Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Medical grads should have access to academic journals
Medical students' access to their medical school libraries ceases after graduation, but should it? In a recent editorial in The Washington Post, Matt Cooper, president and CEO of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students, and Elizabeth Wiley, president of the American Medical Student Association, say that post-graduation access to those libraries, and the academic journals found there, would provide critical knowledge and an up-to-date education for tomorrow's doctors, researchers and entrepreneurs.
Cooper and Wiley call students' library cards a "passport to the specialized knowledge" found in journals, for which a subscription can run more than $1,000. It is this cost prohibition, they argue, that keeps graduating medical students and other professionals from keeping up on the latest advances.
They advise quickly solving the problem by mandating that journals receiving federal research grants provide free access to their articles. Cooper and Wiley point to a 4-year-old policy of the National Institutes of Health, which provides free access to PubMed Central articles, as their success case. At PubMed Central, more than 1 million papers are downloaded daily by more than half a million users.
Though a legislative fix may be months or years away, the benefits of an AMA membership can help residents circumvent these post-graduate learning costs today. AMA membership includes free access to the Journal of the American Medical Association and nine specialty Archives journals, as well as a variety of other benefits for resident physicians.
Residents debate policy, elect new council members
The AMA Resident and Fellow Section held its 36th annual assembly meeting June 14–16 to discuss and shape policy on a variety of issues.
Of the 12 items of business considered, two were forwarded immediately to the AMA House of Delegates for consideration as Resolution 331, "Improving patient safety through collaboration in resident and fellow education," and Resolution 125, "Oncofertility and fertility preservation treatment."
The following residents were elected to the AMA-RFS Governing Council:
- Heather Smith, MD, vice chair
- Erin Wilkes, MD, speaker
- Michele Nedelka, MD, vice speaker
- Sara Woodward Dyrstad, MD, delegate
- Kendall Allred, MD, alternate delegate
- Rachelle M. Klammer, MD, member at large