If a celebrity falls in an AMA meeting, will anyone know?
The trend continues where high-profile guests show up at American Medical Association meetings, but don't tell anyone about it.
At the AMA's House of Delegates meeting last November in New Orleans, two Republican congressmen from Georgia, Drs. Phil Gringrey and Tom Price (an official Georgia AMA delegate, by the way) addressed the AMA's Southeast Delegation. U.S. Surgeon General and former AMA Trustee Dr. Regina Benjamin spoke to the AMA's Medical Student Section.
With all the public relations tools at their disposal, none of these three high-profile visitors issued a press release, posted a Facebook item, or tweeted a Twitter message to publicize their appearance. If not for the tweets of others and a blurry yfrog photo-sharing site picture you would have never known they were there.
At the AMA's National Advocacy Conference held this week in Washington, guests included CNN commentator and former presidential adviser David Gergen and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). Neither mentioned the appearance on their websites or in Twitter messages, though—to be fair—it should be noted that Kyl, the GOP Senate whip, hasn't tweeted since July 25.
Kyl's website shows that his latest news releases were issued on Feb. 14 and dealt with Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe water claims and Arizona's Centennial. The latest column on his homepage, issued Feb. 7, was an essay talking about how there is no income gap in Cuba, as everyone there is poor. If you click on the healthcare tab, you will find an essay dated Feb. 14 about how “Obamacare Puts Nation's Fiscal Health on Life Support,” but it never mentions the AMA.
The essay does, however, contain this prediction about a scheduled 27.4% cut in physician Medicare pay: “Congress will likely act to reverse the cuts, much like it reversed the looming 25% cut in Medicare reimbursement to physicians last year.” (After his talk, Kyl told reporters another short-term fix was likely.)
Gergen is much more active than Kyl on Twitter, but didn't use that vehicle to mention his appearance either.
On Feb. 15, the next “upcoming appearance” promoted on the homepage of Gergen's website is a Feb. 8 appearance in Boston.
If you'd like to read what they said to AMA, a few comments can be found aggregated on Twitter at #AMAmtg and #NAC. I'd tell you myself, but if Gergen and Kyl don't think what they said was newsworthy, who am I to argue?
Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter @MHARobeznieks.