Medical blogs criticize the AMA for charging to read American Medical News

Regarding their unfortunate decision to start charging for online access to AMA News.

“In our opinion, the decision by the AMA is regrettable. As AMA members, we believe that this organization has a responsibility to communicate to society the issues facing patients and physicians.

It is unfortunate that the AMA never made an effort to open the science published in JAMA to the people that directly finance the science–taxpayers like you and me. It is doubly regrettable that AMA chose to hide an important public policy journal from the public itself.”

“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.”

California Medicine Man:
“Personally, I find this approach incomprehensible. Limiting availability to AMA members does nothing to lower the fixed costs of operating this online newsletter. In addition it is extremely unlikely that revenues will rise due to this decision. I can’t imagine anyone joining the AMA simply to get access to AMed News.

I can only hope they will reconsider what I find to be an inexplicable business decision.”

“While the AMA is doing everything it can to boost its income, this move can only be detrimental to the organization’s attempts to get to publicize its causes. Too bad . . .

. . . I can appreciate the corporate pressures, but I still think the AMA is missing an opportunity to get their message out. The American Medical News provides more depth of coverage than the press releases at the AMA’s website. But, that’s their business decision to make – wise or unwise.”

The AMA responds here.

Let the AMA know how you feel about this decision.

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