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AMA History Timeline

AMA History Timeline summarizes the history of the AMA through the years since its founding to present time.


Founding of AMA at Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia (Founder, Nathan S. Davis MD).

Founding of AMA at Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia
Founding of AMA at Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia

AMA Committee on Medical Education appointed.

AMA establishes standards for preliminary medical education and for the degree of MD.

AMA Code of Medical Ethics
AMA Code of Medical Ethics

AMA Code of Medical Ethics written and published.


AMA recommends that the value of anesthetic agents in medicine, surgery and obstetrics be determined.

AMA notes the dangers of universal traffic in secret remedies and patent medicine.

The AMA first recommended that State governments register births, marriage and deaths.


AMA establishes a board to analyze quack remedies and nostrums and to enlighten the public in regard to the nature and danger of such remedies.


AMA establishes Committee on Ethics.


AMA Committee on Ethics strongly advocates recognition of regularly educated and qualified female physicians.


AMA recommends that Congress pass a national system of quarantine regulations.


AMA Judicial Council founded to deal with ethical and constitutional issues.

Sarah Hackett Stevenson
Sarah Hackett Stevenson


Sarah Hackett Stevenson becomes first woman member of AMA.

AMA adopts a resolution promoting sanitary municipal water supplies and sewer systems.


Journal of the American Medical Association founded; Nathan Davis is first editor.


AMA supports experimentation on animals as the most useful source of knowledge in medical practice.


Journal of the American Medical Association cover

AMA is incorporated.


AMA Committee on Scientific Research is established to provide grants for fostering medical research.


AMA creates Committee on National Legislation to represent the Association's interest in Washington.

AMA establishes Council on Exhibits to promote public health education.

Dr. George H. Simmons begins a 25-year appointment as editor of JAMA and develops the journal into an internationally recognized publication.

Dr. George H. Simmons
Dr. George H. Simmons

AMA appoints a committee to report on the nature of tuberculosis, means of control, public education and advisability of establishing national and state sanitariums.

AMA urges that local boards of health adopt laws requiring compulsory smallpox vaccination.


1889 AMA Meeting
1889 AMA Meeting

AMA reorganizes, creating the House of Delegates.


AMA acquires its first permanent headquarters in Chicago.

AMA HQ 1902


AMA establishes the Council on Medical Education to accelerate campaign to raise educational requirements for physicians.


AMA establishes Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry to set standards for drug manufacturing and advertising and fight the war on quack patent medicines and nostrum trade.


AMA Council on Medical Education inspects 160 medical schools and classifies them into three groups: A=acceptable; B=doubtful; and C=unacceptable.

AMA Council on Medical Education publishes directory of medical schools in the United States, detailing entrance requirements.

Chemistry Lab
Chemistry Lab

AMA Chemical Laboratory is established to analyze nostrums and drugs submitted for AMA review (in the 1930s leading to the AMA Seal of acceptance).

AMA publishes first American Medical Directory listing over 128,000 licensed physicians in US and Canada.


The Flexner report, 'Medical Education in the United States and Canada', funded by the Carnegie Foundation and supported by the AMA is published and facilitates new standards for medical schools. The report cites many diploma mills.

Flexner Report
Flexner Report


The Federation of State Medical Boards is established accepting AMA's rating of medical schools as authoritative.

AMA approves a report of the standard methods for prevention and control of tuberculosis adopted by the House of Delegates.


AMA establishes a Propaganda Department to gather and disseminate information concerning health fraud and quackery.

Medicine Man Show
Medicine Man Show


AMA Council on Medical Education sets standards for hospital internship programs and publishes first list of approved hospitals offering such programs.


AMA publishes favorable report on government-supported health care through sickness and accident insurance for employed individuals.


AMA opposes compulsory health insurance through an August 1920 resolution by the House of Delegates.


Woman's Auxiliary to the AMA is organized to assist the AMA in the advancement of medicine and public health. In 1975, Woman's Auxiliary to the AMA becomes the AMA Auxiliary.

