Senior Physicians

About the Senior Physicians Section (SPS)


The Senior Physicians Section (SPS) gives voice to and advocates for issues that impact senior physicians, whether active or retired. SPS also provides a way for senior physicians to remain active and involved with the AMA and the medical community. 

Any AMA physician member 65 years of age and above is automatically a member of the SPS. 

A senior physician organization has been affiliated with the AMA for over 40 years. The group was originally founded by a retired AMA employee in 1975 as the American Retired Physicians Association (ARPA). 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. 

From 2006 to 2012, senior physician issues were addressed within the AMA by a Board-appointed committee on senior physician issues, whose members provided counsel to the Board as requested. In 2012, the group became an AMA section, entitling it to a vote and voice for senior physicians to impact policymaking in the AMA's House of Delegates.

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

Criteria for assessing competence of senior 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.

General SPS email: [email protected]

Group manager: Alice Reed, (312) 464-5523, [email protected]