- June 24 - The following is a statement released today by David Grande,
national president of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA),
the nation's largest independent medical student organization:
Medical Association (AMA) voted yesterday to unionize doctors in an
attempt to level the playing field with managed care corporations.
They claim that their motives are centered on patient protection,
but despite their political influence and their limitless financial
resources, the AMA has failed to support comprehensive reform that
would secure equal access to quality health care for all Americans.
Medical Student Association (AMSA) has a long-standing commitment
to support physician efforts to unionize to protect patients and maintain
a professional and uncompromised work environment. Based on the AMA's
past history, AMSA feels that it is prudent and justified to question
their intentions. Historically, the AMA has done too little to protect
patients. Not only did they oppose the creation of Medicare in 1965,
they have consistently opposed efforts towards providing a quality
universal health care system for the American public.
"When faced with
conflicts between patient care and physician interests, the AMA has
moved to protect the latter. A study printed in the New England Journal
of Medicine (1994; 330: 32-7), reported that the AMA contributed more
money to pro-tobacco and anti-gun control politicians, despite the
AMA's own recognition of those two issues as public health hazards.
These politicians clearly were working against the health interests
of every American. With such a track record can the American public,
in good faith, trust the AMA to look beyond themselves and place patient
"The AMA's recent
decision to unionize is one small step in the struggle to make a change
in the current health care environment. The American Medical Student
Association hopes that the AMA will not stop here, but recognize the
larger problem and begin to look into realistic options for universal
Founded in 1950, the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) is
an independent organization of nearly 30,000 physicians-in-training
from more than 150 medical schools across the country. AMSA is committed
to improving health care and healthcare delivery to all people, promoting
active improvement in medical education, involving its members in
the social, moral and ethical obligations of the profession of medicine,
assisting in the improvements and understanding of world health problems,
contributing to the welfare of medical students, interns, residents
and post-M.D./D.O. trainees, and advancing the profession of medicine.