Richard P. Gulla
House of Delegates approves new policies at
Waltham, Mass. – May 7, 2016 - Resolutions
on the clinical skills assessment for
physician licensure, physician education about patients with intellectual and
developmental disabilities, jail diversion for individuals with substance use
disorder, human trafficking, and weight stigma were among a number of policies
adopted by the Massachusetts Medical Society at its annual meeting in Boston on
The MMS annual meeting brings together
hundreds of Massachusetts physicians from across the state to consider specific
resolutions on public health policy, health care delivery, and organizational
administration by the Society’s House of Delegates, its policy-making body.
Resolutions adopted by the delegates become policies of the organization.
Among the policies adopted by the
organization on Saturday:
assessment for physician licensure. In a show of
support for medical students in Massachusetts and across the U.S. who are advocating
for the elimination of the Step 2 Clinical Skills Assessment exam as a
requirement for physician licensure, MMS members voted to urge the
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine to eliminate the test as a
prerequisite to obtain a license to practice medicine. Objections to the test have arisen because of
cost and the lack of published evidence of its value as a measure of a
student’s clinical skills.
education about patients with intellectual disability/developmental disability. Recognizing the importance of physician
knowledge about patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the
MMS adopted a resolution to provide continuing medical education opportunities
that address the medical care of this population.
Jail diversion for individuals with
substance use disorder. As
the state and nation battle with an opioid epidemic, drug courts and jail
diversion programs have increased, reflecting the value of treatment over
incarceration. The resolution adopted by the MMS states the organization’s
support for the state-wide implementation of jail diversion programs for those
with substance use disorder and declares that the MMS will advocate for
expanded government funding for treatment programs to increase the capacity to
treat more individuals.
Preventing weight stigma and discrimination
of persons with obesity. Declaring
that weight bias is prevalent throughout the health care system, MMS expanded
its policy on obesity and resolved to develop and promote educational
information to physicians and medical students about weight stigma and to
advocate for legislation and practices to prevent stigma and discrimination.
Human trafficking. Understanding that physicians have a
unique and critical role to play in preventing, identifying, and treating the
victims of human trafficking, the MMS called for the integration of human
trafficking education into medical school curricula and the schools of other
health professions, to promote continuing medical education and training on the
subject for all health care providers, and encourage research to advance the
understanding of human trafficking.
Advertising by pharmaceutical companies. Expressing
a concern for the rising costs of prescription drugs paid by patients, MMS
physicians voted to advocate that all direct-to-consumer advertising expenses
by pharmaceutical companies be reported publicly, to advocate that such costs
not be passed on to patients, and to request that all relevant government
agencies require reporting of direct-to-consumer advertising costs.
adopted resolutions to improve physician knowledge about oral health and
support efforts to make basic dental care accessible and affordable to homebound
and nursing home patients; and to support the education of parents,
grandparents, and legal guardians of minors about the benefits of stress
reduction through mindfulness training and to encourage mindfulness-based
education in Massachusetts schools.
policies adopted by the physicians were those related to organizational bylaws,
medical malpractice reform, and electronic health records.
The Massachusetts Medical Society, with some
25,000 physicians and student members, is dedicated to educating and advocating
for the patients and physicians of Massachusetts. The Society, under the
auspices of NEJM Group, publishes the New England Journal of Medicine, a
leading global medical journal and web site, and Journal Watch alerts and
newsletters covering 13 specialties. The Society is also a leader in continuing
medical education providing accredited and certified activities across the
globe for physicians and other health care professionals. Founded in 1781, MMS is the oldest
continuously operating medical society in the country. For more information
please visit www.massmed.org, www.nejm.org, or www.jwatch.org.