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  • The Health of All Women

    By Aliye Runyan
    AMSA Education and Research Fellow

    Do you know Roe v. Wade is currently under attack and the health of all women is at stake?

    Cleverly disguised as "state-based regulation", seven states have passed or will soon pass devastating legislation affecting access to family planning, especially in rural and underserved areas. This impacts not only the women and families in those states, but taken collectively, is a serious and deliberate blow to national family planning services.

    AMSA believes matters of reproductive health to be private and sensitive, and support the right of patients to make these decisions in confidence with their physician without the interference of any third party. In that spirit, we disagree with and discourage wholeheartedly the recent legislation affecting Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas, North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama, and Mississippi. These laws, sometimes "stuck in" along with other, completely unrelated legislation, do nothing more than prevent access to safe options for abortion. In cases of such legislation where clinics like Planned Parenthood are defunded, this not only prevents safe abortion options ( in those clinics which provide it) but also restrict and discourage access to family planning resources such as contraception and scientifically based sexual education, which in ...

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  • DOMA Falls!

    Today was a historic day for the gay-rights movement! AMSA applauds the decision announced by the Supreme Court of the United States holding (5-4) the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional.

    “Today was historic in the gay-rights movement and AMSA commends the DOMA ruling as a significant step toward eliminating disparities for same-sex partners,” says Dr. Nida Degesys, AMSA national president. “Now, more than ever, we need to keep advocating for equal rights. As the nation’s next generation of physicians, we must stand up for our patients. Marriage equality is a public health issue and we want an equal and just healthcare system for all.”

    DOMA includes a federal definition of marriage that fails to encompass all forms of legal partnership. Equal protection under the law necessitates that all individuals, including same-sex couples, are eligible for all benefits afforded to legally married couples. According to today’s ruling, DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.

    In Hollingsworth vs. Perry, the Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of California’s law prohibiting same-sex marriage, or “Prop 8”, and sent the appeal back to the lower court with instructions ...

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  • More med student spots

    Data released at the Annual Physician Workforce Research Conference, projects that from 2002-2003 there will be a 30% enrollment increase, nearing well over 21,000 new medical students by 2017-2018. With the new and occupied desks over the next few years, 55% of those will be accompanied by students in public medical schools; the southern regions of the U.S. making up for a good amount of the increase now through 2017.

    This is exciting news for the aspiring first year medical students. Depending on how you want to see it, I am sure to them, the glass is only half full waiting to be overflowed by the endless opportunities and possibilities.

    Read the full article from the Triangle Business Journal here.

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  • Calling Dr. iPhone

    Technology is in boom, especially in today’s medical world which is constantly growing and evolving to match the most up to date research and discoveries. Check out this Associated Press article, which appeared in USA Today, introducing the hottest new product on the market; your annual physical through your smart phone.

    Discussed at the 2013 TEDMED conference in Washington, D.C, this up and coming technology is designed to help patients independently monitor their health outside the doctor’s office. Whether it be checking your blood pressure, listening to your heart beat, or checking out the ears, nose and throat for possible infection - all can be done from your hand held device, and on the GO! In addition, sonograms can also be performed by your ultrasound technician with your smart phone, allowing them to be performed from virtually anywhere, and at a much more affordable price.

    It seems as though doctors believe these tools will be helpful to collect the patient’s data, and monitor their ongoing health conditions and concerns. With these types of applications and devices available office visits can essentially be reduced, allowing urgent and serious treatments to be readily available for patients in emergency situations. Although ...

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  • Why I'm Opting Out of the AMA Masterfile

    It’s hard for me to believe that I’ll have the privilege of calling myself someone’s doctor in a few short months. As a graduating medical student, I look back on my education and see that it was driven by a spark shared by all in all AMSA members: the fervent hope to help my future patients. And it’s precisely this hope that drives me to pledge to opt out of drug company access to my future prescribing information. I urge you to join me.

    When I started medical school, I had no idea that pharmaceutical companies know exactly what medicines each doctor prescribes to his or her patients. I was even more surprised to learn that this capacity is enabled by the American Medical Association through the sale of a database called the “Masterfile.” All medical students and doctors are automatically enrolled in the Masterfile—regardless of whether or not we are AMA members. Each year, the AMA makes more than $40 million selling this information, which allows pharmaceutical companies to link prescribing records to doctors’ identities. The result is targeted marketing pitches, often designed to promote more expensive medicines that aren't necessarily more effective. 

    The spooky nature of being watched by ...

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