The AMA’s 2021—2023 strategic plan to embed racial justice and advance health equity

AMA’s strategic plan for embedding equity

The AMA’s 2021-2023 Organizational Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity was the AMA’s first strategic health equity plan dedicated to embedding racial justice and advancing health equity.

The 2021-2023 strategic plan charted an initial path and vision for equity and justice in medicine. In 2024, the AMA announced the 2024–2025 Organizational Strategic Plan to Advance Health Equity, which serves as a direct extension of the 2021–2023 strategic plan. Together, the two documents detail the AMA’s health equity strategy over a five-year period.

Strategic plan

Download the full PDF of the 2021-2023 strategic plan for details on the AMA's work, and plans for the future.

With the input of many both inside and outside of the AMA, the 2021-2023 strategic plan served as a three-year roadmap to plant the initial seeds for action and accountability to embed racial justice and advance health equity for years to come. The AMA initiated and  pushed forward five strategic approaches.

Image detailing the AMA's 5 strategic approaches in its health equity strategic plan.

1. Embed racial & social justice in AMA enterprise, culture, systems, policies, practices

  • Build the AMA’s capacity to understand and operationalize anti-racism equity strategies via training and tool development
  • Ensure equitable structures, processes and accountability in the AMA’s workforce, contracts and budgeting, communications and publishing
  • Integrate trauma-informed lens and approaches
  • Assess organizational change (culture, policy, process) over time

2. Build alliances, share power with historically marginalized & minoritized physicians & other stakeholders

  • Develop structures and processes to consistently center the experiences and ideas of historically marginalized (women, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, International Medical Graduates) and minoritized (Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and other people of color) physicians
  • Establish a coalition of multidisciplinary, multisectoral equity experts in health care and public health to collectively advocate for justice in health

3. Ensure equitable structures & opportunities in innovation

Main goals:

  • Embed racial justice and health equity within existing AMA health care innovation efforts
  • Equip the health care innovation sector to advance equity and justice
  • Center, integrate and amplify historically marginalized and minoritized health care investors and innovators
  • Engage in cross-sector collaboration and advocacy efforts

Actionable results:

4. Push upstream to address all determinants of health & root causes of inequities

  • Strengthen physicians’ knowledge of public health and structural/social drivers of health and inequities
  • Empower physicians and health systems to dismantle structural racism and intersecting systems of oppression
  • Equip physicians and health systems to improve services, technology, partnership and payment models that advance public health and health equity

5. Foster pathways for truth, racial healing, reconciliation and transformation for AMA’s past

  • Amplify and integrate often “invisible-ized” narratives of historically marginalized physicians and patients in all that AMA does
  • Quantify the effects of AMA policy and process decisions that excluded, discriminated and harmed
  • Repair and cultivate a healing journey for those harms

Achieving optimal health for all

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Read more about the AMA’s efforts advancing equity in the yearly progress updates:

Throughout 2021-2023, the AMA  focused on embedding racial justice and equity across the AMA’s other strategic arcs of removing obstacles to patient care, preventing chronic disease, confronting the nation's greatest public health crises, and ensuring optimal health for all.

As a national leader in health care, it is incumbent on the AMA to lean into its influence and play a more prominent role in the current national reckoning on equity and justice both by using existing assets—relationships, training platforms, programs, advocacy, communication and marketing infrastructure—and creating new assets as levers for change.

It is essential that the AMA also simultaneously maintains a level of awareness and responsiveness when harmful emerging issues arise that can impede the AMA’s progression to advance health equity across the AMA enterprise.

Getting to equity and justice necessitates a sense of urgency and ambition. This is not just the work of the Center for Health Equity; rather, it is the responsibility of all of AMA leadership, membership and stakeholders in collaboration with many others.

The AMA’s focus must consistently understand the impact of its decisions, ensure that the AMA shows up in its power with great responsibility and humility to listen, learn, and act, and to remember its fundamental responsibility to do no harm.

Learn more about the AMA’s 2024-2025 Organizational Strategic Plan to Advance Health Equity.

Find information about health equity education on the AMA Ed Hub™ featuring CME from the AMA’s Center for Health Equity and curated education from collaborating organizations.