Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012
This Week's News
Help shape AMA policy from anywhere through online forums
AMA members have a prime opportunity to weigh in on key policy issues facing medicine by participating in the AMA's online member forums.
The AMA House of Delegates will consider these policy issues—in the form of about 70 reports and resolutions—Nov. 10–13 in Honolulu during the AMA's Interim Meeting. The online forums, also referred to as Virtual Reference Committees (AMA login required) allow physicians and medical students, delegates and non-delegates alike, to add their voices to the AMA policy discussion at their convenience.
Members attending the Interim Meeting also can provide testimony in person during any of the five reference committees that will meet Nov. 11 in Honolulu. View the schedule.
This is the second time the Virtual Reference Committees have been made accessible to all members. The forums generated about 650 comments on reports and resolutions in advance of the AMA Annual Meeting, held in June.
Alternate delegate Jan Kief, MD, an internist and family physician in Highlands Ranch, Colo., said in June that she liked how the online forums provided a preliminary idea of what people are thinking on certain issues heading into the in-person reference committee hearings. They also helped shorten the amount of work each reference committee faced during the Annual Meeting.
"It's a beautiful combination between the virtual and in-person," Dr. Kief said.
Here's how the AMA policy-making process works:
- State and specialty societies draft and submit resolutions for consideration.
- The resolution is assigned to a reference committee based on the topic. A reference committee is somewhat similar to a congressional committee and provides a forum during which members may provide feedback on a proposed resolution.
- Comments on the resolution are accepted online from AMA members and delegates.
- Based on all the comments—whether received online or heard onsite—the reference committee drafts a report for the full House of Delegates to consider.
- That report is debated in the full House, which decides on the final disposition.
View a graphic that shows how the House sets policy.
Use this opportunity to influence AMA policy via the AMA's secure Virtual Reference Committees. Comments will be accepted until Oct. 28. To access the online reference committees, either log in with your AMA account or create an account if you don't have one.
If you're not an AMA member, join today and be part of the policy discussion.