Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm proud of the AMA

I just finished an amazing meeting of the American Medical Association. I was elected to a seat on the Council on Science and Public Health, I shook President Obama's hand, and we passed policy that opens the door to a new stance on reform by the AMA.

My campaign was the first really involved campaign I've ever been deeply involved in. There was campaign literature, receptions, lots of hand shaking, and a campaign manager that was so organized it made my jaw drop open more than once. I was elected, by the way, and my man Dave got his pre-election vote counts right within 2%. It was just... remarkable in every way.

As for Obama, that was an experience of a lifetime. As a seated delegate within the House, I was able to sit up front, and as a young person I was able to get in line earlier than most. :-) The result was that I was VERY close to the president. After the last words of his speech were uttered, a rush of people moved toward the barrier just in front of the first row, in order to shake his hand. I climbed over a couple rows of chairs and stuck my arm over some shoulders in order to get my moment, but it worked. I may have lost some dignity and votes in the process, but I just couldn't let the opportunity pass me by. Here is some video and a photo I took with my pocket camera so you can get an idea of what it was like:

Lastly, the AMA passed policy that leaves public options for health system reform a possibly acceptable approach from the AMA's view. This is huge. The organization has long been criticized for obstructing reform, and that's because we're concerned that public systems often elliminate the freedom of physicians to care for their patients as they see fit. I think Obama's speech did a great deal to grease the wheels of progress within the organization. I've met most of the delegates of the AMA in the process of my campaign, and I know first-hand that they have the interests of their patients at the forefront of what they do, rather than their pocketbooks as the press seems to cynically suggest over and over. I'm proud to be involved in organized medicine, because organizations like this can build consensus and do real good for real people. Pass the word along!


Boss said...

You're proud of the AMA. I'm proud of YOU. And maybe a little bit jealous too.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your election. We are proud of you! Dad-rah

Daisy said...

Congratulations!! I'm glad you finally get to sit down. :)