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The AMA and the Future of Medicine

Jon E. Starr, MD
JAMA. 1987;258(13):1730-1731. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400130044016.
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To the Editor.—  In reviewing the COUNCIL REPORT entitled "The Future of Medicine,"1 one dominant issue and one serious defect seem to be obvious. The issue is how much money physicians and, as a result, the American Medical Association (AMA) are going to have available. The defect is that in only two very small areas (medical ethics and professional independence and standards for AMA memberships) is there any consideration of the impact on the patient of the potential future of medicine.It is rather discouraging to me as a professional to realize that the AMA is continuing to devote its resources to the concept of economic advantages for physicians, with patient care secondary, rather than to insist on quality care first with the realization that quality care will result in reasonable economic reimbursement. While we have spent millions in our attempts to influence reimbursement levels from third-party payers, including government


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