For those of you not familiar with amednews.com, it is "The Newspaper for America’s Physicians". Well, I suppose it used to be, but in June they’ll flip the virtual switch and be available only to AMA members (or anyone willing to pay a subscription fee). Thus, it’s not then ‘for America’s Physicians’, it’s ‘another member benefit’. That I think this is yet another giant step backward for the AMA is a given (I’ve written about my relationship with the AMA before).
Recently I read somewhere that when you see bad management on a scale that challenges credulity, you have to seriously consider sabotage as a motive. I haven’t ruled that out.
amednews.com certainly has the right to close their site to AMA members / paid subscribers only, but I think they’re missing the biggest benefit of their online news service: making the AMA relevant to the huge numbers of doctors who aren’t AMA members. They should be considering this, at minimum, a strong PR effort for the AMA to disaffected docs, which might pay dividends in increased membership. (The alternative isn’t going to happen: nobody is going to join the AMA ($450/yr) to read amed news).
So, another degree of separation between AMA members and the other half of the doctors in the US. Advocacy groups are supposed to expand their membership base to include all they advocate for, not make an echo chamber of a club. It’s too bad, and ultimately it’ll be their (the AMA’s) loss.