The American Medical Association Should Help Patients. Instead, It's Policing Language.

Protectionist policies are why the U.S. has few physicians and high prices.


The American Medical Association now tells doctors: Use woke language! It's issued a 54-page guide telling doctors things like, don't say "equality"; say "equity." Don't say "minority"; say "historically marginalized."

Much of the AMA's advisory sounds like Marxism: "Expose…property rights…Individualism is problematic…Corporations…limit prospects for good health…people underpaid and forced into poverty as a result of banking policies."

This is too much even for some on the left, like writer Matthew Yglesias, whose article about the AMA caught my attention.

"Can you imagine anyone actually doing this?" asks Yglesias in my new video. "What would happen if you were in a clinical setting, and somebody starts giving you this lecture about landowners?…Nobody practices medicine like that, and it wouldn't be helpful to anybody!"

He points out that while the AMA now tells doctors to call poor neighborhoods "systematically divested," not "poor," it has long lobbied for things that hurt poor people, like restricting the number of doctors.

The U.S. has fewer doctors than other countries. Per person, Austria has twice as many.

"We have the best paid physicians in the world and the scarcest physicians in the world," says Yglesias. "That's not a coincidence."

Years ago, in most of America, anyone could practice medicine. Licensed doctors didn't like that. That led to the formation of the AMA.

They're a trade group, says Yglesias. "They…advance the interests of their members."

Like the teachers union or dock workers union.

"It's called a trade association rather than a union," says Yglesias. "But it's never been all that different."

In 1986, the AMA called for smaller enrollment in medical schools, to curb an alleged doctor "surplus." In 1997, it even got the government to pay hospitals not to train doctors!

Today, the AMA supports rules that make it hard for doctors from other countries to practice here. Foreign doctors must complete a U.S. residency program. They don't get credit for having practiced abroad.

Such rules preserve America's doctor shortage. That shortage allows the average doctor to make more than $200,000 a year.

Well-paid doctors can be choosy about where they work. It's why it's tough to find a doctor in rural America, says Yglesias.

There are lots of Walmarts and Targets in rural areas because there is no limit on big stores. Walmart and Target compete to serve as many communities as they can.

Likewise, "Restaurants keep time that's convenient for their customers. Doctors keep hours that are convenient for doctors."

I asked the AMA for an interview about this, but they declined. They sent us a statement saying they've worked to approve "approximately 20 new medical schools."

Why does the AMA and its "Liaison Committee on Medical Education" even get to approve new schools? I don't get to approve new TV reporters.

The AMA's statement claims it supports "increasing…the number of physicians." If that's true, it's long overdue. A study in Annals of Internal Medicine says if there were more primary care doctors, 7,200 lives would be saved.

Since doctors are scarce, more people go to nurses for help. But AMA lobbyists push for laws that require nurses to be supervised by a doctor.

"That makes it much harder to open retail health clinics…[that offer] low-cost, high-convenience treatment," says Yglesias. "Nurses have a lot of training…there's a lot of useful stuff that they can do."

The AMA's lobbying hurts poor people most.

The AMA doesn't like talking about that. Instead, it now obsesses about politically correct language, telling doctors, don't say, "ex-cons"; say "formerly incarcerated." Don't say "slaves"; say "enslaved people."

It's hard to imagine how that helps patients.

Yglesias concludes, "Getting really obsessed with language politics is a good way to position themselves as the good guys, without addressing their own role in creating these problems."


NEXT: Hey, Nancy Pelosi: 'National Debt Should Be a Top Priority'

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  1. Abolish the AMA.

    Abolish the government/healthcare cartel.

    Free Medicine from the tyranny of the State

  2. Same as the above comment the ama should be abolished

  3. And damn it stop using yglasis he is a lying sack of shit and has zero credibility!

    1. That really annoys me. Just because a stopped clock is right twice a day doesn't mean you should rely on it those two times a day. The damned roundup continually quotes the NYT and WaPo, both famous liars hiding behind a paywall.

      1. A paywall that can be defeated simply by deleting the header.

  4. Does this reset the Yglesias counter? Or only if ENB mentions him?

    1. That's ENB's fanxering.

  5. Much of the AMA's advisory sounds like Marxism

    And the FDA, and the CDC, and the NIH, etc.

    Seems like Reason is finally starting to catch on, maybe.

  6. The doctor I used to go to switched to forms with "sex assigned at birth" and a space.
    I now go to a different doctor with forms with "sex - M or F".

  7. This shit is everywhere. Whoever writes these recommendations is buried so deep in modern academia that they probably never hear anyone say "You're fucking nuts." At least not anyone they won't write off as a crackpot extremest of the "other" persuasion.

    I got a concert pre-sale notification recently. A couple of artists I find musically compelling -- good voices, good performers. The bios under each one simply listed their left-wing progressive credentials "supports social justice" or "black woman breaking boundaries" or something like that. Not a single word in the whole ad about their music, what kind of music it is, how they won a grammy or sold a million records... literally nothing but credentials for Woke.

    If a fucking doctor did that to me I'd walk out and refuse to pay the co-pay. Doctors are horrible to talk to already, the LAST thing we need to do is have them speaking woke jibberish while condescending to me and not actually doing anything helpful, which is pretty much my entire experience with doctors.

  8. A study in Annals of Internal Medicine says if there were more primary care doctors, 7,200 lives would be saved.

    You left a sentence fragment sitting out in your article.

    How many more primary care doctors? 7200 lives over what period of time? 1 new doctor, 7200 patients a day? 7200 new doctors, 7200 patients saved, ever?

    The sentence as posted is meaningless.

    1. Doesn't this magazine have something like 37 fucking senior editors?

      1. Maybe, but no one who can actually proofread - - - - - - - -

  9. The AMA is simply a trade organization that uses licensing scheme to limit competition. They are no different than a “licensed” hair stylist want to keep unlicensed ones from competing with them. They should have absolutely no say in how many medical schools are opened or how many people are allowed to practice medicine. I’m sure if you ask your home town bank what is the ideal number of banks, they will say, “One. Mine.” Doctors are no different.

  10. Anyone who reads this article now knows why less
    than 1 out of every 5 physicians in this country belong to the AMA. Most of us just aren’t that stupid. I have never been an AMA member and I never will be.

  11. Much of the *EVERYTHING* advisory sounds like Marxism these days. But heaven forbid anyone see it for what it is.

    "The growing PA and NP professions are essential to alleviate the burden of a physician shortage,.... Expanding the prescriptive authority of PAs and NPs is one mechanism to alleviate the increased healthcare needs of the public. "

    Keep it up AMA, just like other unions, you'll put your industry in the crapper. Market forces don't care what lifestyle you want.
    Many holes in that dike.

  13. One,in what medical context would much of that language come up?

    How does the AMA assume what it's members politics are? How many physicians are against private property as a concept? These are one of richest classes of professionals in our economy, they are going to endorse abolishing property rights?

    1. Yeah, last time I had a discussion with a doctor about equity, he was talking about quitting his practice and buying a place in FL.

      1. And the last time I had a conversation with a doctor about slaves, he was talking about live lobsters at the grocery store.

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    Aldehyde polyethylene glycol aldehyde (ALD-PEG-ALD) is a linear bifunctional peg reagent with two aldehyde (ALD) groups. It is usually a viscous liquid or solid powder, depending on the molecular weight.

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