Bulletin Women's Auxiliary 1965
Bulletin of the Women's Auxiliary, March 1965

Judicial Council amended The Principles of Medical Ethics, outlawing the solicitation of patients by physicians, a policy that remained in effect until the new Principles were adapted in 1980.


AMA adopts standards for medical specialty training.

Hygeia, the AMA's family health magazine, is founded. Later becomes Today’s Health in 1950.

Hygeia April 1928
Hygeia April 1928


Morris Fishbein begins 25-year tenure as editor of JAMA and Hygeia.

The AMA begins radio broadcasts that bring health messages to the general public.


AMA Propaganda Department becomes Bureau of Investigation.


AMA Council on Medical Education and Hospitals publishes first list of hospitals approved for residency training.


AMA Council on Foods established as a subgroup of Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry.


AMA requests evaluative psychiatric services be made available to every criminal and juvenile court, and to correctional institutions.


AMA's Bureau of Medical Economics is established to study all economic matters affecting the medical profession.


During the Depression, the Judicial Council amended the Principles of Medical Ethics by making it unethical for any physician to dispose of his or her services to any lay body, organization, group or individual under the conditions that would permit any of them to receive a profit on the doctor's services.


Social Security Act is approved. It does not include compulsory health insurance due to AMA influence.


AMA Council on Foods becomes Council on Foods & Nutrition; council offers AMA Seal of Acceptance to food manufacturers who pass advertising and content tests and who conform with Food and Drug Act; council encourages enriching milk with vitamin D to prevent rickets, and salt with iodine to prevent goiter. In 1938, it publishes The Normal Diet, containing the first authoritative dietary recommendations for Americans.


Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry discontinues analysis of drugs and directs efforts on providing physicians with information on efficacy of dosage administration; encourages the advancement of new drugs by issuing development grants.


The AMA Council on Medical Education and the Association of American Medical Colleges establish the Liaison Committee on Medical Education to accredit programs leading to the MD degree.


AMA opens office in Washington, D.C.

AMA Council on Medical Service and Public Relations is established.


The AMA receives a commendation from the Surgeon General for the radio series "Doctors at War," as an excellent service to the Medical department of the US Army.


AMA recommends borderline limits to determine alcohol influence in the suspected drunken driver.


AMA begins television broadcasts that bring health messages to the general public.


AMA celebrates centennial of its founding.

AMA 1947 Centennial
AMA 1947 Centennial


AMA launches a campaign against President Truman's plan for national health insurance.


Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals is formed by AMA, the American College of Surgeons, American College of Physicians, American Hospital Association and the Canadian Medical Association.

AMA endorses the principle of fluoridation of community water supplies.

AMA Educational Foundation established to help medical schools meet expenses and to help medical students.


House of Delegates adopted a council report condemning fee splitting in health care.


National Internship Matching Program is formally established.


AMA recommends equipping all automobiles with safety belts.

First list of continuing education courses is published by AMA Council on Medical Education.


AMA supports a 5-year program for states to improve mental health care.

AMA approves extension of Water Pollution Act and programs to eliminate air pollution.


AMA declares alcoholism an illness.


American Medical Association News begins publication. The name is later changed to American Medical News in 1969.

American Medical Association News, 1958


AMA states that a blood alcohol level of 0.1 percent should be accepted as prima- facie evidence of alcohol intoxication.

AMA develops national policy on health care for older patients.

AMA Archives is established to document and preserve AMA history and to serve as a resource center.


The American Medical Political Action Committee (AMPAC) is formed to represent patients' and physicians' interests in the political process.

AMPAC Meeting Congress
AMPAC Meeting Congress

AMA recommends a nationwide vaccination using the Sabin oral vaccine against polio.

AMA takes responsibility for updating Standard Classification of the Nomenclature of Disease.

AMA establishes Continuing Education Advisory Committee to develop standards and mechanisms for the evaluation and accreditation of all programs of continuing medical education.


Dr. Edward Annis gives speech in Madison Square Garden, in response to President John F. Kennedy's speech on Medicare delivered in the same location.

Dr. Edward Annis gives speech in Madison Square Garden
Dr. Edward Annis, Madison Square Garden

AMA holds the first National Congress on Mental Health.


