AMA announces plan to ‘dismantle structural racism,’ starting with itself
In order to obtain “optimal health for all,” the AMA has released a plan to remove structural racism within the organization.
The AMA said this effort starts by acknowledging its own past harms and taking a “critical” look at how those disservices were allowed to continue.
“This strategic plan represents a step forward in a much longer journey to ground the AMA, health care, and our nation’s health care system,” Gerald E. Harmon, MD, AMA president-elect, said in a press release.
He continued, “fulfilling the AMA’s mission of promoting the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health requires us to use our resources, influence and power to push toward a more equitable future, which also means reversing the historic harms we caused and forging paths towards truth, reconciliation, racial healing and transformation.”
The AMA said its 3-year, “ambitious strategic plan to dismantle structural racism,” titled “AMA’s organizational strategic plan to embed racial justice and advance health equity, 2021–2023,” details how the society will:
- “embed equity and racial justice” throughout the organization;
- develop and maintain relationships with “marginalized physicians and other stakeholders;”
- discuss all determinants of health and underlying reasons for inequities;
- provide “equitable” possibilities in innovation; and
- cultivate ways toward “truth, racial healing, reconciliation and transformation” regarding AMA’s past, including its “racially discriminatory membership practices” against Black physicians.
The organization encouraged others to join its efforts, stating “we cannot do this alone.”
The full plan can be viewed on AMA’s website. Although work on the plan began in June 2018 after the AMA’s House of Delegates voted in support of its development, recent events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 presidential election and protests against police brutality, have brought the plan’s purpose into sharper focus, AMA said.
“Achieving equitable solutions requires disruption and dismantling of existing norms and taking collective action,” Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH, AMA’s chief health equity officer, said in the release. “It also requires a sense of urgency and ambition, and the time is now.”
AMA. The AMA’s strategic plan to embed racial justice and advance health equity. https://www.ama-assn.org/about/leadership/ama-s-strategic-plan-embed-racial-justice-and-advance-health-equity. Accessed May 11, 2021.
AMA. AMA releases plan dedicated to embedding racial justice and advancing health equity. https://www.ama-assn.org/press-center/press-releases/ama-releases-plan-dedicated-embedding-racial-justice-and-advancing. Accessed May 11, 2021.