AMA Releases Strategic Plan on Dismantling Structural Racism in Medicine

In May, the American Medical Association (AMA) released a plan designed to dismantle structural racism inside its own ranks and within the United States medical establishment.

The plan has been in the works for more than a year, but the group’s leaders said health inequities highlighted by the pandemic, ongoing police brutality and recent race-based crimes have given the effort a sense of urgency.

U.S. physicians are overwhelmingly white and AMA membership (consisting of approximately 270,000 members, or 25% of American physicians) reflects that. With that in mind, the AMA plan aims to diversify its staff and add members who are from Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and LGBTQ communities, as well as embed anti-racist activities and education at every level of the organization.

This influential advocacy group also plans to advocate for health equity government policies and to create and deliver anti-racist training for medical students, physicians and health systems.

In recent years, the AMA has publicly acknowledged its racist history, which included efforts to bar Black physicians from joining the organization and fighting against desegregating U.S. hospitals. And, in November 2020, it declared racism a public health threat.