Resident and Fellow Section Adopts Policies on Residency Training. JAMA. 1999;282(8):802C. doi:10.1001/jama.282.8.802
Prepared by Ashish Bajaj, Department of Resident
Physicians Services, American Medical Association.
At its Annual Meeting in June, the American Medical Association-Resident
and Fellow Section (AMA-RFS) discussed 16 resolutions and 1 report on such
topics as resident licensure, student loans, residency accreditation requirements,
and public health and safety. The following are actions taken on resolutions
and reports directly related to graduate medical education and residency training.
Collective negotiations and house staff organizations called on the
AMA to immediately implement a national negotiating organization for resident
physicians and employed physicians who are legally authorized to bargain collectively.
This organization will not be affiliated with an existing national labor union,
will not engage in strikes or any other actions that could substantially affect
the well-being of patients, and will follow the AMA Principles of Medical
Ethics. We will update readers as more information about this issue develops.
Drafting Laws Restricting Resident Work Hours
asks the AMA-RFS Governing Council to recommend appropriate actions when work
hours are inappropriate. The AMA Council on Medical Education is conducting
a survey of resident work hours and will report its findings by December 1999.
The Governing Council will review this report when considering recommendations.
The RFS Assembly discussed 2 resolutions regarding student loans. Loan Payback Taxation in Shortage Areas asks the AMA to
use current bills in the Senate and House of Representatives to achieve federal
tax exemption of income received from loan repayment programs. These programs
pay off the medical student loans of physicians who practice in underserved
areas. The second resolution,Student Loan Deferment,
asks the AMA-RFS to work with appropriate organizations to develop a grassroots
campaign that will educate federal legislators on the expanding burden of
medical education debt. The goal of the campaign will be to achieve deferment
of medical student loans throughout residency and fellowship training.
Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database asks the AMA-RFS Governing Council to study and prepare a report on
appropriate methods of collecting and disseminating subjective information
on residency training programs.
The RFS adopted 2 resolutions calling for studies of the graduate medical
education accreditation process. Enforcement of Accreditation
Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Requirements asks the
AMA to study and report on methods, in addition to probation and withdrawal
of accreditation, that ACGME could use to enforce its institutional requirements
and Residency Review Committee program requirements. Dissemination
of ACGME Actions on Accreditation of Residency Programs asks the RFS
Governing Council to study and report on how the ACGME handles complaints
against residency programs and the actions taken when a complaint is found
to be an egregious violation of ACGME requirements.
RFS Response to Federation of State Medical Boards
Recommendations on Licensure asks the AMA-RFS to advocate that successful
completion of 1 year of postgraduate training in an accredited residency program,
as certified by the resident's program director, is sufficient to obtain an
unrestricted medical license. The resolution also asks the AMA-RFS to oppose
state medical board oversight of medical students and to work with the AMA
to promote AMA and RFS policies concerning training requirements for an unrestricted
medical license. This topic was discussed in greater detail in the February
3, 1999, Resident Physician Forum.