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Resident Forum
August 12, 1998

AMA Resident Physicians Section Adopts Resolutions

Author Affiliations

Prepared by Ashish Bajaj, Department of Resident Physician Services, American Medical Association.

JAMA. 1998;280(6):578C. doi:10.1001/jama.280.6.578

At the AMA Annual Meeting in June, the Resident Physicians Section (AMA-RPS) discussed 17 resolutions and 2 reports concerning issues such as collective negotiations by residents, working conditions, residents' personal finances, and public health and safety. Collective negotiations by residents continues to be one of the RPS' highest priority issues. We will report on new developments in this area in a future column. The following are some of the other resolutions and reports adopted by the RPS at the Annual Meeting:

Student Debt and Post-1986 Tax Changes asks the AMA to make the student loan debt burden on physicians one of its top legislative priorities. The resolution calls on the AMA to work with other medical associations to introduce and support legislation that would allow taxpayers to fully deduct the interest on student loans from their income when preparing tax returns. All US taxpayers were able to do this before the tax reform legislation was enacted in 1986.

Providing Financial Information to Residents calls on the AMA-RPS to publicize more widely information on financial products and services that the AMA offers residents.

USMLE Step 3 and Initial Licensure Fees recognizes that the total fees required when a resident registers for the US Medical Licensing Examination Step 3 are excessive in some states. The report asks the AMA to encourage state medical societies to advocate keeping these fees at a moderate level when they approach their state legislatures and licensing boards. The RPS Governing Council surveyed the fee structures in each state and found that they varied greatly. The Governing Council recommended several possible options to reduce the financial burden of fees on residents, including directly reducing fees and eliminating any requirement that residents must apply and pay for a full license when registering for USMLE Step 3. The RPS also asked the AMA to investigate the costs involved in administering the USMLE, including any future computerized version, and to encourage minimization of the costs to residents.

Support for Night Float Rotation asks the AMA to encourage alternatives to the traditional night call system as long as those alternatives ensure high-quality patient care and support good health for residents and fellows.

Use of Social Security Numbers in Student Loan Accounts asks the AMA to work with student loan management companies and other agencies to end the use of Social Security numbers as account numbers. The RPS Assembly believes the use of Social Security numbers compromises the privacy of residents' personal and financial information.

Increasing Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Awareness asks the AMA to encourage health care organizations to educate the public about the dangers of overprescribing antibiotics and the evolution of new strains of bacteria that are resistant to many antibiotics.

Chlamydia trachomatis as a Reportable Disease asks the AMA to encourage state health departments to address the increased prevalence of this disease. The resolution suggests that the state health departments educate individuals who are at high risk for contracting chlamydia (eg, those who have tested positive for other sexually transmitted diseases) regarding methods to avoid or reduce their chances of infection and reinfection and slowing disease progression.

Bring Back the Extinguisher asks the AMA to immediately restore funding for the Extinguisher program, which is a program that supports an antitobacco superhero who visits schools and teaches children about the dangers of smoking and tobacco.

Residents' Entitlement to Workers' Compensation was referred to the RPS Governing Council for further study. The resolution asked the RPS to support workers' compensation for all resident physicians.

Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) Examination calls on the AMA-RPS to ask the agencies that accredit medical schools to ensure that the schools teach and assess clinical skills. The resolution also asks the AMA to explore ways to make the Clinical Skills Assessment examination more accessible to international medical graduates.

Training in Reimbursement Coding in Residency Programs asks the AMA to encourage residency programs to add training in practice management and reimbursement coding and documentation to their curriculum.