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What Is The American Medical Association

What is the American Medical Association?

The AMA is an association of doctors that strives to further medical education and promote advancement of medical care for all persons. Ever since its foundation in 1847 at the University of Pennsylvania, the American Medical Association has had its hand in many of the major issues pertaining to medicine and medical research.

Perhaps the most widely known of the American Medical Association's accomplishments is the publication of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. Published forty eight of the fifty two weeks in a year, this peer reviewed scientific journal is the most widely circulated journal publication in the world. Here medical professionals can find information on all health related fields, including public health and advancement in underprivileged countries. They maintain a high level of excellence, rejecting ninety two percent of the articles submitted to them annually. This journal is made available at no cost to physicians in underdeveloped areas and is an invaluable source of continuing education for clinicians in any field.

The AMA has established a website, www.ama-assn.org which is a valuable tool to clinicians and patients alike. Here members of the AMA can follow current activities of the association, such as its actions in Washington with regards to the current Medicare controversy. The association has throughout history taken pride in its role in supporting or opposing legislation with regards to the medical community coming out of Washington.

A listing of continuing education opportunities has been listed, a vital tool as all health care professionals are required to complete a minimum number of continuing education credits per year. Information concerning HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) can also be found here. This act dictates how physicians' offices should submit claims to third party payors such as insurance companies so as to best protect their patients' privacy and prevent personal medical information from becoming public knowledge, a delicate juggling act for many.

The association plays a major role in helping many students to enroll in and complete medical school. At www.ama-assn.org students are given access to a wide listing of possible careers in the medical field, as well as assistance in choosing a medical school and, following completion of their course of study, how to become licensed in their state of residency. Here students will also be able to obtain information on financial aid, perusing grants and scholarships made available through the AMA as well as advice on how to pay for college using funding not available through the association.

For non physicians the AMA also provides a DoctorFinder on their website, a process by which patients can search listings of hundreds of doctors which are registered with the AMA to select the family physician, pediatrician or specialist that best fits their needs. The name, address and phone number is listed; some doctors may choose to place more information concerning themselves and their practice under their listing. All physicians registered with the AMA are required to be appropriately qualified to practice medicine in their chosen community, and must comply with the standards for ethics established by the association, making the AMA DoctorFinder an invaluable tool when a patient must search for a physician in an area with which they are unfamiliar.


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