Tackling issues as contentious as the ethics of capitation to physician collective bargaining, the 475 members of the AMA's House of Delegates engaged in their annual freewheeling exercise in democracy last month.
One resolution on the table called for a study of contractual arrangements of physicians who sell their practices to hospitals or corporations. Another sought to declare the National Committee for Quality Assurance incompetent to determine criteria for physician credentialing.
At the meeting, Nancy Dickey, a 46-year-old family physician from College Station, Texas, was named president-elect of the 150-year-old physician organization. She was elected by acclamation to the yearlong term, which will begin in June 1998.
Dickey will be the first woman to preside over the AMA, a position that largely involves representing the 300,000-member group in speechmaking and other public appearances.
Percy Wootton, an internist from Richmond, Va., was inaugurated as president for the coming year.
The AMA reported its operating profit, after income taxes, was $7.6 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 1996, up 17% from $6.5 million in 1995, according to an auditor's report released at the Chicago meeting. Total operating revenues were $220.7 million, up 11% from $197.8 million in 1995.
It was the second profitable year in a row after losses in 1993 and 1994.