Taiwan Society of Internal Medicine

         
      A Brief Introduction of Taiwan Society of Internal Medicine    
     

Internal medicine in Taiwan began in the 1890s and has a history over 100 years. It has been the major driving force of advances in medicine in Taiwan. The Society made major contributions in the education and training of doctors, medical research, the diagnosis and treatments of various diseases, especially the elimination of infectious diseases in Taiwan. In the 1950s, training of sub-specialists in internal medicine has flourished and won critical acclaims. In the 1980s, in order to raise the quality of specialists and improve public health, the government of Taiwan decided to establish the Accreditation System for Specialists under the jurisdiction of the Department of health, Executive Yuan. By combining this system with the educational training of internal medicine, a foundation was formed to serve as the basis for training sub-specialists of all specialties, and the Society of Internal Medicine of Taiwan was initiated to provide for the required educational training and accreditation system consequently.

"Taiwan Society of Internal Medicine" was founded on the 13th of June 1987. Its main purpose is to raise the quality of internal medicine, including clinical research and practice of internal medicine, public health and with international academic exchanges. The membership has increased from 984 at the initiation to 8,247 at present. There are 2,663 members (32.3%) with the age of 40-49, 2,071 members (25.1%) with the age of 30-39 and 2,146 members (26%) with the age of 50-59. Therefore, 83.4% of current members of this Society are aged between 30 to 59. There are 6,134 male members (89.2%) and 746 female members (10.8%) in the Society (Fig. 1). During the course of 24 years since its inception, the number of members has seen an increment of 7,263. After the year 2000, an average of 270 specialists in internal medicine had joined our Society each year, and such rapid growth makes society the biggest medical organization in Taiwan (Fig. 2). In addition, the Society of Internal Medicine also dedicates itself to the continued education of its members, the introduction of digitized management system, improvement in quality and efficiency of healthcare, the promotion of medical ethics in doctors' practice of medicine, and the organization of various international conferences to encourage international exchanges.

The society has established nine "Committees", which includes the " Membership Qualifying Committee", the "Teaching Hospital Accreditation Committee", the "Editorial Committee of Journals of Internal Medicine", the "Education Committee", the "Committee of Committee of Journals of Internal Medicine", the "Education Committee", the "Committee of Academic Research", the "Healthcare Policy Committee", the "Finance Committee", the"Medical Ethics Committee" and the "International Academic Exchange Committee". Each of the committees has its own tasks, and the "Secretariat" is responsible for executing and fulfilling the policies and goals specified by the committees.

The responsibilities of each of the committees are described as follows:

 
  1. The Membership Qualifying Committee TOP
 


It is charged with the reviewing of specialists of internal medicine; from the review of candidates' qualifications to the affairs relevant to the examination of candidates, such as written assessments provided by independent experts and oral assessments held in small groups. The committee should hold these assessments in a fair, just, and open manner. The qualifying process of specialists held by the Society of Internal Medicine serves as an exemplar model for all medical societies in Taiwan and enjoys top acclaim within the country. The written assessments are usually held at the end of September or the beginning of October every year; whereas the oral assessments are held three weeks after the written assessments are finished. It is one of the most important events for the Society of Internal Medicine of Taiwan, and the pass-rate and acceptance is 72-75% each year. The other tasks of the Membership Qualifying Committee are:

(1) To review all businesses related to the joining and quitting of members, and the refunding of membership fees as well.
(2) To deal with all affairs related to the review of specialists of internal medicine.
(3) To carry out the tasks decided by the meetings of chairman and board members.

 
  2. The Teaching Hospital Accreditation Committee TOP
 


The committee is charged with the evaluation and accreditation of hospitals responsible for training specialists of internal medicine. In addition to evaluating these hospitals by reviewing their records on paper, it also carries out on-site inspections at the hospitals. The committee requires the aforementioned hospitals to meet certain criteria with respect to the relevant ardware, software, prerequisites for teaching staff, as well as the content and related regulations in the training of resident doctors. Its primary tasks are listed below:

(1) To set up the standard for the accreditation of hospitals responsible for training specialists of internal medicine.
(2) To evaluate the curriculum outlines for the training course of specialists of internal medicine in each hospital.
(3) To assess which hospitals are qualified for training specialists of internal medicine.
(4) To raise the standard in the training of specialists of internal medicine.

