Monday, June 27, 2011

Is the AMA Still Relevant?

It's been a week since the AMA-MSS Annual Meeting ended, and we're finally bringing you an update. The big big big news is that the MSS and the HOD proper (the physicians' voting body) reaffirmed policy to support an individual mandate in regard to health care (read more here). This is a major step forward for the historically conservative organization, and many have been blaming the AMA's stance on the individual mandate for the membership decline this past year. Others cite the platform as a reason for new members to have joined. But the AMA does only represent 20-30% of US doctors, which has brought up the question: Is the AMA still relevant?

We think so. Despite its poor-looking numbers, the AMA is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington. It is the most powerful health care lobby. It advocates hard for physicians, and its support for universal (ish) health care does show that the group adheres to its motto, "Helping doctors help patients." A recent article at said it best: "The AMA may not be every doctor’s cup of tea, but it’s the best voice we have. And that is better than no voice at all."

Whether or not you like the politics of medicine, it will affect you. Get involved. As students, we have more influence than one might think. Did you know that smoking bans on airplanes started at the AMA-MSS and moved its way through the HOD and onto federal legislation? If you think our AMA is not moving in the right direction, fix it. E-mail VP of Legislation Lauren Gluck at to get more involved with policy and advocacy here at UB. We owe it to ourselves, our profession, and our patients to make health care better.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Congratulations, Buffalo AMA!

Your SUNY Buffalo AMA officers just came back from the Annual AMA-MSS meeting in Chicago -- with great news! Our chapter has been named the NATIONAL Chapter of the Year! We are all proud of the past and current leadership, but mostly we are so thankful for our wonderful, active membership -- that means YOU!

But the excitement doesn't end there. SUNY Buffalo continued to make a splash in regional elections. We belong to Region 7, which is composed of seven states New York and northward, a great group of students that have, for example, brought us Miles for Healthier Lifestyles. Here is a list of leadership positions now held by Buffalo students:
  • Community Service Chair: Julie Garchow, MS 2
  • Community Service Committee Seat, Upstate NY: Jennifer Daily, MS 2
  • Membership Chair: CJ Cancino, MS 2**
  • Membership Committee Seat, Upstate NY: Angela Sandell, MS 3
**Extra special congrats to CJ, who now heads up membership and recruitment for SUNY Buffalo, MSSNY-MSS, and Region 7!