American Medical Association (AMA) President Gerald Harmon, MD, joined us for an exclusive look at some of the hottest topics discussed at the 2022 AMA House of Delegates meeting in Chicago. Harmon, a retired Air Force general and family practice specialist, said the top polices adopted this year were those that addressed gun control, physician burnout and "scope creep," which is when non-physicians fill roles traditionally held by doctors.
The AMA views shootings as a public health epidemic because they treat these patients, and gun shot wounds are now the leading cause of death in U.S. youth under the age of 18. Many physicians in the AMA view gun violence as a healthcare crisis and say it needs to be outlined as a healthcare problem, not as an unrelated political or social issue. This was further highlighted with several recent mass shootings, including an attack at a medical building in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where several AMA delegates knew the physician victims.
Another big topic at the AMA meeting was efforts to help physicians recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent physician burnout. Harmon said it is very important to retain our physicians because the U.S. already has a major shortage of doctors and the pandemic has amplified issues causing burnout.