The Washtenaw County Medical Society hosted the American Medical Association (AMA) President-elect Steven J. Stack, MD, at its general membership meeting March 4th in Ann Arbor.
An emergency physician from Lexington, KY, Dr. Stack will become the 170th AMA President on June 9, 2015. Also in attendance was AMA Board of Trustees Chair, Barbara L. McAneny, MD.
Dr. Stack discussed the changes transforming health care today, as well as the three-pronged approach the AMA is pursuing to improve the health of the nation: improving healthy outcomes, accelerating change in medical education, and ensuring professional satisfaction and practice sustainability.
Dr. Stack also addressed issues facing Michigan physicians, including graduate medical education (GME) funding and Auto No-Fault insurance. Many physicians in Michigan are urging lawmakers to fully fund GME this fiscal year and to closely examine Governor Rick Snyder’s proposal for a long-term solution to GME funding. “Reducing graduate medical education funding even in the short term would mean fewer Michigan physicians are able to learn here, train here and stay here,” said Dr. Stack.
After graduating from medical school, physicians are required to complete hands-on residency programs before obtaining their state license to practice medicine. Studies show that two-thirds of physicians who complete their residency in Michigan decide to practice medicine here; ensuring patients have access to both specialty and primary care physicians.
Dr. Stack also discussed Michigan’s Auto No-Fault insurance and how this current system provides an important benefit for motorists. In the last several years, there have been attempts to rewrite Michigan’s no-fault automobile insurance laws. Physician’s supporting the current system believe rewriting the law would cause a cost shift from insurance companies onto taxpayers and the state’s Medicaid and Medicare system.