What Is a Doctor Association?

A doctor association is a group of doctors that act as the collective voice and advocate on behalf of their members. This group works to advance the science and art of medicine, protect public health, improve the medical profession, and achieve social justice and equity in healthcare. It provides its members with practice tools, services and support through legislative, legal, regulatory, economic and social advocacy. It also helps to ensure that patients receive high-quality, cost-effective care.

In the United States, there are a number of doctor associations that represent a particular specialty or geographic region. The American Medical Association (AMA) is one of the oldest and most influential organizations. The AMA sets policies and promotes the interests of its member physicians through a variety of means, including research, lobbying and continuing medical education. It also publishes the Journal of the American Medical Association, which contains original research and information on medical topics.

Despite its size, the AMA has struggled to maintain membership in recent years. The organization lost 12 000 members in 2014 alone, according to AMA President Cecil Wilson. Several factors are contributing to the decline, such as the changing concept of what it means to be a physician. Younger generations of doctors are less likely to consider the AMA as a vital part of their professional identity. Growing competition for dues from state and specialty medical associations has also hurt the AMA.

The AMA’s political positions have been controversial throughout its history. In 1932, the AMA’s influential journal published an editorial that denounced a proposed government-backed single-payer healthcare system. The AMA’s House of Delegates debated the issue in a cavernous ballroom, and the organization had to use pressure sensors to track delegate attendance. Many delegates from higher-paying specialties and conservative state medical societies opposed the bill, as did some members of Congress.

There are some who argue that the AMA has become too influenced by a progressive and activist agenda, and that it has lost its traditional conservative stances on issues such as abortion rights and gun control. Others say that the AMA should be more vocal about how changes to the healthcare system will affect physicians’ incomes and their ability to care for their patients.

The AMA is affiliated with the World Medical Association (WMA). The WMA is an international confederation of free national medical associations representing physicians worldwide. The WMA’s Declarations, Resolutions and Statements help to guide National Medical Associations, governments and international organizations to achieve the highest international standards in medical education, scientific research, medical ethics, clinical practice, and health care for humanity. It also works to maintain robust, professional medical associations free of industrial influence.