AMA delegates address issues from physicians’ role in the media to too much screen time for kids

Doctors talking
The AMA took action on a wide ranging agenda during its House of Delegates metting. (Getty/wmiami)

Physicians must uphold the values of the medical profession when they take an active role in the mass media, the American Medical Association said.

In a policy adopted by its House of Delegates at the group’s interim meeting in Hawaii last week, the largest physician organization in the country said, among other cautions, that doctors should refrain from making clinical diagnoses about individuals, including public officials and celebrities, they have not had the opportunity to personally examine.

It was a wide-ranging agenda (PDF) that AMA delegates address and one that was not without controversy. Two leading nurses’ groups, for instance, spoke out against the AMA’s call for a national strategy to oppose legislative efforts to grant independent practice to non-physician practitioners.

Based on the votes of hundreds of physicians, medical students, residents and fellows, the AMA adopted policies to address the adverse effects of excessive screen time and social media use among the country’s children, according to AMA Wire.

The AMA delegates also took the following actions:

  • Reiterated opposition to Medicaid work requirements and changes that would cut health benefits for patients.
  • Called for eliminating barriers for the electronic prescribing of controlled substances.
  • Urged Congress to pass legislation to ensure funding for Medicaid programs as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands continue to struggle to recover from Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
  • Adopted a policy to advocate for additional funding to increase capacity for medical school expansion and increased clerkship spots for U.S. medical students.
  • Called for further drug pricing transparency to protect patients from price gouging.

AMA leaders also outlined continuing goals for the organization. CEO James Madara, M.D., spoke of the long-term challenges that revolve primarily around data and president David O. Barbe, M.D., said it will take a team effort of doctors, physician leaders and other organizations working together to move medicine forward.