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Lives of Doctor Wives: What (Or WHO) is the AMA Alliance?

Friday, January 24, 2014

What (Or WHO) is the AMA Alliance?

What (Or WHO) is the AMA Alliance?

Many readers of the Lives of Doctors Wives Facebook page may see occasional references to “the Alliance”.  You probably scratch your heads and say “Who are these people?  Why do they care about me and the others on LDW?”  That’s where I come in.  In a nutshell, the AMA Alliance is the nationwide network of the spouses and partners of physicians, both MD and DO.  At our national level, we have approximately 10,500 members in 36 states; on the state on local levels, we have many more.  We’re your IRL connection to other physician families in your home community.

The Alliance, as we’re called in shorthand, was founded in 1922 as the Auxiliary to the American Medical Association.  Originally an organization of doctors’ wives looking for ways to connect with one another as well as to think of ways to give back to their local communities, the Alliance has changed not only our name but also our composition over the years to meet changing demographics.  Back in ’22 most physicians were men; now we know the majority of medical students are women.  Our membership is open to divorced spouses as well as unmarried couples.  We also warmly welcome physicians. You can become a part of us at any point in your medical journey whether it’s in medical school, residency, “it gets better” stage, or beyond. Our mission has also evolved over time to reflect the current society.  However, at our core, we’ve never lost our main reason for being:  to connect and to serve.

We are also asked if we’re just a branch of the AMA.  The answer to that is no.  We are our own organization with our own board of directors, banking, strategic plan, and goals.  While we support the AMA in many ways, our mission is to support physician families through education and advocacy.  That means our focus, first and foremost, is on the needs of our members.  We want to be the place you turn, as physician spouses, when you have questions about dealing with stress, about contracting, about medical marriage, frankly, about many of the questions that often appear on LDW.  Since our members pay the bills, we know we have to invest in our members.  And investing in our members means finding resources from all over the country that can help you in your every day life.

In addition to our AMA Alliance, we have state and county groups as well as physician-in-training alliances in some training programs across the country.  Those are the places where you’ll get the most connection and interaction.  That’s also where you’ll have a better opportunity to give back to your community by doing things like work on immunization initiatives, fundraise for local shelters, go into the schools to deliver anti-bullying messages, and work to convince legislators that yes, seatbelts ARE a good idea and smoking is bad! On the state and local level our members are focused on those emerging public health issues that most directly impact them and their communities.

Now the next question I hope you have is “This is GREAT!  How can I join?!  I want to be a part of this!”  If that’s the case, feel free to PM me or go to www.amaalliance.org.  If you’re not yet in practice, your dues are $10/yr for AMA Alliance; for those of us making the big bucks (HA!) it’s $50.  Once we have you in our system, we can help to find your state or local Alliance.  Or we can do it in reverse; contact me, I’ll get you connected, if I can, and then you can join at all levels then.  But whatever it takes, I really urge you to become a part of the AMA Alliance and join the bigger picture!

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  Definitely contact me at any time either through Facebook (I promise to check my “other” folder) or through email at julienewman64@aol.com (I know, but I only use AOL for email, have had it since 1992)

Julie Berkowitz Newman

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