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California physicians set policy on major health care issues at 2019 House of Delegates

October 29, 2019
Area(s) of Interest: Physician Leadership 


The California Medical Association (CMA) recently convened its 148th annual House of Delegates (HOD) meeting in Anaheim.

Over 500 California physicians debated and outlined a policy agenda on major issues that have been determined to be the most important issues affecting members, the association and the practice of medicine.

The association also installed its new officers, including CMA President Peter N. Bretan Jr., M.D., a urologist and transplant surgeon who gave up his Bay Area practice to serve patients at a safety net hospital in Watsonville. Joining Dr. Bretan on the 2019-2020 Executive Committee are:

The major issues the delegates focused on this year were:

  • Augmented Intelligence: The delegates explored pragmatic solutions that address medical decision-making, new liabilities and privacy concerns inherent with augmented and artificial intelligence in health care, with a focus on keeping physicians at the center of health care delivery.
  • Homelessness: Physicians witness the homelessness crisis in emergency rooms, clinics and on the streets of our communities. The delegates declared that stable and affordable housing is an essential community priority and an important social determinant of health. They also discussed evidence-based solutions that address the health care and social needs of those at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
  • Cannabis: The delegates weighed in on pressing issues, including health impacts associated with cannabis use, public health protections, federal legalization, data and surveillance efforts, high-quality research, marketing and advertising practices, cannabis equity programs and more.
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences: Recognizing that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have a strong and life-long correlation to numerous health, social and behavioral problems, the delegates learned more about data collection, research and incorporating ACE screening practices into routine care.

The final actions of the House of Delegates, including newly established policies will be posted soon at cmadocs.org/hod. Physicians who are interested in becoming a member of CMA’s House of Delegates should contact their local county medical society.

Additional HOD Coverage

For more news coverage from this year's House of Delegates:

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