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AMA adopts guidelines that confront systemic racism in medicine

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | June 16, 2021
Ensure privacy and confidentiality to the reporter.
Provide a confidential method for documenting and reporting incidents.
Outline policies and procedures for investigating and addressing complaints and determining necessary interventions or action.

These policies should include:

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Taking every complaint seriously.
Acting upon every complaint immediately.
Developing appropriate resources to resolve complaints.
Creating a procedure to ensure a healthy work environment is maintained for complainants and prohibit and penalize retaliation for reporting.
Communicating decisions and actions taken by the organization following a complaint to all affected parties.
Document training requirements to all the members of the healthcare system and establish clear expectations about the training objectives.

The guidelines also suggest tactics that can help medical staff leaders establish work environments within their institutions that are safe and discrimination-free.

In the past year, the House of Delegates has adopted several policies that explicitly acknowledge racism's role in perpetuating health inequities and inciting harm against historically marginalized communities. These AMA policies include acknowledging racism as a public health threat, removing race as a proxy for biology and eliminating racial essentialism in medicine.

Through research, collaborations, advocacy, and leadership, the AMA believes in supporting system-level solutions and identifying and addressing root causes of health inequities while elevating their importance to patients, communities, and stakeholders.

About the American Medical Association
The American Medical Association is the physicians' powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care. The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises, and driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care. For more information, visit ama-assn.org.

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