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The 2014 American Medical Association House of Delegates Interim Meeting.

This year's AMA Interim Meeting was at the Anatole Hilton Hotel In Dallas, Texas, November 7-11. The WVSMA delegation included six medical students from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University: Abigail Smith, Lauren Burgunder, Warren Doyle, Fafeeza Husain, Caitlin Ensor and Joe Wilson.

We appreciate the WV Mutual Insurance for their sponsorship of the student dinner meeting. It gave us an opportunity to meet with our future physicians and their guests.

The Student Section is one of the most active contributors to the proceedings of the House of Delegates. The members of the WVSMA delegation take pride in our student's interest in the activities of the meeting. We are grateful to the leadership of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University for recognizing the importance of student involvement in the future of medicine.

Dr. Joseph Selby, our point person on the Reference Committee on the Amendment of Constitution and Bylaws reported on the adoption of CEJA's Physician's Exercise of Conscience. Simply stated the amendment says: the physician should have considerable latitude to practice medicine in accordance with deeply held personal beliefs.

The amendment on Solitary Confinement states that the AMA agrees with the use of solitary confinement for unusual circumstances and for the sake of safety and not strictly as a punishment.

The discussion to modernize the Medical Code of Ethics was sent back to CEJA seeking more comments. An Online section of the AMA website is set up for that purpose.

Dr. Jim Felsen reported on the AMA's Cannabis (marijuana) stance. The AMA believes the public, legislature and media need to be aware of the medical effects of Cannabis. The AMA urges, a "public health" approach to replace the current "criminal justice" approach, expansion of research regarding the medical effects of Cannabis use, that the public continue to recognize Cannabis as a dangerous substance and oppose its legalization at this time.

A fourth resolution was added on the floor of the HOD that required the AMA to draft legislation that would require labeling Cannabis products to note that they have no proven medicinal value and could be harmful to one's health.

Dr. Hoyt Burdick reported at our group sessions on the Legislative and Health System Reform Reference Committee and the proceedings at the Organized Medicine Section.

Dr. Adam Breinig, our president reports his experience and impression of the meeting in his President's page message beginning on page 4 of this issue.

Other hot topics included

* principles of maintenance certification

* physician's interest in expanded access to Medicaid

* Veterans Administration Secretary's appeal to physicians for help to "right the wrong, reframe perceptions and enhance care for veterans"

* AMA's effort on the interstate compact to streamline medical licensure

* new policy for adequate networks for patient access and choice

* suspension of meaningful use penalties

AMA president, Dr. Robert Wah gave us reassurance that the AMA is anticipating problems and working on solutions to give doctors nationwide a new hope in practicing medicine.

Dr. James L. Madera, the AMA Executive Vice President and CEO admonished attendees to stick with the organization's mission: to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health. He stressed that knowledgeable and passionate members should run for public office and work to save medicine from the overreach of government.

Our Executive Director, Evan Jenkins, who recently won his bid for a seat in the U.S. Congress received a rousing standing ovation when I introduced him at the South Eastern Delegation breakfast meeting. Evan will be an excellent pro-medicine Congressman!

Constantino T. Amores, MD, FACS

Chair of the WVSMA Delegation
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Title Annotation:AMA Interim Meeting: REPORT
Author:Amores, Constantino T.
Publication:West Virginia Medical Journal
Article Type:Conference news
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2015
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