American Medical Association: Doctors To Work To End Police Brutality, Racism In Healthcare

American Medical Association: Doctors To Work To End Police Brutality, Racism In Healthcare

The American Medical Association Sunday pledged “to confront systemic racism and police brutality” at a special meeting of the group’s membership.


The AMA’s board of trustees said the nation’s largest doctor group “denounces police brutality and all forms of racially-motivated violence.” The AMA effort comes as protesters across the U.S. speak out against the killing of George Floyd with many national groups using the period of unrest as an opportunity to change and revise policy.


In the AMA’s case, the group has considerable lobbying clout in Washington and state capitals across the country to advocate on behalf of physicians, their patients and public health. The AMA said it will “actively work to dismantle racist and discriminatory policies and practices across all of health care.”


The group didn’t mention Floyd by name but said its effort was necessary and Sunday’s statement was one of the few moves the AMA made at its virtual meeting. The AMA’s typical five-day annual policy-making House of Delegates meeting this time of year in Chicago was shelved due to the spread of the Coronavirus strain COVID-19.


“The AMA recognizes that racism in its systemic, structural, institutional, and interpersonal forms is an urgent threat to public health, the advancement of health equity, and a barrier to excellence in the delivery of medical care,” the AMA said. “The AMA opposes all forms of racism.”


In its statement, the AMA acknowledged its own troubled past actions that hurt black physicians and efforts of minorities in medicine.


“The AMA recognizes that worsening inequities, unequal access to care, and the disproportionately small number of Black physicians all have roots in past actions of the AMA,” the AMA said.


In 2008, for example. the AMA said apologized for “more than a century of policies that excluded Black physicians.” Last year, the AMA hired its chief health equity officer to establish the AMA Center for Health Equity to “solidify AMA’s commitment to embed health equity into the DNA of our organization and our work.”







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