The AMA is engaged in targeted areas of international activity under the guidance and direction of the Office of International Relations (OIR). 

Although our domestic focus is primary, the AMA increasingly addresses health care issues in a “global neighborhood.” The OIR:

  • Provides a global perspective for the AMA and maintains the relationships with national medical associations and global health care organizations. 
  • Builds relationships with counterpart national medical associations to leverage the AMA’s expertise, develop contacts, and open opportunities. 
  • Works through the World Medical Association (WMA) to promote AMA’s objectives and policies.
  • Assists in securing AMA representation at the World Health Organization’s annual World Health Assembly.
  • Engages with other countries to learn how they structure their health care systems, and how they deal with common issues like care in rural areas, shortages of physicians, poverty, and disparities.

In addition, the OIR leverages its experts to engage with international influencers, including:

  • AMA Councils (CSAPH, CMS, CME, CEJA) and staff
  • Specialty societies
  • Medical education and licensure entities
  • Human rights organizations
  • The United Nations (UN)
  • The World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO)
  • The Department of State
  • The Department of Defense
  • The Department of Health and Human Services

Health professionals urge public request continued support to health care workers

David Barbe, MD
David Barbe, MD, MHA

Citing unprecedented stressors and difficult working conditions, the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) released a message to the public requesting continued support and real action to support health professionals and other health care workers in 2021.

David Barbe, MD, MHA, president of the World Medical Association and AMA past president, represented physicians.

World Health Day

In January 2021, WHO issued a call to all countries to work together in solidarity—and in each of their best interests—to ensure that within the first 100 days of the year, vaccination of health workers and older people was underway in all countries. 

The World Medical Association joined the WHO to call on countries and companies to ensure that by the time World Health Day arrives on April 7, 2021, COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in every country, as a symbol of hope for overcoming both the pandemic and the inequalities that lie at the root of so many global health challenges.

This call to action can be fulfilled through supporting COVAX and the ACT Accelerator to equitably distribute vaccines, treatments and diagnostics globally. 

The OIR is dedicated to serving as a champion of physicians in globalized health care. Learn more about the AMA’s international involvement or join the AMA today.

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