AMA Endorses Artificial Intelligence in Medical Practice and Training

June 17, 2019


During its recent annual meeting, the American Medical Association publicly endorsed and adopted multiple new policies that support the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in medical practice and training. These policies are aimed at using AI to enhance patient care, boost population health and reduce healthcare costs while improving physician satisfaction.

Among the initiatives the AMA announced or confirmed: 

  • Advocacy for the oversight and regulation of healthcare AI systems based on the risk of harm or benefit;
  • Support for payment and coverage of AI system that comply with all state and federal laws and regulations related to governing patient safety, efficacy, equity, privacy and security;
  • Support payment and coverage of AI systems that are informed by real-world workflow and human-centered design principles, as well as policies that increase affordability and access to AI systems designed for small practices;
  • Support for incorporating AI into medical education and training, including identifying steps needed to educate both physicians-in-training and currently practicing physicians on how AI technology works and to evaluate its applicability, appropriateness and effectiveness in caring for patients;
  • Encouraging the development of AI education modules, addressing disparities in AI education that could impact patient care and ensuring physicians are involved in the development and implementation of educational materials on AI;
  • Encouraging accrediting and licensing bodies to study how to address AI based on accrediting and licensing standards;
  • Encouraging medical specialty societies and boards to consider the production of specialty-specific educational modules related to AI;
  • Calling for stakeholders to provide educational materials to help learners guard against inadvertent bias in AI systems;
  • Urging researchers to investigate how disparities in education will impact AI in healthcare;
  • Recommending that physicians collaborate and work closely with developers to create AI applications that fit with their workflows and needs;
  • And calling for institutional leaders and academic deans to add non-clinicians, including data scientists and engineers, to their faculty to help students with their use of AI.

“To realize the benefits for patient care, physicians must have the skills to work comfortably with augmented intelligence in healthcare,” sAMA Board Member S. Bobby Mukkamala, MD, said. “Just as working effectively with electronic health records is now part of training for medical students and residents, educating physicians to work effectively with AI systems, or more narrowly, the AI algorithms that can inform clinical care decisions, will be critical to the future of AI in healthcare.”

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