Reid S. AMA House of Delegates Adopts Resolutions, Part 2. JAMA. 1998;279(6):428T. doi:10.1001/jama.279.6.428
Prepared by Ashish Bajaj, Department of Resident Physicians Services,
American Medical Association.
Last week's Resident Forum summarized resolutions discussed at the 1997
American Medical Association (AMA) Interim Meeting on funding for graduate
medical education, resident contracts, and the residency application process.
This week's column focuses on the resolutions concerning resident benefits,
public health, and related issues. A summary of all the actions recently taken
by the AMA House of Delegates (HOD) is available through the AMA web page: http://www.ama-assn.org/meetings/public/int97/.
Educational Leave in Residency Programs calls
on the AMA to encourage residency programs across the country to allow residents
to attend educational conferences and other professional meetings without
requiring the resident to use vacation time.
Extended Leave Policy for Residents asked the
AMA to work toward changes in long-term leave policies at residency programs.
This resolution was not adopted because the AMA's Council on Medical Education
has set up a task force to study all issues related to resident working conditions.
The task force will present its report at the AMA's 1998 Annual Meeting.
Chemoprophylaxis for Health Care Workers and Medical
Students deals with providing health care workers and students with
chemoprophylaxis in case they may have been exposed to the human immunodeficiency
virus. The resolution was referred to the AMA Board of Trustees for further
study. While the HOD supported the concept of the resolution, there were concerns
about who would pay for the chemoprophylaxis and which drugs would be used.
Full Participation of Medical Students and Residents
Within the Federation of Medicine concerns resident and medical student
representation in the HOD. The resolution calls for the AMA to encourage each
state medical society to have at least 1 resident physician delegate and alternate
delegate in its delegation to the HOD.
In addition to the resident physician–specific issues presented
above, the HOD discussed several resolutions introduced by the RPS on patient
care and safety.
Code Status Requirements for Nursing Home Resident s concerns the ability of nursing homes to require that patients or
their caretakers sign a do not resuscitate (DNR) order as a stipulation for
admission to the facility. Although federal regulations currently prevent
this practice, some states are working to overturn those regulations. The
RPS's position is that a DNR decision must only be made by patients and their
families in consultation with a physician. The AMA voted to oppose any legislative
or regulatory attempts that would allow a nursing home facility to require
patient consent to a DNR order as a condition of admission, unless that facility
is limited to palliative care.
Helmets for Recreational Skiing and Other Winter Sports
for Children and Adolescents was a report prepared by the AMA Council
on Scientific Affairs in response to an RPS resolution. The report calls for
further research into the epidemiology and outcome of head injuries to children
and adolescents from recreational skiing and snow-boarding. It also calls
on the American Society for Testing and Materials to finalize standards for
Danger of Car Phones requests that the AMA
encourage appropriate agencies to assess the use of car phones and their impact
on traffic safety.
I want to thank the 35000 members of the AMA-RPS for the opportunity
to serve them this year as delegate to the AMA. It is truly an honor to promote
issues and resolutions of concern to residents. In addition, I must acknowledge
the tremendous contributions made by the many residents who testified at the
HOD meeting. We could not continue to be a strong and respected voice in the
HOD without them.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or needs regarding
this report or other RPS issues. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.