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Developing Policies for Resident Physician Members

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Criteria for Developing Policy

Creating or changing policy is done when an inequity is perceived, a problem is recognized or a potential problem is identified.

When developing new policies, the assembly considers:

  1. Is the proposed matter feasible? (Can it be done?)
  2. Is it advisable? (Should it be done?)
  3. Is it efficient? (What is the cost-benefit ratio?)

How to Evaluate Policy Changes

Look at the Alternatives

  • What can be done?
  • Is more information needed that will narrow or broaden choices?
  • Have similar policies been presented and rejected? If so, why?

Make Sure Mechanisms Are in Place

  • Is the proposed policy internal to Resident & Fellow Section (RFS) and/or the AMA? 
  • Can/should some other organization take on the issue?
  • Can/should some other organization align with the AMA to give added support?

Analyze the Outcomes

  • Who will be helped or who will be hurt?
  • Is it consistent with current AMA policy?
  • What are the costs/benefits, social costs, program costs, governmental costs and how will the policy's success be measured in solving the identified problem?

Rank the Value of Each Action

  • If money is not a consideration, efficiency may be ranked last. However, if cost is an issue than efficiency may be the controlling factor.
  • If all criteria are ranked equally, ranking the outcome may be more challenging.

Remember that even though the most desirable choice may not be the best one, it may be the best one for that specific time and environment.

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