The American Medical Association (AMA) has referred to the recent Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on health care disparities as a "wake up call" for the medical profession. The IOM suggests that the causes of such disparities are complex and that physicians need to play a leadership role in the elimination of health care disparities.
The AMA has encouraged physicians to examine their own practices to ensure equality in medical care.
The following are AMA activities committed to the elimination of racial and ethnic health care disparities:
- The AMA has created a program on health disparities to coordinate many of the AMA's activities in science, ethics, and medical education addressing the issue.
- The AMA has extensive AMA's Principles of Medical Ethics, used to define ethical and professional behavior for physicians.
- The AMA is involved in ongoing efforts to increase the number of minority physicians so as to reflect the diversity of the US population.
- The AMA's House of Delegates reaffirmed our commitment to minority health care by making the elimination of racial and ethnic health disparities an issue of high priority.
- The AMA is partnering with the AMA Foundation to help physicians become aware of and appropriately manage low health literacy among patients.
- Educating Physicians on Controversies in Health (EpoCH) is a series of brief informational Web streaming programs—developed by the AMA—targeting primary care physicians.