Wise B. New AMA Policies on Public Health. JAMA. 2000;283(9):1216. doi:10.1001/jama.283.9.1216
Prepared by Ashish Bajaj, Department of Resident
and Fellow Services, American Medical Association.
The 2 previous Resident Physician Forum columns summarized policies
on medical education adopted by the American Medical Association House of
Delegates (AMA-HOD) at its Interim Meeting in December 1999. This week's column
focuses on newly adopted public health policies that were discussed by the
AMA Resident and Fellow Section (RFS) and forwarded to the HOD in the past
year. A complete summary of all HOD actions is available through the AMA Web
page at http://www.ama-assn.org/meetings/public/interim99/reports/reports.htm.
Inflight Medical Emergencies, a report prepared
by the AMA Council on Scientific Affairs (CSA), calls on US airlines to report
details of inflight medical emergencies to the Federal Aviation Administration
and presents several guidelines regarding medical equipment on commercial
airlines, training for flight crews, and procedures for coordinating emergency
medical care with hospitals and emergency personnel on the ground.
School Violence, a CSA report, reviews the
literature on the incidence of school violence, the effectiveness of school
violence prevention programs, and the effects of media coverage of events.
The report concludes that schools in the United States are generally safe
but increasing concerns about school violence need to be addressed. It also
recommends that the AMA work with the Surgeon General to develop a report
on youth violence prevention.
Low Literacy as a Barrier to Health Care asks
the AMA to encourage the development and distribution of health education
materials that consider the cultural differences and literacy levels of patients.
Sexuality Education, Abstinence, and Distribution
of Condoms in Schools, a CSA report, urges schools to implement sexuality
education programs that (1) are based on peer-reviewed science; (2) show promise
for delaying the onset of sexual activity; (3) include a strategy that integrates
condom availability with education on abstinence, human reproduction, and
preventing pregnancy and the sexual transmission of disease; and (4) involve
parents, health professionals, and concerned community members.
Dietary Supplements and Herbal Remedies calls
on the AMA to (1) work with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to strongly
encourage physicians and the public to report adverse events that may be associated
with dietary supplements and herbal remedies to the FDA; (2) urge Congress
to require that these products undergo FDA approval for evidence of safety
and efficacy; and (3) continue efforts to educate patients and physicians
about the possible ramifications associated with the use of dietary supplements
and herbal remedies. The resolution also provides specific language for labeling
dietary supplements and herbal remedies.
Impaired Drivers and Their Physicians, a report
prepared by the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, makes several
recommendations on physicians' responsibility to recognize and report impairments
in patients' driving ability to the Department of Motor Vehicles. The report
discusses when to assess impairment, options to discuss with the patient,
and factors to use when deciding to report the patient.
Domestic Violence Prevention Information and Movie
Theaters asks the AMA to study the Baltimore County Medical Association's
domestic violence awareness and referral initiative that uses promotions at
movie theaters and, if appropriate, inform other medical associations of the