internists course or an equivalent alternate course to register. Visit the ACP website to register or learn more about the new program.

ICYMI: Highlights from ACP Internist Weekly

  • Latest ACIP immunization schedule updates guidance on COVID-19, pneumococcal vaccines. Among other vaccine recommendations, the annual immunization schedule from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) includes mRNA and protein-based vaccines for COVID-19 but not viral vector vaccines. New options for pneumococcal vaccination incorporate the now available higher-valent PCV20 vaccine, should patients meet certain criteria. The schedule was published by Annals of Internal Medicine and MMWR on Feb. 9 and summarized in the Feb. 14 ACP Internist Weekly.
  • More primary care visits addressing mental health concerns in recent years. The prevalence of mental health concerns as a topic during U.S. primary care visits increased by nearly 50% from 2006 to 2018, representing almost 16% of all visits by the end of the study, most commonly for anxiety and stress-related diagnoses, according to a recent cross-sectional analysis using nationally representative data. The study was published in the February Health Affairs and summarized in the Feb. 14 ACP Internist Weekly.

ACP Internist Weekly is an e-newsletter published every Tuesday and available online. Subscribe online.