How to put antimicrobial stewardship into action


Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to public health as microorganisms continue to evolve and evade medicine’s arsenal of infection-fighting drugs. Mounting an effective response demands a host of efforts, and chief among them is prioritizing antimicrobial stewardship as an ethical value. But what does that mean in practice? 

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The June issue of AMA Journal of Ethics® (@JournalofEthics) considers how the field of antimicrobial stewardship demands a multisectorial response to threats posed by antimicrobial resistance. Contributors to the issue examine the field’s membership, organizations and methods and also look at its future.

The June issue of AMA Journal of Ethics includes the following articles:

  1. How Should Clinicians Navigate Interprofessional Tension in Their Roles as Antimicrobial Stewards?

    1. This commentary on a case describes need for physician and health professional collaboration to optimize therapeutic use of antimicrobials in clinical settings.
  2. When Should Patients at the End of Life Get Antimicrobials?

    1. Some physicians or health professionals might neglect discussing benefits and harms of antimicrobials with their patients during the advance-care planning process.
  3. Why Assuring the Quality of Antimicrobials Is a Global Imperative.”

    1. Poor-quality antimicrobial medicines continue to proliferate across supply chains, threatening patients’ health and safety, especially in low- and middle-income regions.
  4. How to Mitigate Community Harms of Antibacterial Resistance With Patient-Centered Care.”

    1. Merits of more antimicrobial prescription oversight should be weighed against risks to patients and communities of untreatable bacterial infections.

The journal’s June “Ethics Talk” podcast features a discussion with Lynne Fehrenbacher, PharmD, a professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Concordia University Wisconsin, and Leah Leonard-Kandarapally, PharmD, an infectious disease pharmacy resident at Aurora Health Care, in Milwaukee, about the key roles of infectious disease pharmacists in antimicrobial stewardship.

The June issue also features five author-interview podcasts. Listen to previous episodes of the “Ethics Talk” podcast or subscribe in iTunes or other services.

Also, CME modules drawn from this month’s issue are collected at the AMA Ed Hub™ AMA Journal of Ethics webpage.

Submissions for the 2024 Conley Contests are being accepted through Sept. 23.

Those eligible to submit entries are:

  • U.S. MD and DO students.
  • Resident physicians or fellows in programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or American Osteopathic Association.
  • Early career physicians who have completed advanced training within the last five years.

The winning prize for the best essay and artwork, respectively, is up to $5,000.

Learn more about the Ethics Essay Contest and the Art of Medicine Contest.

The next issue of the journal will focus on equity in harm reduction and opioid-use disorder interventions.  Sign up to receive email alerts when new issues are published.