When you see the letters FACP after your physician's name they mean that he or she is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (ACP). Fellowship is an honorary designation that recognizes service and contributions to the practice of medicine-it says that the doctor is committed to providing the best health care possible.
The American College of Physicians is the largest society of internists in the world.
Doctors of internal medicine, often called "internists", focus on adult medicine. They care for their patients for life - from the teen years through old age. Internists have had special training that focuses on the prevention and treatment of adult diseases. At least three of their seven or more year of training are dedicated to learning how to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases that affect adults. Some internists take additional training to "subspecialize" in one of 13 area of internal medicine, such as cardiology or geriatrics. Internists are often called upon to as as consultants to other physicians to help solve puzzling diagnostic problems.
Fellows in ACP are a special group of doctors who are dedicated to continuing education in medical practice, teaching, or research. Fellowship is an honorary designation given to recognize ongoing individual service and contributions to the practice of medicine.
Fellowship in ACP is a mark of distinction. It says that your doctor has made -- and continues to make -- special efforts to be a better doctor. Ultimately, it says your doctor cares about delivering good health care.
Fellowship in the ACP means that as a patient you can have confidence in your doctor. Through continual self-improvement and study, he or she adds to the knowledge and skills needed to deliver appropriate care for your medical needs, whether directly to you or with other specialists.
Your doctor is:
Doctors must show that they are always growing and learning in order for the honor of Fellowship to be conferred. They may show this through activities such as teaching, hospital appointments, public service, community health planning, continuing medical education, publishing scientific articles, and advanced training.
They must also be recommended by other ACP Fellows who must attest to their character, ethics, and excellence in professional medical activities.