Business Politics

American Medical Association

American Medical Association

The American Medical Association, also known as AMA, is the leading association of physicians and medical students in the United States. Founded in 1847, the organization carries the primary objective to promote medicine and the betterment of public health. It is also continues to work in its commitment to lobby for legislation in the interest of physicians and their patients; to promote public health; to generate funds for medical education; and to advance the interests of physicians and their patients. AMA also publishes the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that has the world’s widest circulation of a weekly medical journal.

The American Medical Association has a dynamic and aggressive legislative advocacy effort in Congress and the White House. Among its chief priorities in lobbying efforts is the call to amend the federal tax codes, thus permitting the current health insurance system that is based on employment, to be purchased by individuals. The association has also directed it efforts towards supporting changes in the medical malpractice law to curb damage awards since according to AMA, this has made it hard for patients to find proper medical care since physicians refuse to settle in states where the law is covered. Additionally, AMA also supports the proper and considerate use of animals in biomedical research programs, opposing to legislation that overly limits its research.

AMA created its bipartisan political action committee, the American Medical Political Action Committee (AMPAC), to represent the interests of physicians and patients in health care legislation. Established in 1961, AMPAC was ranked as the fourth most effective PAC by the National Journal magazine in 2004. AMPAC has greatly contributed to the advocacy efforts of the American Medical Association, as AMPAC helps elect candidates that the association works with in influencing federal legislation.

What they represent

The American Medical Association serves as the voice of the American medical profession, upholding the interests of the physicians and their patients. AMPAC represents the AMA members, the AMA Alliance, the medical society workforce, and the county and state medical societies.


In 1947, Nathan Davis established the American Medical Association at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, setting the first minimal standards for medical education. In 1899, the Committee on National Legislation was created to represent AMA’s interests in Washington, D.C. In 1935, the approved Social Security Act did not include compulsory health insurance, due to the association’s influence. From 1940s to the 1960s, the association worked through several political and public health issues. In 1961, AMPAC was created and through time, AMA has dealt with health insurance and public health concerns. Up to now, AMA remains to be the leading advocate for physicians and their patients.

Major Issues

The American Medical Association concentrates on various important issues including Medicare physician payment reform and regulatory relief; expansion of coverage for the uninsured and increase of access to medical care; medical liability reform; patient safety and health care quality improvement; improvement of public health; Medicare reform; balance billing; managed care reform; funding for medical research and education; antitrust reform; resident work hours and working conditions; and Physician Data Restriction Program (PDRP).