Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Apparently not....

The first sentence in this article tells us a "fact":
The new president of the American Medical Association, which represents the interests of the nation's doctors, said Wednesday the group is open to a government-funded health insurance option for people without coverage.

At the end of the article, we are also informed of this fact:
The 162-year-old AMA has about 250,000 members, including practicing physicians, medical students and retired doctors. Overall, there are more than 900,000 doctors in the United States.

Doesn't this mean that the AMA only represents a minority of our nation's doctors?


comsympinko said...

You bet.

The AMA is the single greatest obstacle to the people of the US receiving the ubiquity and quality of healthcare available worldwide.

The AMA exists to inflate physician compensation in the US.

Its mission as protector of the profession of medicine has been compromised beyond any hope of redemption.

Christopher M. Hughes, MD said...

It is an interesting topic amongst physicians:

In a post on Sermo (a physician only web site originally partnered with the AMA) yesterday, the CEO of Sermo essentially urged Sermo physicians to abandon the AMA ship.

The discussion that ensued was huge and interesting. It essentially involved two groups: the majority of Sermo users who are conservative, some rabidly so, decrying the AMA for being too liberal and giving away the store, and the rest of us, decrying the AMA as too conservative and obstructionist on health care reform.

The conservatives urged membership in the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, a fringe group in my mind, but perhaps it will become the new home of some of the AMA's disaffected conservictives.

Liberals urged joining Doctors for America or Physicians for a National Health Plan or the American College of Physicians as more progressive voices. (I'm in all three.)

Bottom line is that the AMA counts less than 20% of physicians as members. Old dog conservatives think it's because they've gone soft and liberal:

I think it is very clearly the opposite: Older, whiter, more conservative and more highly paid procedure based specialists hold too much sway and have alienated the progressives, particulalay in primary care specialties such as family practice, internal medicine and pediatrics.

Connecticut Man1 said...

I was going to mention some of the obvious things but it appears your previous commenter already noted the bulk of them.

Another fact is that the last time the AMA membership was polled they supported single payer:

"A recent nationwide poll of physicians published in the Annals of Internal Medicine utilizing the AMA physician database demonstrated that 60 percent of doctors support a single-payer national health plan based on the most efficient and effective Medicare system."

Who does the AMA leadership really represent? Because it isn't their members.

Much in the same way that most small businesses want a government plan BUT the chamber of commerce sticks to right wing talking points that do not represent their members real views.

Steve J. said...

Christopher & Connecticut -

Thanx for the info,

Steve J.

J. James Rohack, M.D. said...

It has become an unfortunate routine for critics on the left and right to launch sharp, partisan attacks against the AMA in order to promote a narrow agenda. Despite these intentional efforts to sow division, the AMA remains the nation’s largest physician organization with the influence to move the whole profession, even the nation, toward change.

The AMA and its Board of Trustees reflect the faces and practices of American physicians: medical student, resident physician, young physician, solo practice, group practice, academic practice, primary care and other specialty care. The AMA Board also has a member who reminds us physicians why we exist: a patient.

The AMA is the voice of the medical profession because its policies are created by the nation’s only democratic assembly of physicians and medical students representing all state and specialty medical societies. Only the AMA gives all physicians and medical students a voice in the future of medicine.

Taking direction from the consensus expressed through our democratic forum of physicians and medical students, the AMA will stay constructively engaged in discussions and open to health reform proposals. Just last month, these representatives voted for the AMA to support health-system reform alternatives that are consistent with the principles of pluralism, freedom of choice, freedom of practice and universal access for patients

We urge all physicians and medical students to share their voice with the AMA and join our goal of achieving health care coverage for all Americans this year.

J. James Rohack, M.D.
American Medical Association