Behind the scenes of the policy adopted in the AMA House of Delegates is the tireless dedication of physicians and medical students who possess an unwavering passion for reshaping the field of medicine.
With a rich history spanning 175 years, the AMA meets every moment of medicine by advancing science and research, standardizing physician training and medical education, improving public health, and uniting the profession around a common whole of ethics.
But it is the AMA members themselves who serve as a driving force, fueling the creation of policies that help advance the art and science of medicine and the improvement of public health. With the 2022 AMA Annual Meeting opening this week in Chicago, it’s a good time to learn more about how the AMA House of Delegates makes policy and the AMA members whose passion makes it happen.
Policy deliberation at the AMA begins with open hearings during which any member of the AMA can comment on submitted reports and resolutions. Hearings are chaired by small subgroups of members called liaison committees.
Following the hearings, the committees produce reports containing recommendations for each report and resolution proposing how the House of Delegates should deal with the matter. For each point, the reference committees can suggest:
- Adoption of the proposal.
- Approval of the amended proposal.
- Refer the proposal for further study or by decision of the AMA Board of Trustees.
- Do not adopt the proposal.
The recommendations of these reports are the starting point for all subsequent debate and action by the House of Delegates. From here the formal process governed by parliamentary procedure can begin.
Watch this short video below from 2019 and explore this interactive AMA Ed Hub course to learn how AMA policy is created.
In addition to reports, resolutions, hearings and parliamentary proceedings, the AMA owes its impactful policies to the collective vision and experience of AMA member physicians and medical students who strive to improve patient care, advocate ethical standards and navigate the evolving healthcare landscape.
Learn more about just a few of the AMA members who helped breathe life into politics, actively shaping the future of medicine.
- Whether it’s posting an aviral tweet about a sea change in AMA policy or creating a podcast about public health issues in people of color, Dr. Crittenden wants to move the conversation forward about health care policy and systemic racism. That’s why he helped shape AMA policy to recognize racism as a public health threat.
- For more information, read this Q&A with Louis Seija, MD, and how he also helped advocate for the adoption of AMA policy to recognize racism as a threat to public health and race as a social construct.
- For Dr. James, the evidence of polypharmacy taking five or more drugs at once has been around for years. And it can cause harm. But Dr. James wasn’t sure how to take his work on this issue nationally. That changed when he was invited to come up with ideas for political resolutions. With only a few minor changes, his resolution was adopted last summer.
- Throughout her career, Dr. Templeton has seen the problems doctors face at all stages of their careers. More precisely, Dr. Templetonhas conducted research on the problems that women doctors face in terms of burnout. And while all doctors are at risk for burnout, research shows some doctors are at higher risk than others.
- At the 2022 AMA annual meeting, he worked on a resolution that was adopted to help protect the well-being of physicians in board certification applications by removing intrusive questions that don’t focus on the current impairment.
- It is important to think about the spaces that native students go through and how to make them feel welcome away from home to give them the right support, not only personal and professional, but also cultural, Calac said. Fortunately, the AMA has recently adopted a policy that recognizes the importance of cultural identity in promoting the success of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian trainees.
- When gun violence hit Dr. DeLong’s internal medicine practice, the patient who died was not the victim of a mass shooting or homicide. Dr. DeLong’s patient, an otherwise healthy 80-year-old man who never mentioned feeling depressed, shot himself with a handgun. He wanted to help prevent such deaths, so he created a resolution addressing gun violence and suicide among the elderly and it was adopted last fall.
The 2023 AMA Annual Meeting will take place June 914 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
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