AMA releases newly adopted trainee, resident policies

The organization adopted policies regarding benefits and protection of medical trainees and residents.

The American Medical Association (AMA) released new policies for medical trainees and residents adopted on the final day of a special meeting of the organization’s House of Delegates.

According to a news release, the policy-making body at the AMA adopted policies regarding employment benefits and protection of medical trainees and residents.

The first policy will see AMA partnering with stakeholders to push training programs to ensure trainees receive employee benefits like on-call meal allowances, transportation support, relocation stipends, and childcare. The organization will also advocate for additional ways of defraying costs related to residency and fellowship training such as essential amenities or high-cost, specialty-specific equipment needed for clinical duties, the release says.

“Between financial restraints and 80-hour work weeks, trainees often struggle with having the time and budget for necessities. When residency and fellowship programs provide benefits to assist with these needs, it can significantly improve trainee well-being,” AMA Board Member Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, says in the release.

The other policy comes in response of the extraordinary effort by residents and fellows serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The AMA is strengthening its call for measures aimed at protecting residents and fellows while they finish their training in the aftermath of the pandemic. The organization is seeking to work with stakeholders to advocate for equitable compensation and benefits for work outside of the scope of the trainee’s residency or fellowship, the release says.

“As residents and fellows have swiftly answered the call to serve as essential workforce members, it is crucial that we continue to assist them in navigating the many challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has produced,” AMA Board of Trustees member Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, says in the release. “With the passage of this policy, the AMA commits to standing with stakeholders across medical education to continue supporting and protecting physicians-in-training as they help drive the future of medicine.”