During its annual meeting, AMA adopted a policy to minimize gaps in health care across the United States and achieve optimal health for all Americans across all facets of well-being.
Additionally, AMA adopted another policy to address physician shortages by increasing funding for graduate medical education.
In the first policy, AMA defined health equity and declared that it will create a structural or organizational home that includes resources, staff and budget and a multiyear programmatic roadmap, according to AMA.
“We believe all Americans should have access to affordable and meaningful health care,” Willarda V. Edwards, MD, MBA, AMA board member, said in a press release. “There are myriad reasons for health disparities and health inequity, including juvenile justice, bias, stereotyping, prejudice and clinical uncertainty, to the fact that chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension disproportionately affect minority populations.”
Collaboration among physicians and organizations is imperative to control factors and address determinants of health required to achieve health equity, according to AMA.
AMA created a strategic framework for the effort, including principal elements such as:
- supporting health care access, research and data collection;
- promoting equity in care;
- improving diversity and cultural awareness in the health workforce;
- shaping determinants of health; and
- modeling commitment to health equity.
The second AMA policy urged legislators, private sector partnerships and existing and planned medical schools to develop and fund graduate medical education programs that are consistent with current workforce needs.
“Current data show that the number of U.S. medical student graduates is growing at a higher rate than the number of residency slots,” Karthik V. Sarma, MS, AMA board member and medical student, said in a press release. “Without expanding the number of residency positions available to future classes of medical school graduates, the number of graduates seeking positions will eventually exceed what is available.”
The policy requires that medical school accrediting bodies monitor graduates’ placements into and completion of the programs, according to AMA. The programs should educate students on educational debt, medical specialty choice and potential career paths, according to AMA. – by Alaina Tedesco
Disclosure: Healio Internal Medicine was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.