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Resident Physician Forum
July 19, 2000

AMA-RFS Adopts New Policies

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2000;284(3):290. doi:10.1001/jama.284.3.290

At its Annual Meeting in June, the American Medical Association Resident and Fellow Section (AMA-RFS) discussed several resolutions and reports concerning resident representation, the quality of residency programs, due process and RFS internal operations. The following actions were adopted by the RFS Assembly.

Increasing Resident and Fellow Awareness of Local Representation. This calls on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to require residency training institutions to provide all residents and fellows with the names, contact information, and responsibilities of the resident physicians serving on hospital committees. The resolution also asks the ACGME to require institutions to disseminate the full-text due process rules for residents and fellows. During testimony on this resolution, many residents indicated that they did not know the names of the resident physicians on their hospital committees. In addition, several residents indicated that they did not know their institutions' policies on resident grievances.

Publishing Evaluations of Residency Programs, a report prepared by the RFS Governing Council, asks the ACGME to publish the accreditation letter sent to each program after that program is reviewed by a Residency Review Committee. The letter includes the number of years of accreditation approved by the ACGME and lists the program's strengths and weaknesses. The report also asks for the ACGME to publish any responses by the program to the accreditation review letter. This would allow programs to provide an explanation and report on their progress in correcting deficiencies. In addition, the report asks the RFS to present accreditation actions in an accessible and understandable format on the AMA Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database and to renew its request to the ACGME to require anonymous surveys of residents.

Due Process for Housestaff in all Loss-of-Employment Situations. This asks the RFS to support proposed modifications to the ACGME's Institutional Requirements that would allow a resident to exercise a grievance process if the resident's contract is not being renewed, or in the case of any other action that would threaten the career of a resident physician. The current Institutional Requirements mandate a grievance provision if the resident is terminated in the middle of a training year.

Future Growth and Development of the AMA-RFS. This calls on the RFS to create a standing committee on long-range planning and development, whose structure and responsibilities are defined by the RFS Governing Council.

Video Conference Capability for Assembly Meetings. The RFS Governing Council is asked to study and report on the feasibility of implementing remote conference capability for Assembly meetings.

Electronic Searchable RFS Proceedings and Digest of Actions. This asks the RFS to publish its Digest of Actions, which contains the past 10 years of RFS actions and policy, on the RFS Web site and to explore ways of making this information searchable.