The American Medical Association will cut governance costs and streamline its business operations by focusing more of its efforts on "core" issues like national advocacy, professional standards, ethics and communications, the governing council overwhelmingly confirmed today. Gathered in Chicago for the AMA's annual meeting, the 541-member House of Delegates rejected a plan to change the organization's membership model, voting to retain a system under which individual physicians pay annual dues of up to $420 a year. Although the AMA has lost about 30,000 individual members since the end of 2000, the current system was favored by about 79% of the 137 specialty societies and state medical associations that took part in a $1.1 million, yearlong initiative on the organization's future structure. On the fifth day of the six-day meeting, the delegates also heard a speech from Julie Gerberding, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who called on American's physicians to be prepared to take on more responsibility in dealing with infectious diseases and other threats to U.S. citizens. -- by Michael Romano
AMA to focus on 'core' issues
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