AMA publishes first edition of Current Medical Terminology, a system of preferred and supplementary terms and descriptors for diseases.


AMA adopts a report on the hazards of cigarette smoking.


AMA scientific meeting had largest attendance and is referred to by the New York Daily News as the "Biggest Doc Bash Ever."

A Career in Medicine

AMA adopts a statement recognizing the dangers of air pollution and provides a medical basis for governmental action.


AMA publishes first edition of the 'Current Procedural Terminology' (CPT), a system of standardized terms for medical procedures used to facilitate documentation.

AMA encourages physicians to promote exercise as a means to better health.


AMA coordinates Volunteer Physicians in Vietnam program administers Vietnam Medical School Project (1967-1973).

Volunteer Physicians in Vietnam
Volunteer Physicians in Vietnam

The United States Adopted Names Council is established to determine nonproprietary designations for chemical compounds.


AMA Physician's Recognition Award program is established, providing certificates to physicians who qualify by completing required amounts of continuing education.

AMA adopts a statement on infant mortality with 14 recommendations for reducing the infant mortality rate in the US.


AMA urges the FAA to require all airlines to separate nonsmokers from smokers.

AMA opens membership to osteopaths.


AMA publishes the first Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

First edition of AMA Drug Evaluations published a source of comparative evaluative information on drug therapy.

AMA adopts report to Board of Trustees reviewing changes needed to increase the number of women physicians.


AMA opens membership to students and residents.

AMA launches war on smoking, urging the government to reduce and control the use of tobacco products and supporting legislation prohibiting the disbursement of samples of tobacco.

Break the Habit poster
Break the Habit poster

Liaison Committee on Graduate Medical Education established to accredit residency programs.


AMA urges physicians to cooperate in a national program to combat hypertension.


AMA presents recommendations to insure adequate protection of individuals used in human experimentation.


AMA establishes a National Commission on the cost of medical care.

AMA adopts resolution opposing sex discrimination in medical institutions.


AMA encourages handicapped access to public facilities.

AMA endorses and encourages establishment of a permanent Office of Surgeon General of the US Public Health Service.


AMA sponsors first meeting of the Resident Physicians Section.


AMA develops national policy endorsing hospice care to enable the terminally ill to die in a more homelike environment.

AMA establishes the Medical Student Section.

AMA supports state legislation mandating the use of seat belts and other protection restraints for infants and children.

AMA reorganizes House of Delegates to include representatives of national medical specialty societies.


AMA launches the French edition of JAMA, the first of 28 international editions of the Journal established between 1980 and 1996.


AMA recommends that current studies on the effects of "Agent Orange" and dioxin be expanded and that all physicians be alerted to symptoms of exposure.


AMA Consumer Publishing program begins with the AMA Family Medical Guide, published by Random House.

AMA Family Medical Guide
AMA Family Medical Guide

George Lundberg begins serving as editor-in-chief of JAMA and Scientific Publications.

AMA encourages each state medical society to seek and support legislation to raise the legal drinking age to 21.

AMA initiates the Health Policy Agenda for the American People (HPA), with a 28-member steering committee representing various health, business and consumer organizations. Among the many initiatives the HPA takes on, it develops plans for a basic benefits package for health insurance plans, pursues Medicaid reform, provides a model for compensating injured patients, and recommends mechanisms for improving consumer information about health care.

American Medical Radio News begins.


AMA urges a smoke-free society by the year 2000.

Hospital Medical Staff Section, now the Organized Medical Staff Section, is established within the AMA.


AMA provides diagnostic and treatment guidelines for cases involving child abuse and neglect.


AMA encourages continuing research and studies concerning AIDS, and requests adequate government funding for research.

AMA calls for ban on all tobacco advertising and supports passage of legislation prohibiting smoking on public transportation.


AMA passes resolution opposing acts of discrimination against AIDS patients and any legislation that would lead to such categorical discrimination or that would affect patient-physician confidentiality.

AIDS from the beginning
AIDS from the beginning

AMA introduces an initiative to improve adolescent health and later established the Department of Adolescent Health in 1987.

