Fall 2020 AMA Delegate Report

Matthew J. Christensen, MS4, Chicago Medical School
ACEP/EMRA Primary Delegate to the AMA-MSS

Alysa F. Edwards, MS3, University of Colorado School of Medicine
ACEP/EMRA Alternate Delegate to the AMA-MSS

With November 2020 now behind us, the American Medical Association (AMA) has completed yet another annual fall conference. However, unlike the Interim Assemblies of years past, the 2020 annual fall conference tradition went fully virtual due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Through a combination of Zoom meetings and Lumi voting platforms, over 1,000 participants contributed to the 2020 Special Meeting of the AMA House of Delegates (HOD) between November 7 and November 17, including medical students, residents, and physician delegates from across the country.

Highlights from the AMA House of Delegates

While the HOD business meetings technically happened a few days after the Medical Student Section (MSS) business meetings, the significant policy decisions made and voted on during this year’s HOD Special Meeting deserve recognition first and foremost. In a decision that has been a long time coming, the AMA now formally recognizes racism as a public health threat and race itself as a social construct, with much of the preparation and work on these policies driven by medical student leaders and leaders within the AMA Minority Affairs Section. The HOD has also formally called for the retirement of USMLE Step 2 CS and the COMLEX Level 2 PE, citing the additional burdens laden on medical students that many delegates consider outdated, of little value, and disproportionately affecting students from low income households. The HOD also passed a policy to better protect residents in the event of hospital or program closure in the wake of the Hahnemann shutdown. Browse the list of additional HOD highlights here, along with this Top 10 Stories summary article. The full list of Reference Committee reports is accessible here.

Highlights from the AMA Medical Student Section Meeting

The Medical Student Section meeting opened with an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci, followed by the first of three formal MSS days of business. Due to technological and time constraints, fewer than two dozen items were considered for business, with eight items chosen to be worth immediate forwarding to the HOD. These included two topics that are relevant to emergency medicine; protections for peaceful protestors and recommended measures of police reform. Two national AMA-MSS Governing Council leadership positions were filled during this assembly, with a new Chair-Elect and new Board of Trustees Student Representative elected through the Lumi platform. The MSS business meeting also featured a number of pre-recorded educational sessions, which can be accessed here. Browse the full list of MSS assembly highlights here.

With this unprecedented assembly season coming to a close, your EMRA/ACEP Primary and Alternate Delegates to the AMA-MSS remain committed to keeping you informed while advocating on behalf of medical students and the emergency medicine specialty. Questions and comments related to the AMA Medical Student Section may be sent to EMRA’s Primary and Alternate AMA-MSS Delegates at MSCAMA1@emra.org and MSCAMA2@emra.org. You may also engage with the national AMA-MSS delegation through the AMA Med Students Facebook page.

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