Public Health

Public health improvement


Physicians are uniquely suited to advocate for the improvement of the public’s health. Employ Advocacy Resource Center materials on issues—including obesity, protecting the patient-physician relationship, public safety, safe vaccination, tobacco use, women’s reproductive health, wellness and more—to launch a multipronged campaign to improve public health in your state.

In recent years, an alarming number of states have introduced bills to legislate the content of information exchanged between physicians and their patients. While this issue is most evident in bills prohibiting physicians from counseling patients about firearms or restricting abortion, this issue also arises when legislatures create content-specific informed consent or prescribe mandatory palliative care scripts. However, this issue is not about guns or abortion. This is about legislation that encroaches on the patient-physician relationship.

Public health on AMA Ed Hub™

Browse activities on championing public health from the American Public Health Association (APHA).

These legislative forays into the practice of medicine not only infringe on physicians’ First Amendment right to free speech, they potentially put physicians in an untenable position of risking disciplinary proceedings, criminal prosecution or abandoning ethical obligations to foster patient autonomy. More important, however, is the real harm that may come to patients if these laws continue to interfere with their safety and access to the most current medical information available.

Find out how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the AMA are working to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

The AMA offers state advocacy tools on these issues and others. Please contact Annalia Michelman, senior legislative attorney, to discuss this campaign in more detail.