AMA publicizes and recommends the incorporation of CPR classes in secondary schools

AMA adopts policy prohibiting investment of AMA funds in tobacco stocks and urging medical schools and parent universities to eliminate investments in corporations that produce or promote use of tobacco.


AMA outlines a comprehensive approach for the prevention and control of AIDS and adopts an AIDS public awareness and information program.

AMA urges physicians to refer women for mammograms.

AMA urges residency programs to revise requirements to reduce stress and fatigue caused by long hours and to increase supervision of residents.


AMA establishes Office of HIV/AIDS.


AMA develops National HIV Policy reiterating physicians' ethical responsibilities to treat HIV patients whose condition is within the physicians' realm of competence.

AMA recommends confidential HIV testing be readily available to all who wish to be tested.

AMA Encyclopedia of Medicine is published by Random House.


AMA moves into new building at 515 N. State Street, Chicago.

AMA Headquarters Building
AMA Headquarters Building

AMA adopts guidelines governing gifts to physicians from the pharmaceutical industry.

AMA proposes reform of the US Health care system (Health Access America) to include expansion of health insurance coverage.

AMA Fellowship Residency Electronic Interactive Data Access System (FREIDA) describing residency programs in the United States is available in electronic form.


AMA launches campaign against family violence.

AMA family violence poster
AMA family violence poster


AMA calls on tobacco companies to refrain from engaging in advertising practices that target children.

The Extinguisher
The Extinguisher

AMA Council on Medical Education and Council on Medical Service submit a joint report to House of Delegates identifying major barriers to adequate health care for the inner-city poor and present recommendations for addressing the problems. The AMA continues to address proper access to healthcare for inner-city poor and rural areas.

AMA Council on Medical Education recommends multifaceted approach to encourage student and physician interest in primary care.


AMA passes resolution declaring physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally inconsistent with the physician's professional role.


AMA drafts the Patient Protection Act, elements of which were included in every health system reform bill reported out of committee in both the House and Senate.

AMA Council on Medical Education and Council on Long Range Planning and Development submit report analyzing physician work-force planning strategies in light of the impact of health system reform on medical education and academic medical centers.


AMA launches grassroots campaign for professional liability reform.

AMA drafts the Patient Protection Act II bill to protect patients through a proposed ban on gag clauses and other practices of insurance plans that infringe on the patient-physician relationship.

The AMA launches its website on the Internet, featuring highlights of JAMA, the specialty journals, American Medical News and other AMA news of interest.

JAMA publishes historic issue with six articles examining tobacco industry through corporate documents of Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company.

AMA encourages Office of Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of alternative therapies.

AMA issues the First National Report Card on Violence and releases physician guidelines on treatment of sexual assault.


AMA scores crucial victories in Congress for physicians and patients with legislation on antitrust relief and health insurance reform.

AMA national campaign efforts lead to the Food and Drug Administration regulating the marketing of tobacco to minors.

AMA launches a crusade against health plan "gag clauses" resulting in these restrictive provisions being dropped by five leading managed care providers and laws prohibiting gag clauses in sixteen states.

AMA helps pass health insurance reform through one-on-one advocacy with members of Congress and the Administration resulting in new health insurance protections for 25 million Americans.

AMA with the American College of Physicians and American College of Surgeons, begins campaign to promote organ and tissue donation for transplantation.

AMA DoctorFinder, part of AMA Health Insight World Wide website, is launched, helping consumers locate physicians using the AMA's database of over 650,000 physicians.

AMA House of Delegates gives a voting seat to three organizations with longtime observance status in the House: National Medical Association, American Medical Women's Association, and the American Osteopathic Association.


AMA celebrates the sesquicentennial of its founding.

AMA Sesquicentennial 1997
AMA Sesquicentennial 1997

AMA renews its emphasis on medical ethics by creating the Institute for Ethics, providing practical physician outreach and guidance as well as scholarly research for end-of life issues, genetics, professionalism and managed care.

AMA launches a national campaign against "drive-through" deliveries which results in national legislation requiring insurance companies to provide appropriate hospitalization and maternity stays.

