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AMA Escalates Campaign Against Nurses, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Midwives and Others

© John Weeks

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Integrator Blog by John Weeks . View all columns in series

AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION HOUSE OF DELEGATES

Resolution 232 as Introducted

[NOTE THAT IT WAS NOT ADOPTED IN THIS FORM]


Introduced by: Illinois Delegation

Subject: Protection of the Titles "Doctor," "Resident" and "Residency"

Referred to: Reference Committee B (Craig W. Anderson, MD, Chair)


Whereas, Certain specialty societies recognize that many allied health care professions have improved their educational standards and incorporated doctorate designations in their training programs; and

Whereas, Many nursing schools have re-titled their training program as a Residency and their students as Residents, despite the traditional attribution of these titles to medical doctors and their training programs; and

Whereas, The growing trend of this title encroachment is of concern because patients will be confused when the titles of Doctor, Resident and Residency are applied to non-physicians who hold non-medical doctorates or to non-physicians in training; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association adopt that the title “Doctor,” in a medical setting, apply only to physicians licensed to practice medicine in all its branches, dentists and podiatrists (New HOD Policy); and be it further [NOTE: iN DISCUSSION

RESOLVED, That our AMA adopt policy that the title “Resident” apply only to individuals enrolled in physician, dentist or podiatrist training programs (New HOD Policy); and be it further

RESOLVED, That our AMA adopt policy that the title “Residency” apply only to physician, dentist or podiatrist training programs (New HOD Policy); and be it further

RESOLVED, That our AMA serve to protect, through legislation, the titles “Doctor,” “Resident” and “Residency.” (Directive to Take Action)

Fiscal Note: Staff cost estimated at less than $500 to implement.

Received: 04/30/08
_______________________________
Comment: One wonders if these leaders of the Illinois Delegation, and of the AMA House of Delegates, truly believe that they can set back the clock. The cows are already out of the barn. And there are millions of consumers who clearly like them there. Many politicians and policy makers believe these professions have significant roles to play, for instance, in easing the primary care shortage.

I have long argued that all
of the distinctly licensed
complementary healthcare
disciplines owe the chiropractors
a deep debt of gratitude for Wilk.

But I never imagined that the
chiropractors' victory would
one day
be used by the nurses.


It is fascinating, in this context, to note some rifts inside the fabric of organized medicine. First, Resolution 303 was not passed. The House woke up the the plain fact that, as was said in the final report of House action to the AMA, "any individual who has received a terminal degree in their area of study has the right to be called 'doctor.'" Yet the item still made it onto the agenda, attesting to the hold this repressive concept still has.

Second, the National Board of Medical Examiners - the MD examining agency - apparently thought it within its mission to enter into dialogue with the nursing profession on that profession's examination needs. How will NBME respond to this slap? How responsive will the NBME, a nominally independent entity, be to the AMA pressure?

Non-allied health

On the other hand, parallel positions of chiropractors, nurses and naturopathic physicians underscores the depth of shared interest in the Coalition for Patients Rights. Finally, the nurses' use of Wilk v. AMA drives home just how powerfully mis-allied the AMA is, on this issue, from what used to be known as the "allied health" disciplines. I have long argued that all of the distinctly licensed complementary healthcare disciplines owe the chiropractors a deep debt of gratitude for Wilk. But I never imagined that the chiropractor's long battle would be cover for the nurses.
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About The Author
Resumes are useful in employment decisions. I provide this background so that you may understand what informs the work which you may employ in your own. I have been involved as an organizer-writer in the emerging fields of complementary, alternative and integrative medicine since 1983. Happily, I have learned some things. I was once called an "expert in alternative medicine" by......more
 
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