Nearly 700 physicians, residents and medical students are gathering—virtually—over the next five days for the November 2020 AMA Special Meeting to consider proposals across a wide range of clinical practice, payment, medical education and public health topics.

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The AMA House of Delegates (HOD) will work in a democratic process to create a national physician consensus on emerging issues in public health, science, ethics, business and government to improve the care and public heath of patients and communities. The policies adopted at this meeting will give the AMA direction and act as a driving force on the future of American medicine.

The delegates also will have the opportunity to engage with educational offerings covering issues such as COVID-19’s impact on end-of-life care for patients and health professionals, surprise billing, and incorporating structural competency into medical education.

Among the notable issues that will be addressed at the November 2020 AMA Special Meeting are:

  • Racism as a public health threat.
  • Options to maximize health insurance coverage under the AMA proposal for reform.
  • Compassionate release for incarcerated patients.
  • Modernized oversight of the dietary supplement marketplace.

On racism, the HOD will consider a proposal that would among other things, have the AMA “recognize racism, in its systemic, cultural, interpersonal and other forms, as a serious threat to public health, to the advancement of health equity, and a barrier to appropriate medical care.”

On health insurance coverage, delegates will consider an AMA Council on Medical Service report that recommends standards for auto-enrollment in health insurance coverage and a public option to expand coverage.

Delegates will also consider an AMA Board of Trustees report to support policies that facilitate compassionate release on the basis of serious medical conditions and advanced age while developing clear, evidence-based eligibility criteria.

On dietary supplements, an AMA Council on Science and Public Health report presented at the meeting recommends efforts to enhance Food and Drug Administration oversight, inspections and enforcement in this growing sector.

Physicians and medical students attending the November 2020 AMA Section Meetings also had the opportunity to learn from experts on a variety of subjects.

These included:

“The year ahead—exclusive interview with Anthony Fauci, MD, NIAID director.” Watch the recording of the Nov. 7 discussion with Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), and James L. Madara, MD, the AMA’s executive vice president and CEO. They explored COVID-19 and what lies ahead for patients, physicians and medical students.

Read more about Dr. Fauci’s 2021 forecast on SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and COVID-19 treatments.

“USMLE Step 1 Pass-Fail: Implications on undergraduate medical education and the residency application process.”

In February, USMLE parent organizations approved transitioning USMLE Step 1 score reporting from a three-digit numeric score to a pass-fail outcome starting no sooner than January 2022. This program explored the implications of the USMLE Step 1 pass-fail grading change in the setting of both undergraduate medical school curriculum and residency program director decisions.

Read more about the challenges and opportunities of a system with no USMLE Step 1 scores.

Anyone can view the meeting’s prerecorded education sessions, which include:

Highlights of the meeting’s key moments and House of Delegates policy actions will be posted daily at the AMA website, the November 2020 AMA Special Meeting website, and the AMA’s Facebook page and Twitter account.

Addresses from leadership and more will be featured on the AMA’s YouTube channel.

In honor of the Special Meeting, this week the AMA’s Instagram account will spotlight the reasons why medical students #MaskUp. Share your own by using #AMaskStory and tagging @AmerMedicalAssn on Instagram or Twitter.

Get in on the conversation during the meeting using #AMAmtg, and be sure to follow the AMA on LinkedIn for additional updates as well.

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