| ||AMA Escalates Campaign Against Nurses, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Midwives and Others||
Summary: In June meetings, the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association (AMA) kicked off an escalating round of attacks on the advancement of other healthcare professions. Targeted this year were all disciplines with doctoral-level training, as well as licensed midwives. Chiropractors, naturopathic physicians and nurses - who cited Wilk v AMA - are among those that have been quick to challenge the AMA. The AMA actions are part of that guild's divisive AMA Scope of Practice Partnership (SOPP), announced in January 2006. Meantime, one action at the House of Delegates meeting suggests that the snake on the AMA's caduceus may be biting its own tail. Resolution 235 is an effort to keep the AMA's own specialty societies from legislative actions that seek to restrict each other's scope of practice.
"Whereas, The economics of medicine have put financial
pressure on all physicians ... "
- from the AMA House of Delegates "Friendly Fire" Resolution 235
The American Medical Association has sought to escalate its war against advances of all other disciplines with action by their House of Delegates at their June 14-18, 2008 meeting.
Four separate resolutions continued the AMA's Scope of Practice
Partnership (AMA SOPP), formally established in January 2006. The AMA SOPP is a systematic campaign to limit the scope of practice of other
professions, except MDs, osteopaths and dentists. In an AMA slide show made available to the Integrator, the AMA describes the SOPP as "A Partnership to Oppose
Unwarranted Nonphysician Scope of Practice Expansions."
Rooted in an old world view?
The AMA SOPP has been relatively quiet since its initial flurry of activity. [For information on the initial efforts, see "AMA Scope of Practice Partnership" at Integrator Archive by Subject: 2006 or go directly to AMA Targets Nursing Doctorate and ND License: Old Boys vs the Emerging Medical Matriarchy? (August 8, 2006), Coalition Battles AMA Campaign to "Thwart" Other Disciplines' Scope Expansions (June 21, 2006), and the August 2, 2006 article CAM-IM Responses to AMA Scope Campaign; Coalition Plans Next Steps. ]
The first round of this activity made it clear that the AMA did not make its case against the nursing doctorate, and
against naturopathic physicians and others, based on evidence that
these disciplines have caused harm. This second round of AMA activity
appears to also lack an evidence base.
Below is basic information on the various resolutions in the current
campaign, followed by some of the responses of the professional
associations which the AMA is targeting.
point of clarity made in the
first round is
the AMA did make its case against
the nursing doctorate, and
naturopathic physicians and others
based on evidence that
other disciplines have caused
harm by their scopes.
round of AMA activity appears
to also lack an evidence base.
Resolution 232 (formerly 303) - Protection of the titles "doctor", "resident," and "residency"
Directly in AMA's sights at the June 2008 meeting were the
"doctor-nurses" - Doctors of Nursing Practice. But all other health
professional practices with doctoral level training were also targeted
by Resolution 232 (formerly Resolution 303). This Resolution, in its original form, would have clarified that only
MDs, dentists and DOs should have any right to be called "doctor" in a
medical setting. Only their fields could use the terms "resident" and "residency." The original
resolution which was under consideration is printed at the bottom of
this article. Notably, Illinois, which introduced the Resolution, is one of the states where
chiropractors have their broadest scope and where naturopathic
physicians are currently pressing for licensing.
Following debate, the AMA's House backed off. They acknowledged, as noted in the "Report of
Reference Committee B" on House action, that "any
individual who has received a terminal degree in their area of study
has the right to be called 'doctor,'" according to a report on what was
clearly a heated debate. The House chose to adopt a milder Substitute Resolution 232, which states that:
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