Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society announces policies on gender-affirming care, inequities in health care and PFAS

Massachusetts Medical Society announces policies on gender-affirming care, inequities in health care and PFAS

WALTHAM – The Massachusetts Medical Society has announced several new organizational policies, including one that emerged, in part, in response to a recent spate of threats against physicians and patients who provide or seek gender-affirming care and reproductive care services.

In addition, the organization has added new policies that aim to address racial and socioeconomic disparities in health care and promote education around the health consequences of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Physicians and medical students from across the state attended virtually the organization’s Interim Meeting Dec. 10 and considered resolutions proposed by members to the House of Delegates, the medical society’s governing body. Resolutions that garnered the support of the membership became organizational policy and will impact public health and health care delivery in the Commonwealth and steer the organization’s advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels.

Physician safety in the provision of gender-affirming medical and surgical care

The MMS will develop or curate resources for physicians, organized medical groups, and health care institutions for proactively evaluating, and mitigating the potential of, as well as responding to, threats of violence against the health system, clinical programs, and individual physicians while maintaining services for transgender and gender diverse (TGD) persons.

The MMS will coordinate with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on the development and implementation of legislative and statewide actions that provide support regarding threats of violence toward physicians, including but not limited, to those who provide services for TGD persons, reproductive care, or who advance health equity and promote public health practices.

Advocating for education and awareness of racial and socioeconomic disparities in breast reconstruction after mastectomy

The MMS will promote and distribute educational materials, made available to clinicians through existing online channels, on racial and socioeconomic disparities in breast reconstruction after bilateral mastectomy. The MMS advocate for legislation that requires insurance coverage without cost sharing for all post-mastectomy reconstruction options for patients in need of mastectomy for breast cancer treatment and prophylaxis.

Advocating for education and action regarding the health hazards of PFAS chemicals

The MMS will work to educate Massachusetts clinicians regarding sources of exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), their health effects and potential toxicities, and mitigation and prevention strategies by increasing awareness of existing educational resources available to Massachusetts clinicians, doctors’ offices and medical facilities.

The Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) is the statewide professional association for physicians and medical students, supporting 25,000 members. We are dedicated to educating and advocating for the physicians of Massachusetts and patients locally and nationally. A leadership voice in health care, the MMS contributes physician and patient perspectives to influence health-related legislation at the state and federal levels, works in support of public health, provides expert advice on physician practice management, and addresses issues of physician well-being. Under the auspices of the NEJM Group, the MMS extends our mission globally by advancing medical knowledge from research to patient care through the New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM Catalyst, and the NEJM Journal Watch family of specialty publications, and through our education products for health care professionals: NEJM Knowledge+, NEJM Resident 360, and our accredited and comprehensive continuing medical education programs.

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