AMA launches the National Patient Safety Foundation to help ensure that all patients in all health care settings receive health care services safely.


In its efforts to assure all Americans access to health care, the AMA launches a new educational and policy campaign by publishing "Expanding Access to Insurance Coverage for Health Expenses: An AMA Proposal" which proposes to establish income-related tax credits for the purchase of health insurance and creates opportunities for alternative markets.

"Live and Then Give," the AMA's national organ donation awareness program begins with a pledge of organ donation by every member of the AMA House of Delegates.

The AMA and the Federation implement an aggressive campaign to improve the Health Care Financing Administration's (HCFA) revised Documentation Guidelines for Medicare Evaluation and Management Services. This campaign included Web-based information for physicians and aimed at protecting them from unwarranted fraud and abuse penalties.

The AMA's focus on patient's rights begins with the first national Patient's Bill of Rights day on 15 July 1998. Grassroots activities to inform the public, from news conferences to newspaper ads, were held across the country by state, county, and local medical societies.


After much intense debate, the AMA's House of Delegates votes to develop an affiliated national labor organization called Physicians for Responsible Negotiations (PRN) to represent employed physicians, allowing them to advocate on behalf of their patients. In 2004, PRN begins functioning as an entirely independent organization with no connection to the AMA.

Under the rallying cry of its new initiative 'Is it good medicine?' the AMA pushed forward with its grassroots lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. Key issues in the effort included medical privacy, negotiating rights for physicians and a national, bipartisan Patients Bill of Rights legislation.

The AMA Alliance initiated violence-awareness in schools across the country as part of their SAVE (Stop America's Violence Everywhere) on-going initiative.

Alliance SAVE poster
Alliance SAVE poster

"A Matter of Degree: The National Effort to Reduce High-Risking Drinking Among College Students," a collaborative effort between the AMA and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, encourages alcoholic abstinence and binge-drinking awareness in communities and universities nationwide.

The AMA sponsored Pain Relief Promotion Act of 1999 passed into federal law, reaffirming a physician's ability to aggressively manage patient discomfort during end-of-life care.


Through media outreach and member physician grassroots efforts, the AMA determinedly forged ahead with its advocacy for comprehensive Patients Bill of Rights legislation in Congress.

The AMA, along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, co-hosted the 11th annual World Conference on Tobacco or Health. Delegates from more than 120 countries dedicated themselves to furthering the work of tobacco use prevention and control.

The AMA’s Office of International Medicine initiated the Dr. Nathan Davis International Awards in Medicine and Public Health to recognize outstanding world leaders in the medical field. From the 129 nominations, the AMA awarded Victims the Outstanding International Physician honor to Inge Genefke, MD, DMSchc, secretary general for the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture, and honored the Polio Eradication Initiative as the Outstanding Global Health Initiative award recipient.

Catherine D. De Angelis, MD, MPH begins tenure as the fifteenth Editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, (JAMA) and Editor-in-Chief of the AMA's Division of Scientific Information and Multimedia. Dr. De Angelis is the first woman to be Editor in JAMA's one-hundred and sixteen year history.

Catherine D. De Angelis, MD, MPH
Catherine D. De Angelis, MD, MPH


Immediately following the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States, the AMA quickly responded to the needs of the nation, providing the government with a list of 3,500 volunteer physicians who were ready and willing to assist in recovery efforts. The AMA proceeded to take unprecedented steps to educate America's patients and physicians through the Disaster Preparedness and Medical Response website.

The House of Delegates, the Association's democratic cornerstone, marked the one hundredth anniversary of its founding in 1901. Through the years, this assembly has consistently created the policy that has enabled the AMA to adhere to its mission of "promoting the art and science of medicine, and the betterment of public health.

AMA advocacy efforts resulted in a major victory for medical student and residents in the passage into law of the Restored Earnings to Lift Individuals and Empower Families Act of 2001. The new law will help ease the crippling financial burden on students and residents who finance their own education through student loans.

