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Review of the American Medical Association

As one of the largest physician lobbying groups in the nation, you are already familiar with what the American Medical Association (AMA) does. But promoting the art and science of medicine and rallying for public health is just some of the things they do. Here are a few more things to know about the AMA:

  1. The current president of the AMA is Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, who is the 168th president. She became president in 2013 and has served on the board of trustees since 2005. Before the AMA, she was president of the Kentucky Medical Association from 1993-1994 and is board-certified in internal medicine and infectious disease.

  2. The AMA is one of the longest-standing medical associations in the U.S. It was first founded back in 1947 by Nathan Smith Davis, who was at the time 30 years old and practicing medicine in New York.

  3. Less than 1/3 of physicians are members. You would think that since it’s one of the largest lobbying groups for physicians that more would be members, but that’s not the case.

  4. Its philanthropic arm is the AMA Foundation, which provides support to advance public health and medical education. It was created in 1950 and provides more than $60 million in scholarships and more than $40 million in grants to future physicians.
  5. The AMA Economic Impact Study done by IMS Health found that physicians produced $1.6 trillion in revenue in 2012, which demonstrates that physicians are strong economic drivers in their communities by the taxes, jobs and commerce they generate. Thus they generate taxes that support things like housing, schools, transportation and other public services.

  6. The Code of Ethics by the AMA is widely accepted, with other associations adapting it to fit their own needs. First drafted in 1847, the Medical Code of Ethics has since then been updated and revised to reflect changes in healthcare and medicine. Although not a legally binding document, it simply provides physicians with recommendations and guidelines. The harshest punishment they can give to offending physicians is to revoke their AMA membership.

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