2018 American Medical Association Interim Meeting
The Interim Meeting 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland was very busy. Both our Reception on Sunday night and our Breakfast on Monday morning had great attendance, a testimony to your interest and involvement in the AMA meeting and support for the SED. A Special Congratulations to all; we still had a goodtime Sunday evening, even when the Hotel failed to keep up with food and drink. Arkansas and Oklahoma have now joined us; both states participated fully and have come into the SED ready to work.
The Breakfast was brightened by the surprise appearance of Dr. Joe Bailey to give the Grits Report (a very low grade, this time); Dr. Bailey started the Grits Report in 1999 and the Report has become a staring moment in our breakfast meetings, now presented by Dr. Bill Clark. Dr. Coy Irvin distributed his encyclopedia on Grits Lore and their preparation. Secretary Dr. Tom Price made a surprise appearance to give his special insights into our National Health care issues and policy with a look towards the future. Donald Palmisano, the MAG Exec, reviewed emergency preparedness measures with a look at our recent devastating hurricanes thru Florida, South and North Carolina and Georgia.
At one time the AMA Interim meeting was almost entirely dedicated to medical science and continuing medical education. We are moving that way again; this year there were 32 separate seminars or courses offering CME and/or MOC credits.
The Policy part of the meeting was dedicated to “Advocacy.” The SED introduced 29 Resolutions and 16 were accepted and/or amended for adoption. You can read Dr. Corey Howard's, Chair of the SED Resolutions Committee, comprehensive report on these Resolutions
The AMA officers, accompanied by national press the Friday following, spoke “like every other sector, medicine must operate with zero-tolerance for sexual and other forms of harassment,” And continuing, “The AMA of course has always strove to equity, fairness and respect among members and employees.” We all emphasized the same in a powerful Resolution at the end of the meeting. The impetus was a Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs Report asking to be relieved of harassment arbitration and judication; the request was denied.
Along the way we gave special attention to proper funding of physicians and patient care, strengthening Patient Homes, fair physician credentialing with legal and legislative protections, public availability of heart defibrillators, AMA suggestions for changes in the Affordable Care Act, increase in Broad Band strength and rural availability, technological upgrades to the 911 emergency call system, common sense gun violence measures, careful analysis of physician and medical student suicide, refined food labeling regulations, better management of student loan programs, common sense Vaping Regulation, and suggestions on several other important social issues.
Key note addresses from the CEO, Dr. James Madara emphasized “New solutions must facilitate, not complicate Medical Practice; these solutions must save time, not take time.” Also, Dr. Madara outlined the work AMA has done with diabetes prevention and digital health implementation into physician practice. Dr. Barbara McAneny, AMA President, stressed a health care system that values health over money or power. She said the AMA is fighting Forces that make the US Health Care System dysfunctional, using a real example of a cancer patient and opioid need wherein frustratingly she found that the “the Health Plan does not have the chart, doesn’t know the patient and basically countermands my medication orders without even telling me – using the prior-authorization process.” The patient in question eventually tried to commit suicide.
Overall, you considered about 140 Reports and Resolutions; a lot of work indeed!