The AMA continued its grassroots efforts to advocate for solid Patient’s Bill of Rights legislation in Congress, utilizing such programs as the AMA's National House Call to educate physicians, policymakers and the public.

Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs drafted the Declaration of Professional Responsibility: Medicine's Social Contract with Humanity. The declaration adopted by the House of Delegates at the 2001 Interim Meeting, serves as a reaffirmation of professional standards by the world community of physicians.


The AMA, along with 11 other organizations which comprise the "Covering the Uninsured" initiative, launched a national awareness campaign aimed at publicizing the extent of the uninsured population in the United States.

The AMA House of Delegates adopted a resolution submitted by the Council on Medical Education that set a limit on residency hours at 80 resident work hours per week in addition to setting restrictions on hours consecutively on call.

The AMA played a key role in the Moran v. Rush Prudential HMO case, filing a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Debra Moran. The landmark decision by the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the rights of HMO patients to an independent review when health plans overrule the treatment recommended by the patient's physician.

The AMA launched the AMA HIPAALink, an online educational tool designed to aid physicians in successful HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance.

The AMA Minority Affairs Consortium launched Doctors Back to School, a new program aimed to raise awareness of the need for minority physicians and encourage children from underrepresented minority groups to choose medicine as a future career.

AMA established the Fund for Better Health, a grant-making initiative that will provide financial support to AMA-affiliated organizations and individuals for community service projects addressing public health issues such as health literacy, anti-tobacco, and violence prevention.


After two years of intensive lobbying efforts by the AMA and specialty and state societies, Congress averts a 4.4 percent cut in Medicare physician payments.

Leaders from more than 30 public health, state and specialty medical societies and organizations convene at the AMA Headquarters in Chicago for the Federation Task Force on Disparities in Healthcare.

The AMA's Young Physician Section creates a "Resource Guide for Physicians Called to Active Duty" designed to provide basic information to physicians on the transition from private practice to active duty.

The AMA House of Delegates approves recommendations from the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, which state that cloning for biomedical research is consistent with medical ethics.


More than 180 physicians, medical students, public health workers, nutritionists and other health care professionals gather in Chicago for the first AMA National Summit on Obesity to identify ways health care professionals can tackle the obesity epidemic in schools, communities, work sites and medical practices.

In order to address growing concerns among physicians over the inappropriate use of prescribing data, the AMA launches the Prescribing Data Information Center, a web-based resource featuring information on how pharmaceutical companies use prescribing data, the AMA's Use of Prescribing Data Guidelines, and a physician feedback form.

In an effort to help eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities and increase diversity in medicine, the AMA House of Delegates adds a voting position for its Minority Affairs Consortium, a special interest group established in 1997.


AMA spearheads effort with 129 other health care and patient groups which results in the passage and signing of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act.

The AMA, along with the National Medical Association and National Hispanic Medical Association, announce the creation of the Commission to End Health Care Disparities. The Commission is comprised of leaders from the nation's largest physician organizations and more than 30 health-related groups, and whose mission is to educate physicians and health professionals about health care disparities.

To facilitate quality care of those affected by Hurricane Katrina, the AMA participates in the KatrinaHealth.org prescription medication network by offering its Physician Masterfile to verify physicians' identity and credentials.

AMA releases "Working Together to End Racial and Ethnic Disparities: One Physician at a Time", a kit which includes tools to help physicians eliminate gaps in health care based on race and culture.


The AMA successfully advocates halting a 5% cut in Medicare physician payments and secure funding to offset future cuts. One million physicians and patients contact Congress through the AMA Physician Grassroots Network to speak out about the cuts and the threat they posed to patient care.

The Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement reaches consensus on 151 quality measures by year's end. The AMA-convened group develops and promotes evidence-based criteria for physician performance evaluation.

Fortifying its anti-tobacco stance, the AMA HOD approves a resolution committing itself to meeting in smoke-free facilities and encourages its Federation members to do the same. The HOD strengthens existing policies on smoking in public places, in addition to calling for use of tobacco settlement funds for anti-smoking programs.

