Now’s no time to back off training that helps address racism

Physicians, nurses and hospital leaders are urging the Trump administration to rescind an executive order prohibiting federal agencies from conducting and funding trainings that promote racial reconciliation. In a letter to President Trump, the AMA, American Nurses Association (ANA) and American Hospital Association (AHA) said the executive order is “counterproductive to addressing racism” and would “stifle attempts at open, honest discussion of these issues in the public and private sectors.”

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

Physicians decry apparel maker’s anti-female DO misfire

The AMA and others are decrying the sexist and anti-osteopathic physician implications of a medical apparel supplier’s internet catalog listing.

The Los Angeles-based company Figs sells upscale scrubs, medical uniforms and other apparel for physicians and other health professionals. A catalog listing first highlighted by New York physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist Tayyaba Ahmed, DO, showed a woman in pink scrubs holding a copy of Medical Terminology for Dummies upside down, a perplexed look on her face. Near the end of the brief video, the camera zooms in on the model’s identification badge to show she’s a doctor of osteopathy (DO).

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

Flu vaccination: 6 tips to win over the undecideds

With each day seeing tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases in the U.S., the impending flu season is raising fears of a “twindemic” of COVID-19 and influenza that could sicken tens of millions of Americans and further strain the nation’s health system resources.

This raises anew the critical role that physicians play in doing whatever they can to ensure that all patients 6 months and older get the influenza vaccine. One key area for focus this year are the patients who haven’t made up their minds about whether to get the flu shot.

My lede. The whole shebang.

Federal legislation’s message to doctors: It’s OK to ask for help

Bipartisan congressional legislation named after a New York City emergency physician who died of suicide during the COVID-19 pandemic will help bolster the mental health infrastructure needed to support doctors and other health professionals who have worked tirelessly to save lives from the deadly respiratory illness caused by SARS-CoV-2.

My latest for the AMA, along with this story on a $20 billion round of CARES Act physician relief.

Medical consensus: Follow evidence on coronavirus vaccine review

The AMA and 77 other prominent national organizations representing patients, physicians, researchers and others that constitute a broad consensus of health care stakeholders are urging federal health agencies to let scientific evidence drive their decision-making on vaccines to protect against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

“By clearly explaining the processes in place to ensure scientific rigor, federal agencies and government leaders will build the confidence and public trust necessary for America to meet this challenge,” says the letter, published this week in the Washington, D.C., edition of The Wall Street Journal.

My lede. The whole shebang.

3 big reasons why letting NPs practice independently is a bad idea

The AMA is strongly urging California Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto a bill—A.B. 890—that would allow nurse practitioners to practice without physician supervision.

In a letter to Newsom, AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, MD, explains that the bill “will not expand access to care in rural and underserved areas, increases overall health care costs and threatens the health and safety of patients in California.”

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

5 things specialists can learn from each other to boost mask-wearing

When it comes to COVID-19, physicians of all specialties are struggling to better understand, diagnose, treat, and limit the spread of the deadly disease. One thing that’s become crystal clear is that it’s vitally important for patients to #MaskUp to protect others from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Getting that message across to patients and families can be difficult. In addition to the communications challenge of explaining the evolving science on the efficacy of mask-wearing, there is resistance among some patients who have encountered disinformation among Facebook friends and in Twitter trends.

It is critical that physicians help patients understand their risks for transmission through clear and simple communication that is firmly rooted in science. The AMA is partnering with other leading health organizations to encourage people to mask up to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Five AMA members took time to discuss insights from their specialties that physicians of all stripes can apply to help spread the message to mask up.

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

How Google, Apple can help assure contact tracing guards privacy

Technology behemoths Google and Apple have joined forces to create functionalities for their popular smartphone operating systems that automatically notify users of potential exposures to people with COVID-19.

In the Google-Apple announcement, the companies say their systems won’t track users’ location, that users control whether they receive exposure notifications, that only public health authorities can use the system, and that neither Google, Apple, nor other users can see a user’s identity. Both Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS require users to opt in to the functionality.

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

FDA’s SARS-CoV-2 vaccine review needs major dose of transparency

As the federal government’s “Operation Warp Speed” works to quickly deliver a safe, effective vaccine to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection, the AMA is calling for a big boost in the transparency of the process.

“With COVID-19 vaccine development moving at a rapid pace, it is critical that we ensure physicians are continuously informed of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) plans for review and that they are provided with the utmost level of transparency regarding the process for authorization or licensure, standards for review, and safety and efficacy data as soon as possible,” AMA Executive Vice President and CEO James L. Madara, MD, wrote in a letter or FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD.

My latest for the AMA. The whole shebang.

With supplies short, COVID-19 tests should go where most needed

Continuing shortages of reagents, viral transport media, pipettes and other supplies means 2020 will continue to negatively affect the nation’s COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction testing capacity. Given that sobering fact, the AMA and other organizations with expertise in medical testing are urging Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to ensure the nation’s limited testing resources go to patients with medically identified needs or to public health surveillance efforts.

My lede. The whole shebang.

Also check out this other new story on a California bill to allow nurse practitioners to practice without physician supervision.