Physician Organizations and Medical Affairs

Physicians, as professionals, have a unique point of difference in the healthcare market. They are trusted and sought by patients for their relationships, expertise and training. They have an opportunity to leverage that advantage through a variety of contracting and affiliation strategies. Physician organizations can also provide a strong voice for their members in medical affairs and policy discussions. This is especially important to medical affairs professionals working with pharma, as physician opinions on drug development, pricing and reimbursement are crucial in the decision-making process for medication decisions.

As a global association of physicians, the AMA advocates for health care policies that support physician-led patient care and advancements in a variety of medical fields including medicine, health policy and healthcare delivery. The AMA also publishes a collection of peer-reviewed medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association, which is the world’s most widely read medical journal.

The AMA is an independent not-for-profit organization that provides services for and represents the interests of its physician members. It has a governance structure that allows the membership to vote on strategic directions for the organization as a whole. Membership is comprised of individual physician members and there are defined criteria on who can become a member. Refer to the AMA website to find out if they meet those requirements.

A large variability exists in the way national professional associations manage doctors’ registration and verification, even within countries integrated into the World Medical Association (WMA). This variation is mainly related to the legal status of the organizations (public law corporations or independent professional associations) and their level of decentralization of their registry:

While most public law corporation member associations have a central doctor’s registry, this is not always the case in countries where there are only independent professional associations. For example, in Denmark and the Netherlands, doctors register with one of the local associations that belong to the federation, not directly with the federation itself.

The centralized registry system has serious disadvantages, such as the difficulty of verifying whether a doctor is in good standing, or if there are any grounds for administrative sanctioning of the professional. In addition, there are problems in the transfer and distribution of the information on active doctors between the local councils and the central body. It is therefore unsurprising that official national public statistics on doctors do not always have the expected accuracy.

The AMA helps its members achieve their full potential by removing barriers and helping them rediscover the joy in practicing medicine. Its advocacy efforts have included fighting to permanently fix limitations on telehealth coverage and payment. The AMA’s education and leadership programs are designed to help physicians stay up to date with changes in the healthcare landscape, while providing them with opportunities to grow professionally and connect with fellow physicians. In addition, AMA members have access to savings on a wide range of products and services.