Voices of the MMS Delegation

Why get involved in health care advocacy? Two members of the Massachusetts delegation to the AMA Annual Meeting 2017 say why they’re involved and what they get out of it.

McKinley Glover, MDMcKinley Glover, MD; neuroradiologist, MGH; Health Policy and Management Fellow, Massachusetts General Physicians Organization 

Why are you active in the AMA? 
“It’s a great way to take the pulse of health care in the US, because the meeting brings together physicians from all across the country. There are few better ways to hear diverse perspectives on medicine. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize the positions of any organization, but the best way to influence change is to get involved. It is rewarding to share my views as well as learn from other physicians as it relates to healthcare policy.”

What was your #1 topic at this meeting?
“Residency application timelines; there should be equity for medical students regardless of specialty. Early matching for some specialties creates an uneven playing field for medical students in what is an already competitive and stressful time. Early matching for some specialties also prevents the ability to couples match.”

What moment stands out?
“There was respectful and vigorous debate regarding whether the AMA should support all specialties utilizing a single residency matching system. After the session, I met one of the physicians who had very different views regarding the current matching process. We had a great conversation and agreed to work together on future policy issues. Regardless of the issue of debate, the AMA meeting provides an immense opportunity to develop friendships and relationships with colleagues and learn from each other.”



Jessica Fortin, MD candidateJessica Fortin, MD candidate; UMass Medical School 

Why are you active in the AMA?
“In our political climate, advocacy is incredibly important. The most heartwarming and motivational thing is seeing first-year medical students stand up at meetings and go to the microphone. When the rubber hits the road, it’s very important to have a voice and also to do something about it. If we could harness the energy of medical students we could change the world.”

What was your #1 topic at this meeting?
“Medical student and resident burnout is something I’ve witnessed in my friends. Every one of them is on a psychotropic medication. Burnout isn’t solved by teaching people to take care of themselves. We need to address the institutional reasons that people become suicidal in medicine.” 

What moment stands out?
“As the youngest member of the delegation I became the go-to tech person. I was teaching the senior physicians how to text their kids and put gifs on their phones. One of them called ‘Jess, I need your help! My screen won’t go away!’ I didn’t have time, but I haven’t forgotten. Maybe I’ll help him at the next AMA meeting, in Hawaii.”



MMS Ambassador program
The delegation mentored five MMS Ambassadors in our signature program that introduces members to organized medicine at the national level. This year’s ambassadors included Eileen Deignan, MD; Pei-Li Huang, MD; Mangadhara Madineedi, MD; Kenath Shamir, MD, and Marguerite Youngren. To learn more about the program, please contact mjussaume@mms.org.



Members of the delegation who serve on AMA councils include:

Grayson Armstrong, MD — AMPAC

Matthew Lecuyer, MD — Council on Long Range Planning & Development

James Sabin, MD — Council on Ethical & Judicial Affairs

Laurie Schleimer — Council on Ethical & Judicial Affairs (student)

Lynda Young, MD — Council on Medical Service


The AMA Turns Up the Volume on Medicaid, Opioids, and Health Plans: Read a brief report in Vital Signs (September 14, 2017) on the AMA Annual Meeting and the Massachusetts delegation experience.

The AMA Annual Meeting, 2017: Read a full report from the AMA.

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