Interim Meeting

2019 AMA Interim Meeting is underway—7 issues to watch

Kevin B. O'Reilly , Senior News Editor

Hundreds of physicians, residents and medical students are gathering Nov. 14–19 in San Diego to consider proposals across a wide range of clinical practice, payment, medical education and public health topics.

They also will have the opportunity to attend educational sessions offering updates on issues such as the health impact of climate change, physicians’ obligation to serve as advocates, and dealing with in-flight emergencies.

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Among the top issues that will be addressed at the 2019 AMA Interim Meeting are:

  • Addressing high drug prices with an international pricing index and other price controls.
  • Tightening regulations for vaping products and electronic cigarettes.
  • Preserving net neutrality for modern health care.
  • Ensuring access to safe and quality care for veterans.
  • Advocating federal legislation banning conversion therapy.
  • Enhancing medical education standards to improve health care for LGBTQ patients.
  • Training future physicians in health care finance.

On prescription drug prices, the AMA House of Delegates (HOD) will consider proposals on the use of arbitration, international price indices, and contingent exclusivity periods.

Delegates will also consider several proposals to tighten regulations for vaping products and e-cigarettes, including a resolution to support suspending sale of such products that have not undergone Food and Drug Administration premarket review.

The HOD also will consider advocating net neutrality as one way to protect internet access and reduce health disparities, whether to back a federal law to ban therapy aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation, and promoting awareness and education of LGBTQ health issues in basic science and clinical care curricula.

On veterans’ care, the HOD will consider a proposal to give physicians working outside the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) access to educational resources similar to those offered to doctors who work for the VA.

In the area of health care finance, delegates will consider whether to expand a call for education on the issue to residency training.

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The speaker steps up

Physicians attending the meeting also have the opportunity to learn from experts on a variety of subjects.

“Health Impact of Climate Change: Preparing Your Communities and Practices.” This program (Sunday, Nov. 17, 1–3:30 p.m. PST, Harbor Ballroom A–B, Manchester Grand Hyatt) will feature three prominent speakers in the field of climate change and health. They will discuss the science behind the effects of climate change, the seven health effects of climate change, and what physicians can do to prepare for and respond to these new challenges.

“President’s Panel: Physicians’ Obligation to Lead.” The session (Monday, Nov. 18, 9:30–11 a.m. PST, Harbor Ballroom C, Manchester Grand Hyatt) examines the role of the AMA and physicians in advocacy and activism in issues related to immigration, women’s health, LGBTQ health, gun violence and health equity. Additionally, a historical perspective on medicine, activism, and sociopolitical change will be discussed.

The session will be moderated by AMA President Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA, and include a presentation from AMA General Counsel Brian Vandenberg. Then these physicians will hold a panel discussion reacting to the presentations: Jesse Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, AMA board chair; Rodney Hood, MD, past-president of the National Medical Association; Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH, AMA chief health equity officer; and Dalia G. Larios Chavez, MD, a resident at Brigham & Women’s Hospital.

“Is There a Doctor on Board? Dealing with In-flight Emergencies.” This session (Monday, Nov. 18, 10–11 a.m. PST, Grand Hall D, Manchester Grand Hyatt) will identify the most common in-flight medical emergencies; describe in-flight resources available for responding to a medical emergency; and discuss the legal ramifications of providing care for an in-flight medical emergency.

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If you aren't headed to San Diego, watch a Facebook Live stream of the AMA House of Delegates’ opening session Saturday, 2–6 p.m. PST.

News about the meeting’s educational sessions and House of Delegates policy actions will be posted daily at the AMA website, the 2019 AMA Interim Meeting website, and the AMA’s Facebook page and Twitter account.

Look for and use the #AMAmtg hashtag to help track the meeting’s special moments. You also can use the #OurAMA hashtag to share your favorite AMA memories and talk about what you’re seeing at the meeting and the impact it will have on the future of medicine. And find out how AMA members move medicine—and share how you are doing it—by using the #MembersMoveMedicine hashtag.

And to get a real insider’s view of the sights at the Interim Meeting, follow the AMA on Instagram.