AMA Hawaii Interim Meeting

Tyson Lumbreras, MS-III, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine
EMRA MSC AMA-MSS Representative, 2022-23

Ian Brodka, MS-IV, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
EMRA MSC AMA-MSS Representative, 2022-23

This year, the interim American Medical Association (AMA) meeting was held across the country in beautiful Honolulu, Hawaii November 12-15. Medical students, residents, and physicians packed their Hawaiian shirts, fine-tuned their policies, and gathered to set the AMA’s legislative agenda for the upcoming year 2023. As medical students we hold our own legislative meeting known as the Medical Student Section (MSS) prior to the AMA House of Delegates (HOD), the MSS is focused on advocating for policies that medical students across the country have authored and deemed priorities for the HOD to take action on. Traditionally, the Medical Student Section puts forward a number of resolutions focused on pressing social issues, therefore over the years the MSS has been known to be “the conscience of the AMA.” This meeting, the MSS passed multiple policies both within the MSS as well as at the HOD level. At the section level, students voted to support policies surrounding increasing access to gender affirming procedures through equitable reimbursement, developing a national online database to help sexual assault victims locate licensed providers, and efforts to reduce K-12 school-to-prison pipeline. Within the HOD meeting, medical students assembled to testify and advocate for policies such as firearm violence prevention task force, coverage and reimbursement for abortion services, and improvement in patient data privacy in mobile apps. Given the MSS put forward 45 resolutions, there were a select few big ticket priorities the MSS wanted to see adopted, therefore the MSS focused their efforts on sound policy writing, testimonies, and amendments that would allow the AMA to advocate on these issues at the state and national levels.


Firearm task force adopted with amendments

Traditionally the interim AMA HOD meeting is emphasized on policies that will guide the AMA in their advocacy efforts for the upcoming year. This meeting followed suit with policy items like the one put forward by the medical student section on developing a firearm violence prevention task force. The MSS knew the firearm task force was one of their big-ticket items of focus for adoption, achieving this goal required an organized effort from the whole MSS crafting the resolution with actionable amendments, and discussions behind closed doors at the state levels. Four amendments were drafted by the MSS, establishing a firearm prevention task force, grants for evidence-based firearm violence interruption programs in schools, increased engagement in litigation related to firearm safety, annual report to HOD on efforts made by AMA on firearm prevention, all of these amendments were adopted by the HOD. The passion, dedication, and sentiments from the MSS behind this policy stem from recent shootings both in healthcare settings as well as in our public schools. The MSS has recognized recent efforts by the AMA from their previous firearm violence policies, however being the “conscience of the AMA” the MSS requested the AMA to take a stronger stance against this public health crisis which became adopted policy.     


Delegation dinner for Dr. Mike Bishop 30 years of service

As with any successful organization, there are individuals that exemplify years of dedication, leadership, advocacy, and passion for their respective fields. With 30 yrs of service to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), Dr. Mike Bishop has not only met those competencies but has accomplished many more. He is a Fellow Emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), served on the ACEP Board of Directors from 1995-2001 and was awarded by ACEP with the Honorary Membership award in 2002. Additionally, Dr. Bishop has served on the ACEP Reimbursement Committee, as a Councilor, and as an alternate delegate to the AMA. The ACEP AMA Section Council held a farewell dinner to recognize all that Dr. Bishop has contributed to emergency medicine, ACEP, and AMA policy. Many colleagues of Dr. Bishop shared personal stories working with Dr. Bishop over the years, of note ACEP President Dr. Chris Kang shared that “Dr. Bishops knowledge and expertise in physician reimbursement policy will be greatly missed.” To end the evening ACEP AMA section council in our Hawaiian shirts gathered around the dinner table for one last celebratory toast to Dr. Mike Bishop for his 30+ years of service, dedication, and outstanding leadership to ACEP, Thank you Dr. Mike Bishop! 

As the interim meeting concluded, we all traveled overseas back to our hospitals, institutions, and clinics, reassured that even as medical students, our voice can make changes at the national level through the AMA. As the practice of emergency medicine is directly affected by state and national policies, it is important to have the next generation of EM physicians educated on the policy process. If you are interested in learning more about how to get your voice and advocacy efforts heard, the AMA-MSS is a great avenue. In addition to contacting your schools AMA chapter, we AMA representatives at EMRA are here to help get your voice hear. At the end of the day, if we as medical students don’t have a voice at the table advocating for the changes we would like to see, someone else will.

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