If you're a medical doctor, you probably received an email like this in recent days from the American Medical Association, a tax-exempt not-for-profit corporation organized under section 501(c)(6) of the US tax code:

Subject: Dr. XYZ, don’t wait to get the PPE you need from the AMA

Dear Dr. XYZ,

Since the start of the pandemic, physicians across the country have gone above and beyond to keep patients safe. Yet after eight months, many are still unable to get enough PPE for their practices. We’ve urged the federal government to act, and now, we’re stepping in.

The American Medical Association is collaborating with Project N95, a not-for-profit organization, to reserve quality-certified PPE for AMA members to purchase with no minimum.

If you’re interested in ordering PPE, go here to learn more and view the available equipment, and then activate your AMA membership to get started. The deadline to place an order is 3 p.m. Central time on Monday, Nov. 23.

This PPE shortage has placed physicians in jeopardy for far too long. I hope this collaboration with Project N95 provides some immediate support as we continue to advocate for a long-term resolution.

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  1. Thanks for digging into this Ben. My physician wife paid many years of dues to AMA before we figured out it was just a front for selling insurance, etc. Who knew all this? Not the average AMA member/victim. BTW, she’s been retired for 12 years, but that doesn’t discourage them from continuing to solicit her “membership”.

  2. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    I thought I was immune to being shocked by corporate mendacity and greed. Then I started digging into the AMA …

  3. Great research Ben! Too bad, as usual, this will fall on dear ears. Our fine representatives at the federal and state level are too busy focusing on their own survival (and probably getting a few handouts from our friends at the AMA) to do more than perhaps shake an angry stick at the issue for a quick second. Gotta love it! The American Dream come true!**

    **if you’re lucky enough to catch on as a CEO at a non-profit or large publicly traded company.

  4. Ben, when I started working with healthcare IT companies 20 years ago, the real shocker was learning that the AMA owns the CPT billing codes and generates significant revenue from licensing them. The AMA is happy to complain about insurance companies claims practices but they’re just as much part of the problem. Best book I’ve read to understand the misalignment among the AMA, physician expectations and medical economics is The Social Transformation of American Medicine by Paul Starr. Docs helped build our beast of a system and the AMA is one of many manifestations of its problems.

  5. I would be very interested to see the fee structure (and frankly the annualized return) of that venture fund. I’d also be interested in their public security ownership and how they’ve managed to make under 2% in dividends (equivalent to a 2yr Treasury in 2018).

  6. …and the scales fell from his eyes…geez! Thank you for the enlightenment. This just pisses me off! I feel compelled to tell every doctor I know to beware of the AMA. I know I’m making a big leap when I say that this just another (albeit in the medical field) example of how so many organizations, companies, brands, government agencies (yes, I said it),etc. in this country in particular have been hollowed out to fit the “insiders” in to either drain it of life or fashion a cloak of invisibility over it while the rest of us live with our fond impressions of what it was, what it meant to us and to others and patronize them in ignorance. You just fed the skeptic in me and I’m still hungry. Thank you!

  7. Avatar for mckett mckett says:

    thinking just how many professional associations there are, it is comforting to know that this is such a rare outlier…as a charter holder of a certain 501(c)3 with 400M revenues I can rest easy, knowing I would find nothing of the kind if I examined their financials…

  8. Avatar for rguinn rguinn says:

    Pop over to the note thread in the new forums, where we beat on, boats against the current, etc. to uncover any other possible such organizations…but like you, I’m sure we’ve exhausted them. :slight_smile:

  9. American Medical Association is treated as a Business League under 501(c) (6) and not all donations are tax-deductible. AMA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) and gets 1 star rating from Charity Navigator. Link to their 990 55% of spending is on Administrative and Fundraising expenses. 4.43 spent to raise $1 AARP? Nope; It’s a 501(c)(4) entity. Social Welfare Organization. Most recent 990 here. Nice reporting.

  10. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    Great point.

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