2018 American Medical Association Annual Meeting
The SED activities included our Monday morning breakfast, Monday night Ice Cream Social, with our highest attendance so far, two Board of Director meetings and the inaugural meetings of our new AMA membership committee led by Dr. Clark, and the Student-Resident Committee, led by Dr. Dalton. The breakfast featured the Georgia Grits reported (ranking 3.2 this year), presentations by the AMA Foundation and AMPAC, and issues and Resolutions discussion. The Ice Cream Social featured Drs. Ehrenfeld, Fryhofer, Lavine, and Ranasinghe in the receiving line.
Our election results this year were satisfying. We elected SED leaders to AMA positions including Drs. Patrice Harris (President-elect), Bruce Scott (Vice Speaker), Jesse Ehrenfeld and Sandra Fryhofer (Board), Madelyn Butler and Kevin Reilly (Council on Constitution and Bylaws), Niranjan Rao (Council on Medical Education), and Padmini Ranasinghe (Council on Science and Public Heath).
The Convention Keynote speaker was Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, who has been an AMA member for about 20 years. Dr. Adams electrified the crowd with his eloquence and passion. He pleaded for civil discourse on gun violence, health disparities, and the opioid crises. Much of his work on opioid poisoning is on treatment, particularly to make Naloxone available, and rehabilitation; he noted that the medical community has done an excellent job on reducing prescriptions and limiting the numbers of pills. He ended on a high note: "AMA members really do move medicine. My AMA moves hearts. My AMA moves minds."
The AMA provided a variety of educational opportunities and even some fun in the hallways. They constructed a small sitting room as a photo booth for both serious and humorous pictures, some shown to the whole convention. The education sessions included: precision medicine population health models, value based contracting, the AMA ambassadors program, Preventing gun violence, transforming clinical practice, the AMA Medical Education Consortium, cost sharing interventions, and surgery in a modern health care system.
Some years, Resolution debate ends on Tuesday afternoon, but this year it continued until late Wednesday morning. Medical practice, administrative regulations, legislative initiatives and social issues took up most of our time. Although not often engaged in lobbying for general social issues, the AMA has more and more decided to become a "bully pulpit" for a variety of social issues that impact on public health and safety. As you can predict, both the objective and the content can be controversial. Some folks, trying to increase AMA membership, are suggesting AMA staff publicly mostly emphasize decisions and policy with broad concurrence across the AMA House.
Also, note these significant SED Resolutions passed or thoughtfully amended, reviewed by the SED Resolutions Committee Chair and Speaker of he Florida Medical Association, Dr. Corey Howard.