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Resident Physician Forum
January 5, 2000

Resolutions Affecting Graduate Medical Education

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2000;283(1):126. doi:10.1001/jama.283.1.126

Resident and fellows representing many different specialties met at the AMA's Interim Meeting in San Diego, Calif, on December 2-4, 1999, to discuss issues of mutual interest. Resolutions pertaining to graduate medical education (GME) and public safety were among the key topics. The following summarizes some of the resolutions that the delegates adopted.

Impact of Changing Resident Employment Status asks the AMA to prepare a report on the potential impact of the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) ruling that residents are employees. While many residents understand that the NLRB's decision means that residents at private institutions can collectively bargain, it is not clear whether the decision will affect education, GME funding, or the income tax or student loan status of residents.

A related resolution, entitled House Officer Organization, asks the AMA-RFS Governing Council to prepare for residents a summary of the NLRB's ruling. Delegates felt that all residents need to be aware of the ruling. In addition, this resolution called on the AMA-RFS to study how the presence of a union or a house staff association at a teaching institution has affected education, patient care, working conditions, and other aspects of the institutional environment.

Salaries Commensurate With PGY-Level of Training for Fellows asks the AMA to reaffirm its existing policy stating that residency and fellowship program directors should consider the educational and work experience of candidates when determining salaries. Several delegates explained that their salaries had decreased when they entered fellowship programs, especially in research fellowships.

Inclusion of Accreditation Status on FREIDA had originally asked that the Fellowship and Residency Electronic Interactive Database (FREIDA), which provides data on GME programs, include information on the current accreditation status of those programs. After learning that the FREIDA Web site soon will include a link to accreditation information, the RFS Assembly referred this resolution to the RFS Governing Council. This will give the Governing Council an opportunity to review the accessibility of accreditation information and decide if any action is necessary.

Displaced Residents From Manhattan Eye and Ear Hospital discussed the status of residents whose training was disrupted when the hospital announced in April that it would be closing. The resolution asks that the AMA-RFS ask the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to report on the current status of residents who were displaced when the hospital closed, including where they were placed and if anyone was left without a position. The resolution also asks the AMA-RFS to ask the ACGME to streamline the process through which displaced residents can enter other residency programs.

Peer-Nominated Representation on Institutional Councils and Committees asks the AMA-RFS to encourage the ACGME to require that resident representatives on GME Committees at teaching institutions be peer-selected instead of peer-nominated. The resolution also asks the AMA-RFS Governing Council to study the roles and responsibilities of these representatives. Although the ACGME requires that every training institution have a resident representative on its GME committee, several delegates testified that they do not know who their representative is or what role the representative plays.