AMA adopts new inclusive policies in policy meeting

The American Medical Association has adopted a handful of new policies to guide its future policy work during its interim meeting, including supporting bans on conversion therapy, inclusive electronic health records, racial pay equity in medicine and medical training related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

The policies were adopted by the AMA’s House of Delegates, which is the association’s policymaking body that brings together a group of physicians, medical students and residents across the nation and the medical field.

The new policies include:

Support state and federal bans on conversion therapy. The therapy, known as reparative or conversion therapy, is aimed at sexual orientation or gender identity, and the AMA opposes the “unscientific practice.” The association will create a model state legislation and advocate for federal legislation to ban the therapy. Currently, 18 states and the District of Columbia have banned conversion therapy for those younger than 18. This policy came after the AMA heard first-hand accounts and testimony about the “significant harms” from conversion therapy, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts and attempts.

Fully inclusive EHRs for transgender patients. The association supports inclusive EHRs that currently prove to be a barrier for providing quality care to transgender patients. This stance supports the inclusions of preferred names and clinically relevant sex specific anatomy in medical documentation for transgender patients.

Ensuring medical training on health issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity. The AMA wants to ensure medical students are better trained with respect to the health issue of sexual orientation and gender identity to improve health equity. The association’s policy urges medical institutions to reassess education on health issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

Advancing racial pay equity in medicine. This policy aims to improve the racial wage gap between white physicians and physicians of color. The association called the issue “pervasive” even among those in the same specialty and will study effective and appropriate measures to increase transparency and accountability of physician earnings.