$370,000 in AMA grants will help drive rigorous med ed innovations

Fifteen medical schools and institutions are getting grant funding from the AMA to advance innovative ideas that will transform education in areas such as curriculum, faculty development, coaching, systems approaches to learning, and competency-based medical education.

The grants were announced during the AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium’s ChangeMedEd 2019 conference and total $370,000. The funding will help medical educators advance medical education changes that are feasible, scientifically rigorous, creative and adaptable to other institutions.

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Why it’s time to pull the plug on e-cigarette ads

The corporations that own CNN, CBS, TNT, TBS and other major broadcasting brands have announced that they will not air advertisements for e-cigarettes amid the ongoing investigation of vaping-related lung illnesses that have sickened hundreds of Americans and killed seven people.

But that does not go far enough, say the nation’s physicians.

“The use of e-cigarettes by young people is a growing public health epidemic that must be addressed. That’s why we’re calling on media organizations to help us promote public health and reject any advertisements that market e-cigarette products to youth,” said AMA President Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA.

“While we’re pleased to see some media companies denying e-cigarette product ads during the current lung illness outbreak, we also encourage them and others to extend bans on e-cigarette product ads beyond the outbreak to help stem the rising use of these products among youth,” Dr. Harris added.

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What doctors must know about the vaping crisis

New research shows that 40.5% of high-school seniors have tried nicotine vaping, adding urgency to President Trump’s announcement that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will take action to ban the e-cigarette flavorings that have proved so attractive to teens and young adults. Meanwhile, federal health agencies are encouraging physicians to report detailed information on cases of vaping-associated lung illnesses. Here’s what doctors need to know.

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Title X gag rule: What’s on the line in upcoming oral arguments

The AMA will have its say in upcoming oral arguments in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in an effort to block a Trump administration rule that would gag physicians and decimate the Title X program. The new rule limits the medical advice physicians can give their Title X patients and compels physicians to act as government mouthpieces, violating the AMA “Code of Medical Ethics.”

The Title X family planning program ensures that every person has access to basic, preventive reproductive health care such as birth control, cancer screenings, and sexually transmitted-infection testing and treatment regardless of economic or insurance status. Roughly 4,000 clinics have served 4 million family-planning patients annually in the Title X program.

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New immigration policy endangers patients needing life-saving care

A new policy implemented by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) bars its field offices from accepting or adjudicating requests for temporary deferral of deportation for immigrants with serious medical illnesses.

The AMA is strongly urging the USCIS to reverse the move. The agency has long used deferred action, which is a form of prosecutorial discretion, and in recent years the USCIS has allowed it for immigrants suffering serious medical conditions.

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Court blocks law that would force physicians to mislead patients

A federal district court in North Dakota has sided with the AMA and others and issued a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of a state law that would force physicians to violate the ”AMA Code of Medical Ethics” and act as mouthpieces for a politically motivated message that is misleading and could harm patients.

The provision would have forced North Dakota physicians to tell women “that it may be possible to reverse the effect of an abortion-inducing drug if she changes her mind, but time is of the essence, and information and assistance with reversing the effects of an abortion-inducing drug are available” in government-printed materials to be given to the patients.

“State legislatures should not be mandating unproven medical treatments, or requiring physicians to provide patients with misleading and inaccurate information,” says Chief Judge Daniel Hovland’s decision. “The provisions of [this law] violate a physician’s right not to speak and go far beyond any informed consent laws addressed by the United States Supreme Court, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, or other courts to date.”

The lawsuit was filed by the AMA in in the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota, in Bismarck, on behalf of the Red River Women’s Clinic, and the clinic’s medical director, AMA member Kathryn Eggleston, MD, as co-plaintiffs.

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