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The following opinions of the general members were adopted at meetings of the American Academy of General Physicians (AAGP) for which all of the members received notice. These opinions serve as the basis for AAGP policy pertaining to the practice of general medicine in the United States.

  • The American Academy of General Physicians is recognized as the organization which makes policy for the practice of general medicine in the United States.
  • Any certification, which has been deemed by the American Board of General Practice to be “Board Certification”, should also be deemed as such by the general public.
  • The requirements, which have been adopted by the American Board of General Practice as being necessary to attain a board eligible status (on any basis), are sufficient to justify an award of that status.
  • The American Board of General Practice has the authority to grant a board eligible status (on any basis).
  • Any physician, who has been granted board eligibility (on any basis) or board eligible status (on any basis) by the American Board of General Practice, should be considered “Board Eligible” and should state and advertise to the public that he or she is “Board Eligible”.
  • The requirements, which have been adopted by the American Board of General Practice as being necessary to attain a board certified status, are sufficient to justify an award of that status.
  • The American Board of General Practice has the authority to grant a board certified status.
  • Any physician, who has been granted board certification or a board certified status by the American Board of General Practice, should be considered “Board Certified” and should state and advertise to the public that he or she is “Board Certified”.
  • General Medicine (or General Practice) is different and distinct from Family Medicine (or Family Practice). The body of knowledge and skill set level for General Medicine, as defined by the American Academy of General Physicians, is different from the body of knowledge and skill set level for Family Medicine.
  • General Practitioners are different and distinct from Family Practitioners. General Practitioners claim to have mastered a body of knowledge and skill set level which is different from the body of knowledge and skill set level which Family Practitioners claim to have mastered.
  • The American Board of General Practice is recognized as the board which certifies physicians as having excellence in the practice of general medicine.
  • Board certification should not be a requisite in all cases for competency or excellence in medicine.
  • General Practioners are generalist physicians who practice high quality medicine and who choose not to limit themselves to any particular area of medicine, in their primary area of practice. This does not exclude physicians who may specialize in their secondary or tertiary area of practice.
  • The term: “general medicine”, as defined by the general members of the American Academy of General Physicians, is synonymous with the term: “the general practice of medicine and surgery”.
  • The body of knowledge and clinical skill set level, which has been defined for “general medicine” by the general members of the American Academy of General Physicians, is the same body of knowledge and clinical skill set level for “the general practice of medicine and surgery”.
  • Only general practitioners are the peers of a general practitioner. Family practitioners are distinct from general practitioners.
  • All physicians who have been designated board certified or board eligible by the American Board of General Practice are deemed competent and qualified by their peers.
  • In order for medical care to be fair, open and honest, to promote patient autonomy, and to further the interests of the patient, all patients must have a right of access to any physician who has been deemed competent and qualified by his or her peers. Furthermore, it is the ethical duty of all physicians, healthcare professionals and healthcare institutions to affirm and promote this right.
  • The right of access of any patient to any physician, who has been deemed competent and qualified by his or her peers, is an important public interest which must be served first and completely before any private interest is served.
  • If any person, hospital, insurance company, health maintenance organization, managed care organization, preferred provider organization or other organization burdens, infringes upon, or interferes with, the right of access of any patient to any physician, who has been deemed competent and qualified by his or her peers, then such person or organization is acting unethically and not in the public interest and should therefore be considered unethical.
  • Hospitals influence the access patients have to physicians by controlling which specific physicians may be on their staffs. For this reason, it is the ethical duty of all hospitals to accept on to their staffs any physician who has been deemed competent and qualified by his or her peers.
  • Insurance companies, health maintenance organizations, preferred provider organizations, managed care organizations and other similar organizations (collectively referred to as “Healthcare Organizations”) influence the access patients have to physicians by controlling which specific physicians may be impaneled or allowed to participate. For this reason, it is the ethical duty of all Healthcare Organizations to impanel, and allow the participation of, any physician who has been deemed competent and qualified by his or her peers.