AMA Resident Physicians Section Adopts Resolutions. JAMA. 1998;280(6):578C. doi:10.1001/jama.280.6.578
Prepared by Ashish Bajaj, Department of Resident Physician Services,
American Medical Association.
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.