Over the past week, I’ve been taking advantage of a flexible fourth-year schedule to be in San Diego, CA for the American Medical Association (AMA) 2019 Interim Meeting. This year, I serve as the student voice on the AMA Council on Medical Service, which seeks to understand the social and economic aspects of health care delivery in order to recommend relevant policy changes to the AMA House of Delegates.
One of the reports produced by the Council addressed additional mechanisms to address high and rising pharmaceutical prices, with recommendations that were adopted by the House of Delegates. The Council also addressed Financial Incentive Programs (FIP), in which insurers or employers encourage patients to use tools to compare prices on health care items and services. The House adopted a set of guiding principles that employers and insurance companies should incorporate into FIP design to promote transparency, prevent sacrificing quality, and avoid fragmentation of care.
The Medical Student Section introduced several policies this meeting that passed, and one that I am particularly proud of asks all medical schools to protect medical students from the financial costs of potential needle-stick injuries (and other exposures to infectious or environmental hazards in the course of their medical student duties). Timely intervention is needed to prevent disease and cost should not be a barrier for students.
Throughout the residency interview process, I’ve run into friends and colleagues from around the country that I’ve met through the AMA. I’m grateful to be able to hear their perspectives on all the places they’ve trained. During interview season, I’ve also been grateful for our medical school’s HOST program, which has helped me connect with medical school alumni to stay with for interviews. It has made the process more enjoyable and affordable. Only 120 more days until Match Day!
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Nonie Arora is a 4th year MD/MBA candidate at the University of Michigan. She is passionate about improving the delivery of healthcare and health policy. She can be followed on Twitter @nonie_arora.