Correspondence (Fall 2001)

AMA Representation and CPT Code Books

Dear Editor,

The title of the Report from the States (Medical Sentinel 2001;6(1):33) should be "...Assure our Future," not "Insure."

...The American Medical Association (AMA) is dominated by delegates from specialty organizations instead of delegates appointed by the county and state medical societies, as was its original purpose and policy. In organized medicine solo and general practitioners are being decimated.

Our two-county medical society is of no interest to our physicians. There is very poor attendance at the sporadic meetings at a restaurant. No input, no output and no money!

Physicians at one very good suburban hospital 25 years ago limited staff membership to those physicians in the local community by home and office. Now "itinerant" physicians with many offices all over the metropolitan area dominate the staff, and the hospital has gone bankrupt because of no loyalty to it in the medical community.

The AMA has soiled itself and turned off physicians by its money-seeking, commercial ventures such as the CPT code books that make it an arm of the federal government.

Best wishes to you and AAPS as spokespersons for the individual physician --- "As far as I know we are the only medical organization that has offered any constructive assistance to individual physicians." (Orient JM. AAPS and the Courts. Medical Sentinel 2001;6(1):2.)

You and Dr. Jane Orient are doing a good job!

Robert M. Webster, MD
Jasper, GA


Dear Editor,

I have followed up on the notion that the AMA is another "arm of the government." The more I learn the more I am convinced all 32 percent AMA membership has going for it is "scream power." AMA leaders can scream about the benefits of "AMA Publishing, Inc." but that doesn't mean they have legitimate excuses. The AMA can scream and scream but when all is said and done and all the screaming is over, the federal government has the final say. All the government has to do is withdraw the AMA's exclusive publishing contract on the CPT code books. If the government were to put it out on bid, as it should like in a free market economy, the AMA would lose all that money and then the organization would have to go out and get members and work the old fashioned way. Right now, the AMA is not motivated enough to leave the government tit it is sucking on. This is very scary. We are so under the control of that contract they hold over us that the AMA will do anything to keep it, while we, the practitioners, are forced to do what the AMA and the government want in order to survive.

[The medical profession] has gotten itself into a pickle by non-vigilance, avarice, sloth, and lack of forethought in a very serious game. The government has us where they want us. We are stupid and manageable sheep, not ethical and responsible men. Baa. Baa!

T. Jackson Tidwell, MD
Columbus, GA

The AMA and Gun Control

Dear Editor,

Gun control was a subject at everyone of the fifty-three AMA sessions at which I represented California. It was always loudly supported, but I and a few others were able to defeat each resolution and/ or amendments. I remember one time having to move for "informal session" and then bringing on the defeat after resuming regular session. I'm not sure why that doesn't work now.

I have several articles on "gun control" --- in fact, a three ring binder [having bearing on these proceedings].

It is a brief and compelling list. The leadership for pediatrics, psychiatry and internal medicine are among the most adamant.

Frank Rogers, MD
Reno, NV


Dear Editor,

Dr. Faria's revealing articles, "Public Health and Gun Control --- A Review (Parts I-II)," which have also been posted at, are excellent and much of it news to non-medical professionals like me.

Some thoughts:

1) Is the AMA headed in the direction of becoming a self-funded organization, answerable to no-one, not even its membership --- rather like AARP?

2) Is the AMA headed in the same direction as the American Bar Association: headed toward a political black hole of leftist political activism, which turns off non-leftist professionals to the point where they resign or never join? This gives the leftist activists a positive feedback loop of ever more control over the organization, until it falls inside some Schwartzchild radius of professional irrelevance.

3) How many other professional organizations are doing the same thing?

Now there's a research article should anyone care to take the time to do it!

Charles Curley
via e-mail

Correspondence originally published in the Medical Sentinel 2001;6(3);73-74. Copyright©2001 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).