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AMA Adopts New Policies at its Semi-Annual Policy Making Meeting

For immediate release:
November 9, 2010

San Diego – The American Medical Association (AMA), the nation's largest physician group, voted today at its semi-annual policy making meeting to adopt the following new policies.

Return to Play After Suspected Concussion of High School Athletes
A 2009 study found that as many as 40 percent of high school athletes who have had concussions return to competition or practice when they may not be fully recovered. The AMA voted to adopt policy supporting the requirement that athletes participating in school or youth sports who are suspected of having a concussion, not return to play or practice without a physician's written approval.

"Concussions account for nearly 10 percent of all high school athletic injuries," said AMA Board Member Edward Langston, M.D. "Even mild brain injuries can be catastrophic or fatal. To protect the health and well-being of young athletes, it's vital a physician evaluate them and give them a clean bill of health before they return to play."

Support for EPA Regulations of Green House Gases
Climate change is a serious issue that can negatively affect the health of the public. Today, the AMA voted to adopt policy supporting the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate and control green house gas emissions in the United States.

"Changes to our climate pose serious risks to public health," said AMA Board Member Edward Langston, M.D. "This new policy shows the AMA's support for the EPA's authority to protect the health of all Americans by regulating green house gas emissions."

Opposition to Tuition Taxes
Recently several cities facing budget deficits have considered levying a medical school tuition tax to raise revenue. The AMA today voted to adopt policy opposing government efforts to impose tuition taxes.

"The detrimental effects of excessive medical education debt on physicians have been well-documented," said AMA Board Member and current medical student, Meredith C. Williams. "This policy extends the AMA's ongoing pledge to help reduce medical student debt and help ease the nation's growing physician shortage."

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For additional information, please contact:

Lisa Lecas
AMA Media Relations
(312) 464-5980

Leah Dudowicz
AMA Media Relations
(312) 464-4813

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