Stupidity or Sabotage? The AMA lets us guess!

Alerted by both KevinMD and medGadget, I have some thoughts on the pending closure of the‘s online news to AMA members only.

For those of you not familiar with, 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. 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.


  1. $450 a year and not every doc in the US is a member!! Interesting. No wonder the health care system is so mangled and mis-handled. One of the main provider groups is splintered and likes it that way. Go figure.


  1. medmusings says:

    links for 2005-05-20

    MUBAR (Mothered Up Beyond All Recognition): Elmo Exposed “MUBAR gets investigative and reviews the Sesame Workshop annual report, reads the academic literature, and Googles the TV criticism, to learn everything she can about Elmo and his strange sway …

  2. GruntDoc says:

    Real Stories of Hurricane Katrina

    via MedPundit, here are several reports from medical relief workers in the Katrina area: Real Stories of Hurricane Katrina, by WebMD, which seems to be taking off.  It’s certainly supplanted the late News for me.  (Background on …