The 10 most-read medical ethics articles in 2022

Kevin B. O'Reilly , Senior News Editor

Each month, the AMA Journal of Ethics® (@JournalofEthics) gathers insights from physicians and other experts to explore issues in medical ethics that are highly relevant to doctors in practice and the future physicians now in medical schools, as well as the other health professionals who constitute the health care team.

Help Move Medicine

Medicine doesn’t stand still, and neither do we. AMA members don’t just keep up with medicine—they shape its future.

Below, find the 10 most popular AMA Journal of Ethics articles published this year.  

  1. Time for Dental Care to Be Considered Essential in US Health Care Policy

    1. Training, service delivery, and financing are done separately in dentistry and general health care, which has influenced reimbursement structures, access to services, and outcomes. Read more about “Inequity Along the Medical/Dental Divide” in the January 2022 issue.
  2. How Is Colonialism a Sociostructural Determinant of Health in Puerto Rico?

    1. Hurricane María, earthquakes, the COVID-19 pandemic, and relentless privatization and fragmentation of the health care system have led to very poor health outcomes. Read more about “Health Equity in US Latinx Communities” in the April 2022 issue.
  3. Why Should Primary Care Clinicians Learn to Routinely Examine the Mouth?

    1. Despite availability of good national oral health curricula for medical trainees, most physicians are ill-equipped to identify oral cancers or avoid unnecessary referrals.
  4. An Abolitionist Approach to Antiracist Medical Education

    1. Medical education that omits critical discourse about racism perpetuates racism. Read more in the March 2022 issue, “Toward Abolition Medicine.”

    Related Coverage

    U.S. health system must come to terms with its environmental impact
  5. Why Restoring Birth as Ceremony Can Promote Health Equity

    1. Until the mid-20th century, birth in the United States for Latinx Indigenous peoples was an ancestral ceremony guided by midwives and traditional healers.
  6. Health Equity Needs Teeth

    1. Continued separation of dental and oral health from general medical care generates unnecessary prescriptions and pain management that are neither restorative nor responsive to patients’ primary complaints.
  7. Should a Physician Ever Violate SWAT or TEMS Protocol in a Mass Casualty Incident?

    1. Tactical emergency medical personnel direct triage and resource allocation and administer immediate interventions. Read more about “Tactical Health and Law Enforcement” in the February 2022 issue.
  8. Why Don’t Medicare and Medicaid Cover Dental Health Services?

    1. This brief visual and narrative history explains why dentistry exists outside medicine, rather than as a specialty within it.
  9. When Is Iatrogenic Harm Negligent?

    1. All harm resulting from negligence is iatrogenic, but not all iatrogenic injury is negligent. Read more about “Inequity and Iatrogenic Harm” in the August 2022 issue.
  10. Should Clinicians Be Activists?

    1. Physicians must respond with care to all patients’ health needs, even those demanding complex, expensive interventions.

Related Coverage

The obscurity of health care pricing undermines trust in medicine

CME credit often is available for reading AMA Journal of Ethics articles. Those offerings are part of the AMA Ed Hub™️, an online learning platform that brings together high-quality CME, maintenance of certification, and educational content from trusted sources, all in one place—with activities relevant to you, automated credit tracking and reporting for some states and specialty boards. 

Learn more about AMA CME accreditation.

Also check out “Ethics Talk,” an AMA Journal of Ethics podcast that explores the ethical and professional challenges that medical students and physicians regularly confront during their education and practice careers.

Submit manuscripts and artwork

The journal’s editorial focus is on commentaries and articles that offer practical advice and insights for medical students and physicians. Submit a manuscript for publication. The journal also invites original photographs, graphics, cartoons, drawings and paintings that explore the ethical dimensions of health or health care.