Actions Related to Public Health and Safety. JAMA. 1999;282(10):1000C. doi:10.1001/jama.282.10.1000
Prepared by Ashish Bajaj, Department of Resident
and Fellow Services, American Medical Association.
A previous column (August 25, 1999) discussed the resolutions and reports
related to graduate medical education and residency training that were adopted
by the American Medical Association Resident and Fellow Section (AMA-RFS)
at its annual meeting. This week's column discusses the outcome of resolutions
related to public health and safety.
National Residency Database was referred to
the RFS Governing Council for further study. It called on the RFS to support
the creation of a national database that would track residents and fellows
who have either been dismissed or have resigned from residency programs for
academic or disciplinary reasons. It also calls on the RFS to oppose investigation
by state medical boards into the termination or resignation of a resident
or fellow unless academic or disciplinary reasons were cited for the resignation
or termination. The Governing Council will present a report with its recommendations
at the RFS Interim Meeting in December.
Use of Confidential Medical Information by Employers asks that the RFS and AMA continue to urge employers and health insurance
companies to adopt policies and practices that preserve confidentiality of
medical information for employees. In addition, the RFS Governing Council
will prepare a report on the AMA's advocacy efforts to safeguard patient confidentiality
in situations where the employer directly insures employees instead of providing
access to insurance through a separate insurance company.
Universal Newborn Hearing Screening asks the
RFS Governing Council to review and report on the AMA's policy regarding screening
for hearing loss in newborns and infants.
Low Literacy as a Barrier to Health Care asks
the RFS to support the AMA's efforts to improve awareness among physicians
and other health care providers about patients with limited literacy. The
resolution also encourages the development of programs that teach physicians
how to communicate with these patients.
At the Annual Meeting, the AMA-RFS elected the following members to
its Governing Council: Chris Cogle, MD, an internal medicine resident, University
of Florida, Gainesville, chair; Edward Tuohy, MD, an internal medicine resident,
Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn, vice chair; John Mason, MD, a surgery
resident, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St Louis, Mo, secretary; Birute Wise, a
pediatrics resident, Albany Medical Center, Albany, NY, delegate; C. Blair
Harkness, an obstetrics/gynecology resident, Mountain Area Health Education
Center, Asheville, NC, alternate delegate; Suzanne Sisley, MD, an internal
medicine/psychiatry resident, Good Samaritan Medical Center, Phoenix, Ariz,
member-at-large; and Willie Underwood, MD, a urology resident, University
of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, member-at-large.
Charles Rainey, MD, JD, a psychiatry resident, Medical College of Wisconsin,
Milwaukee, will remain on the Governing Council as past chair. The AMA House
of Delegates elected Liana Puscas, MD, to the AMA Board of Trustees. Dr Puscas
is an otolaryngology resident at the University of Southern California Hospitals,