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Resident Forum
September 23/30, 1998

AMA-RPS Delegate's Report, Part 2

JAMA. 1998;280(12):1044. doi:10.1001/jama.280.12.1044

Last week's column summarized resolutions discussed at the 1998 American Medical Association (AMA) Annual Meeting on residency training. This week's column focuses on the resolutions concerning public health, resident membership, and general medical education issues.

Appropriate Number of US Medical School Graduates

This Resident Physicians Section (RPS) resolution asked the AMA to help develop recommendations regarding the number of US medical school graduates needed to fulfill workforce needs. The AMA Council on Medical Education is currently studying workforce needs and will be reporting on its findings at the 1998 Interim Meeting.

Bring Back the Extinguisher

This RPS resolution asks the AMA to restore funding for "The Extinguisher," the AMA's antitobacco superhero. This national program had been eliminated for financial reasons. However, the House of Delegates (HOD) felt that the program has had great success and has garnered much support from schools and from the media.

Public Health Care Benefits

This RPS resolution instructs the AMA to actively lobby federal and state governments to restore and maintain funding for public health care benefits for all legal immigrants. These benefits had been cut by the Congress and have resulted in the decreased availability of preventive and prenatal care to legal immigrants.

Empowering Our Patients: Individually Selected, Purchased, and Owned Health Expense Coverage

This report from the Council on Medical Service supports a health insurance system that gives individuals more choice in selecting insurance.

Medical Student Debt

This resolution instructs the AMA to work to restore full tax deductibility of interest on student loan debt.

Training in Airway Management

This RPS resolution instructs the AMA to study ways to include training in airway management of an unconscious patient in medical education curriculum and to report back on its findings.

Eligibility for Membership in the RPS

This report, which originated from the RPS, recommends that the AMA expand and clarify its language regarding eligibility for resident membership within the AMA. The changes will allow physicians who are in structured training programs after residency and those who are on active duty in the military or public health service before completing residency to join the AMA as resident members. Because these recommendations would change the bylaws of the AMA, they will be voted on again at the next HOD meeting.

Section Name Change

This RPS resolution was presented in conjunction with the report mentioned above. It calls for the AMA to change the name of the Resident Physicians Section to the Residents and Fellows Section to clearly show that fellows qualify for resident membership in the AMA.

A complete summary of all HOD actions is available through the AMA Web site at http://www.ama-assn.org/meetings/public/annual98/reports/index.htm. You can get more information on any of these issues by calling the AMA Department of Resident Physician Services at (312) 464-4751.

This is the final delegate's report that Michael Achinger, MD, and I will present. We want to thank all RPS members for the privilege of serving and representing them over the past 2 years.

We again want to thank all the residents who helped coordinate and provided testimony at this meeting. We would also like to thank Jim Rohack, MD, and the entire AMA Council on Medical Education for their continued work on the behalf of resident physicians. Their willingness to work closely with us was critically important to many of our successes. Liana Puscas, MD, and Laura Meyers, MD, will become delegate and alternate delegate.