The AMA Senior Physicians Section (SPS) provides a way for physicians to remain active and involved with the AMA and the medical community. The purpose of the group is to support projects of interest to the senior physician community, including continued communication with colleagues, advocacy on behalf of senior physician issues, and ongoing development of member benefits and activities.

To engage physicians age 65 and above, both active and retired, to promote policies, products and services relevant to senior physicians.

The SPS identifies the needs and desires of senior physicians and advocates on their behalf.

Criteria for assessing competence of senor physicians

For several years, the AMA’s Council on Medical Education (CME) and SPS have been working to address the issue of assessing competence of senior physicians. Most recently, CME convened a work group of key stakeholders to develop guiding principles for screening and assessing the competency of the senior/late career physician. The activities of the work group and the “guiding principles” were summarized in a CME report that was presented at the House of Delegates Interim Meeting 2018.   

The reference committee recommended adoption and many AMA groups supported the report (including the Organized Medical Staff Section and SPS). However, some in the House felt that adoption of the report could lead to another assessment similar to maintenance of certification, and called for referral which was the final House action. 

CMS amended and resubmitted the report at the 2022 Special Meeting where it was adopted as amended with a change in title.

Licensure relief model for retired physicians

Upon recommendation from the CME, the AMA developed a licensure relief model for retired physicians working in free clinics. The model recommends that states adopt legislation which would exempt retired physicians practicing in free clinics from the licensing board registration fee.

A senior physician organization has been affiliated with the AMA for over 40 years. The group was originally founded in 1975 as the American Retired Physicians Association (ARPA) by a retired AMA employee. Benefits included group travel, group insurance (Medicare supplemental health insurance); educational seminars on practice sale/disposition and personal finances; a newsletter and a focus on volunteer and part-time paid practice opportunities. Morris Fishbein, MD, former editor of JAMA, was the first member of ARPA.

From 2006-2012, senior physician issues were addressed by a Board-appointed Senior Physicians Group. The Committee members responded to questions from the Board as requested. However, there was no voice in the AMA’s House of Delegates and no meaningful way to impact policy. While state or specialty societies have senior physician delegates, the geographic or specialty related topics overtook proposing business on senior physician issues.

Review the section's internal operating procedures (PDF)

Take part in all-inclusive travel programs provided by AHI Travel (PDF) with expert tour guides and preferred access to local sites.

AMA Senior Physicians Section at (312) 464-5523 and [email protected].

Alice Reed, Group Manager at [email protected]

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