The American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates met in Honolulu in November 2022 to create a consensus on policies aimed at improving medical students’ and residents’ personal and professional lives. The new policies were voted on during the AMA’s interim meeting where delegates work in a democratic process to create a national physician consensus on emerging issues in public health, science, ethics, business and government.
Parental, family, and medical necessity leave for physicians-in-training. This policy recommends that medical practices, departments, and training programs strive to provide 12 weeks of paid parental, family, and medical necessity leave in a 12-month period for their attending physicians and physicians-in-training, as needed, and outlines the components that should be offered, including leave for abortion and stillbirth to promote physical and psychological healing. The AMA also calls on medical schools to develop parental, family, medical leave policies specific for medical students that align with the leave policies and benefits that are already guaranteed to their trainee counterparts in residency training.
Protection from potential impact of private equity in medical education. This policy, aimed at providing protections for residents who train at teaching hospitals that are acquired by private equity firms, makes specific recommendations encouraging residency programs to be transparent regarding private equity mergers and acquisitions. The AMA counsels these facilities to uphold comprehensive policies that ensure the obligatory transfer of funds after institution closure and that empower designated institutional officials to be involved in decision- making. The AMA is also calling for changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program to expand eligibility for medical student trainees at forprofit hospitals.
This policy was enacted in response to events such as the sudden closure of the Hahnemann University Hospital in the fall of 2019, which left more than 570 residents and fellows without malpractice insurance coverage or a spot in a training program. To assist these residents and fellows, AMA legal counsel represented the residents and fellows in bankruptcy proceedings, and the AMA and AMA Foundation helped fund grants to offset relocation expenses.