The value of the continuing medical education (CME) offered by the Academy, particularly in American Family Physician, was described in this space in the April 1, 2007, issue. That column also briefly explained the reaccreditation process being conducted by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). The ACCME Accreditation Review Committee has completed its survey of AAFP's CME program, and we are delighted to announce that the ACCME has granted the Academy another six-year term of accreditation. In fact, this accreditation includes commendation for excellence—we passed with flying colors!
This accreditation is the result of a 15-month self-study that produced a lengthy document describing the AAFP CME program. The ACCME then conducted a site survey in early March to discuss that document with AAFP staff members and members of the Commission on Continuing Professional Development. The commendation for excellence recognizes the Academy's exemplary compliance with ACCME standards. The six-year accreditation, instead of the typical four-year, is a result of that outstanding report.
AFP is the Academy's primary clinical publication for meeting the Academy's strategic objective of education—“Promote high-quality, innovative education for physicians, residents, and medical students that encompasses the art, science, evidence, and socioeconomics of family medicine.” Last year, more than 509,000 AFP quizzes were submitted, either online or through the mail. With an average of 4.4 CME credits offered in each issue, approximately two million CME credits were granted in 2006. We look forward to continuing to provide valuable CME to our readers.
New Article Series Provides Guidelines for Diagnostic Imaging
The long-standing tradition of providing important CME for family physicians and other health care professionals continues in this issue. The article titled “Radiologic Evaluation of Acute Chest Pain” (page 533) is the first in a new series of articles that will appear in AFP. This series is the result of collaboration of the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the AAFP. More information on this collaboration and this new series is provided in the editorial on page 504.
The articles in the series are based on the ACR Appropriateness Criteria, which include more than 160 guidelines developed by experts in diagnostic imaging, interventional radiology, and radiation oncology. The goal is to provide short, guideline-based articles that include condensed information for physicians at the point of care. The first article in this series outlines the ACR Appropriateness Criteria on imaging tests used in evaluating acute chest pain—suspected myocardial ischemia. It includes an illustrative case, a table outlining the appropriateness ratings of various radiologic examinations, and a brief narrative by the author, William Stanford, MD, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City. Future articles in this series will follow a similar format.
The series is coordinated by Michael A. Bettmann, MD, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Dr. Bettmann is the chair of the ACR Appropriateness Criteria Committee. For more information on the ACR Appropriateness Criteria, visit the Web site at http://www.acr.org/ac. We hope this new series provides the information you need to evaluate common clinical problems you see in your practice. We look forward to your feedback.