Recap of the 2016 AMA Interim Meeting: A Radiology Resident’s Perspective
The 2016 Interim Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) recently convened in Orlando, FL, from November 11‒November 15.
Given the meeting occurred just 2 days after the 2016 election, many attendees, including myself, were expecting this AMA meeting to be a particularly contentious meeting. However, regardless of the political climate, the meeting seemed to be largely focused on policy consolidation and consensus building within the House of Medicine.
ACA and DACA
The consensus at the meeting was the Affordable Care Act is likely to be a target within the first 100 days of the Trump presidency. This presents an incredible opportunity for organizations such as the AMA and ACR to shape health care legislation as they advocate for their members and thepatients they serve. Having been present for many of the discussions surrounding health care reform within the AMA since my first meeting in 2009, I have watched AMA policy shape and grow throughout the years. Today, AMA policy encompasses a broad range of principles including: coverage of pre-existing conditions, maintaining insurance coverage, supporting portability of health insurance across state lines, support of health-related savings accounts, individual responsibility for a minimum level of catastrophic coverage, and coverage of preventative services. At the 2016 Interim Meeting, the AMA decided to stand by its extensive policies and actively engage in the expected discussion on health care reform.
In June 2012, the Obama Administration established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which allows individuals who were brought into the U.S. as minors without proper documentation or who lost their legal status to be eligible to pursue education and employment in the United States. There are over 100 medical students who are currently in medical school as a result of DACA. President-elect Trump has vowed to simply stop processing DACA applications (which must be renewed on a two year basis), which could result in deportation of the DACA-status medical students and other medical professionals. The AMA decided to release a statement in support of DACA-status medical professionals as it continues to study the issue in further detail.
Issues Led by Radiology
At this meeting, the AMA honored Dr. Bennet Omalu with the Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Omalu’s work was recently highlighted in the film, Concussion, starring Will Smith. With advice from the American Society of Neuroradiology, the Resident and Fellow Section of the AMAsuccessfully passed policy supporting research and advocacy for traumatic brain injury. At the Interim meeting, AMA policy was passed which states, “The AMA supports research into the detection, causes, and prevention of injuries along the continuum from subconcussive head impacts to conditions such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).” When this policy was introduced by the Resident and Fellow Section, the ACR delegation particularly the resident/fellow members of the delegation worked with the ASNR and RFS to get the most appropriate and accurate language in the policy passed.
The AMA also adopted a resolution in support of formal leadership education for physicians-in-training including the development of curricula and work with bodies such as the LCME and AAMC to enact this training. Resident members of the radiology delegation will be working closely with other groups as this policy is expanded and implemented.
By Naiim Ali, MD