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Resident Physician Forum
September 8, 1999

Actions Related to Public Health and Safety

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 1999;282(10):1000C. doi:10.1001/jama.282.10.1000

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.

AMA-RFS Elects Governing Council

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, Los Angeles.