The AMA Litigation Center successfully assists physicians in fighting Regence BlueShield’s physician assessment program, one of Washington State's largest managed care organizations, instituted a provider sub-network supposedly based on its analyses of quality and efficiency, but actually based on flawed measurement criteria. The HOD adopts policy denouncing unfair criteria for evaluating physician performance.

The AMA makes great strides in health information technology (HIT); developing content for the AMA website and leading discussions on HIT issues such as adoption, cost, subsidization, patient access, functionality, and interoperability.


Responding to a national crisis about the state of health and nutrition, the AMA speaks out about food labeling, sodium, obesity, and diabetes through resolutions in the House of Delegates, in addition to statements by AMA leadership, including President Ron Davis, MD, one-time Delegate from the American College of Preventive Medicine who addressed the nation’s obesity epidemic in his inaugural address.

The AMA and Centers for Disease Control convene the Second Congress on Health System Readiness to improve community-level response to pandemic flu, while also publishing a joint AMA-American Public Health Association report, "Improving Health System Preparedness for Terrorism and Mass Casualty Events – Recommendations for Action," addresses large-scale response to and the effects of catastrophes.

The AMA launches the first phase of its "Voice for the Uninsured" Campaign, exposing the plight of Americans without health insurance, and promoting the AMA's proposal for covering the uninsured. The Campaign targets voters during the critical primary season leading up the 2008 presidential election.

Addressing workforce shortages in primary care, the AMA resolves to investigate the factors that discourage physicians from choosing primary care over medical specialties. The AMA will go on to ensure that work shortages are addressed in any health care reform and advocates for expanded training for medical positions.

In a move to protect physicians who volunteer at free clinics or provide medical care during an emergency, the House of Delegates urges state governments to enact legislation guaranteeing liability relief for their services.

AMA continues its work against tobacco use supporting a resolution to eliminate the sale of tobacco products in retail pharmacies, providing trustworthy information on cessation and introducing new regulation of the tobacco industry and products.


A group convened by the AMA's Institute for Ethics publishes "African American Physicians and Organized Medicine, 1846-1968." Appearing this year in the July 16 edition of JAMA, the piece investigates the Association's relationship to and positions on race. Following publication of the article, AMA issues an apology for its historical role in discrimination against African-Americans in organized medicine.

The AMA's "Voice for the Uninsured Campaign" enters its second phase. The campaign encourages the public to actively participate in solving the health care crisis, while drawing attention to the plight of individual Americans without adequate health care coverage. The ads feature real physicians and actual uninsured patients.

Voice for the Uninsured
Voice for the Uninsured

AMA publishes the first National Health Insurer Report Card to raise awareness about the efficiency and accuracy with which major insurers handle claims and payments for physician services.

The AMA approves resolutions discouraging discrimination against transgender patients and sets the goal of increasing physician competency on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender health issues.


Long-time AMA member Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, is nominated and confirmed as Surgeon General of the United States. Dr. Benjamin served the AMA in several capacities including Delegate from Mississippi, member of the Advisory Committee on Minority Physicians, chair of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, and was the first member to hold the Young Trustee position on the AMA’s Board of Trustees.

Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA
Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA

Delegates to the AMA's Interim meeting endorse a resolution calling for an end to the federal "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy regarding gays and lesbians in the US military so as not to impede the patient-physician relationship. The AMA sends letters to Congress and speaks with the Pentagon urging the repeal of the U.S. Military's policy “Don't Ask Don't Tell." Subsequently, a Bill passes that repealed this controversial policy.

The AMA expands communications via social networking sites and . The tools allow the Association to deliver timely updates to members and the public about health system reform, and the AMA's other advocacy efforts.</p> <p>The AMA successfully negotiates the inclusion of AMA priorities in health system reform legislation and successfully removes provisions detrimental to patients and physicians. The AMA achieves House passage of <a class=">HR 3961, which would eliminate the Sustainable Growth rate (SGR) formula, and the inclusion of key AMA policy in the "Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009" (ARRA), both of which were signed into law.

