CHICAGO – Today the American Medical Association (AMA) announced the appointment of a 13-member editorial panel comprised of leading physicians and allied health professionals to curate the AMA Guides® to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. The panel represents a major step in the development of a new transparent, stakeholder-driven process for maintaining the AMA Guides.  The editorial process will draw on the AMA’s unique collaborative capability to gain insights from the entire health care community and produce timely enhancements to the AMA Guides that reflect current science and evidence-based medical practice.

For more than 50 years the AMA has served as the authority on the evaluation of permanent impairment. Adopted by more than 40 states and several foreign countries, the AMA Guides provide a rigorous methodology to enable fair and consistent evaluation of patients who have suffered an illness or injury that has resulted in a permanent loss of function.

“Using the most current evidence-based science is critical to providing fair and consistent impairment evaluations for patients and injured workers,” says Mark Melhorn, M.D., co-chair of the AMA Guides Editorial Panel. “As new medical innovations become available, patient outcomes continue to improve. It is important that the impairment process reflect these changes.”

The Guides Editorial Panel is a key element of a broader initiative to modernize the AMA Guides in ways that will reduce physician burden and improve the quality and consistency of evaluations. “The domain of the AMA Guides is medical. At the same time, we can reduce administrative friction and cost by addressing real world challenges in their application,” said Doug Martin, M.D., co-chair of the AMA Guides Editorial Panel.

“We are pleased that the AMA is engaging the workers’ compensation community to develop resources that reflect the most current medicine and address the challenges states face in appropriately evaluating permanent impairment,” remarks Abbie Hudgens, administrator of the State of Tennessee’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and president of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions. Hudgens will serve as an advisor to the panel.

More information and the full membership of the AMA Guides Editorial Panel are available at

Media Contact:

Robert J. Mills

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.