- The American Medical Association's House of Delegates voted to update its positions on a host of hot button topics, from immigration to treating LGBTQ patients, during its interim meeting in San Diego this week.
- The delegates amended a policy to encourage more comprehensive training on how to best care for those who are gay and transgender, citing research that indicates health outcomes are worse among these populations. They also directed AMA to develop state legislation to ban conversion therapy.
- The group is also calling for more training for medical students on how the financing of healthcare works. This may enable future physicians to provide more cost-effective care in the future, AMA leadership said.
As healthcare topics continue to hold center stage in politics, the issues have pushed industry groups to weigh in.
Earlier this year, AMA railed against the Trump administration's public charge rule that would make it more difficult for legal immigrants on public programs such as Medicaid to obtain permanent status.
At the group's annual meeting in June, delegates were split on whether to support a single-payer healthcare system, a policy backed by many Democratic presidential hopefuls.
The AMA has long opposed a single payer system and the vote to remove that opposition would have been a notable shift in policy. In a close vote, about 53% voted in favor of opposition and 47% voting to abandon the long-held AMA position against a single-payer system.
During the meeting this week, AMA President Patrice Harris said as faith in American institutions is waning, many still trust their doctors.
"In this era of distrust, I would submit to you that the AMA is just what the doctor ordered. And we, both individually and collectively, are more than a match for this moment."
The delegates also touched on immigration issues, calling for children brought here legally by their physician parent to be able to stay after they turn 21.
The group also called for the need to address the racial pay gap, noting physicians of color are paid less than their white peers. AMA said it will work with stakeholders to study the issue and make sure physicians have access to salary information and the race of physicians.