 
  3. The Editorial Committee of Journals of Internal Medicine TOP
 


This committee is responsible for all affairs concerning the editing and publishing of journals related to internal medicine; it aims to provide the specialists of internal medicine with journals that are not only educational but also rich in details about relevant research and training, in an attempt to raise the academic standard of internal medicine in Taiwan and advance knowledge as well. The committee puts a larger proportion of emphasis on educational topics that are relevant locally in particular. Its major tasks are described as follows:

(1) To compile, edit, and publish journals related to internal medicine.
(2) To improve the academic standard of journals related to internal medicine.
(3) To advance further knowledge in the area of internal medicine.

 
  4. The Education Committee TOP
 


The responsibility of the committee is to promote the education of internal medicine. It can be further divided into four regions that include the northern region, the central region, the southern region, and the eastern region. The committee is responsible for planning and arranging relevant programs and courses in each region, as well as the selection and hiring of lecturers and the assessment of participants' performance in continued education. On the other hand, it also cooperates with the government authority to inform doctors of relevant health policies, educational campaigns, or educational training about particular diseases in an attempt to raise the standard of specialists of internal medicine in all regions. For example, diseases like tuberculosis and illnesses caused by an enterovirus. Its major tasks are listed below:

(1) To plan and promote the continued education of internal medicine for registered physicians.
(2) To assess the performance in continued education.
(3) To educate our people about the health issues related to internal medicine.

 
  5. The Committee of Academic Research TOP
 


This committee is charged with the management of academic activities related to internal medicine, as well as the conduction of academic conferences and seminars related internal medicine, as well as the conduction of academic conferences and seminars related to internal medicine. The main tasks of the committee are:

(1) To plan for annual meetings and academic conferences for the society.
(2) To conduct academic activities related to internal medicine.
(3) To recommend academic incentives related to internal medicine to the board.

 
  6. The Healthcare Policy Committee TOP
 


The committee is responsible for dealing with all healthcare policies related to internal medicine. Since the implementation of Taiwan's National Health Insurance in 1995, it has brought massive impact on the healthcare market, the education of medical studies, and the healthcare policies. Therefore, the main objective of the Healthcare Policy Committee is to reflect the relationship between members of society and the healthcare policies, and to assist the government execute healthcare policies properly. It has the following tasks:

(1) To plan, promote, and scrutinize healthcare policies related to internal medicine according to pertinent principles of the area.
(2) To propose realistic and feasible healthcare policies to the government, the Congress, and the Bureau of National Health Insurance, and to help enact these policies.
(3) To protect the basic rights of the members.

 
  7. The Finance Committee TOP
 


The main duty of this committee is to manage the financial income, expenditure, budgets, and annual accounts of the society; its most crucial function is to raise funds for the society all the time. Its tasks are:

(1) To raise funds for the society.
(2) To make annual budgets and list annual final accounts for the society.
(3) To compile account books and accounting reports, as well as list clear accounts for the expenditure in funds.
(4) To decide and specify regulations concerning membership fee and spending.

 
  8. The Medical Ethics Committee TOP
 


The practice of medicine must be guided by ethical considerations, only then can the relationship between doctors and patients be improved, and for a healthcare system based on medical ethics to be established, so that the standard in healthcare can be enhanced and the patients' wellbeing safeguarded. As a result, it has the following tasks:

(1) To emphasize the campaigns about bioethics, clinical ethics, and the relationship
between doctors and patients.
(2) To nurture a medical education that regards medical humanity as its core value and cultivates talents who take both humanity and professionalism into account.
(3) The board of the society is to make recommendations to the government, Congress and the insurance units.

 
  9. The International Academic Exchange Committee TOP
 


This committee represents the Society of Internal Medicine of Taiwan in the liaison with all domestic and international medical organizations that are related to internal medicine, its main objective is to promote exchanges and facilitate understanding about each other. Its primary tasks are:

(1) To strengthen the relationship with domestic and international organizations related to internal medicine.
(2) To promote academic exchanges concerning internal medicine with domestic and international organizations.
(3) To compete for the right to hold international academic conferences.
(4) To invite internationally renowned medical experts to give speeches in Taiwan.

 
         
 
       
 
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