The AMA announces a record-breaking settlement agreement in the AMA v. United HealthCare case. A lawsuit initiated by the Association and the state medical societies of Missouri and New York alleged that the insurer systematically underpaid physicians who provided out-of-network care for policyholders. The settlement subsequently gains preliminary federal approval. This lawsuit, pending since 2000, challenged the validity of the United Health Group owned Ingenix database to determine the reimbursement rates for out-of-network care. The settlement ensures United Health Group is held accountable for reimbursing the patients and physicians it shortchanged through the use of this flawed database.


In honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Flexner Report, the AMA sponsors a year of medical education activities. The AMA and Association of American Medical College co-sponsor an invitational conference, "New Horizons in Medical Education: A Second Century of Achievement."

Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March achieves a number of AMA's goals of acquiring coverage of 32 million uninsured Americans. The historic passage of health system reform legislation marks a triumphant culmination of several years of committed work by AMA physicians and staff. The AMA secures several meaningful changes in the health system reform (HSR) legislation and regulations that would have otherwise adversely affected physicians.


The AMA introduces its first-ever smart phone application designed specifically for physicians that allows them to quickly find CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) billing codes. Additionally, the AMA invites medical students, residents and physicians to submit new medical smart phone application ideas that could improve the daily lives of their colleagues as part of their first-ever AMA Mobil App Challenge.

In a vote at its Annual meeting, the AMA adopts a new policy to encourage advertising associations to work with public- and private-sector organizations to establish guidelines that would discourage airbrushing or retouching in advertising, especially those appearing in teen-oriented publications.

The AMA's obesity prevention campaign, Weigh What Matters (WWM), is launched in September 2011, with a Webinar for participating physicians. The program consists of an extensive series of resources available to physicians help address obesity issues with patients.

The AMA joined 39 other organizations calling on the special joint senate house committee on deficit reduction (the “Supercommittee”) to protect existing Medicare GME funding; and advocated against Public Citizen’s petition that OSHA regulate resident duty hours.


AMA launched the members-only online Advocacy Forum, where they can comment on pending federal legislation that will impact the practice of medicine. The forum provides a secure environment for discussion on issues such as repeal of the sustainable growth rate, and access to AMA Advocacy News, which contains links to news topics of interest to physicians.

During the Annual Meeting, the AMA voted to adopted a number of new policies including providing solutions for national drug shortages, promoting prevention of fatal opioid overdose, updating mammography screening recommendations, easing the burdens for physicians to treat across state lines, and securing quality educational sites for U.S.–accredited schools of medicine and osteopathic medicine.

As part of the ongoing effort to more closely interconnect the scientific journals published by the AMA, the Archives specialty journals will be renamed JAMA Dermatology, JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, JAMA Internal Medicine, JAMA Neurology, JAMA Ophthalmology, JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, JAMA Pediatrics, JAMA Psychiatry and JAMA Surgery.

Launched the Integrated Physician Practice Section (IPPS) providing new opportunities for member physicians to shape policy and integrate with the AMA"s bold initiative to enhance physician satisfaction and practice sustainability.

After extensive research into the need for change in medical education, the AMA launched its Accelerating Change in Medical Education. More than 80 percent of the nation's medical schools submitted innovative proposals for wards through the AMA's forward-looking $10-million competitive grant initiative to reinvent medical training to align with the evolving needs of patients, communities and the rapidly changing health care system.


330 N. Wabash, Chicago
330 N. Wabash, Chicago

AMA moves to 330 N. Wabash, Chicago; the historic building is renamed AMA Plaza.

The AMA establishes two sections: the Women Physicians Section (WPS) and Senior Physicians Section (SPS). The WPS represents more than 70,000 women physicians and medical students.  SPS is the largest senior physician group in the United States.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) sign a memorandum of understanding that formalized their long-standing partnership. The agreement ensured medical school graduates in both nations meet their respective countries' standards and are prepared for the next phase of their medical training.

In a landmark decision in which the AMA Litigation Center filings play a critical role, the Supreme Court held that human genes are unpatentable.

The AMA's Improving Health Outcomes partnered with the YMCA to address prediabetes, and forged relationships with Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and the Johns Hopkins Center to Eliminate Cardiovascular Health Disparities to improve hypertension control.