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AAMC Statement on President Biden’s Actions on Advancing Equity, Preventing Discrimination, and Supporting Underserved Communities

January 21, 2021

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MEDIA CONTACTS
John Buarotti, Sr. Media Relations Specialist

AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, issued the following statement on the Biden administration’s executive actions on advancing equity, preventing discrimination, and supporting underserved communities:

“The AAMC applauds yesterday’s executive action that will launch a ‘whole-of-government initiative to advance racial equity,’ including the outlined tenets of equitable data, investment, and allocation of resources, community engagement, and, among other objectives, reducing unequal barriers to opportunities within the federal government’s policies and programs. 

The AAMC supports the administration’s acknowledgement of systemic racism as well as the revocation of a Sept. 22, 2020 executive order limiting the ability of federal government agencies, contractors, and grantees to provide important and needed diversity and inclusion training.

Additionally, the AAMC supports the executive action to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. This action will direct agencies to take all lawful steps to ensure that federal anti-discrimination statutes that cover sex discrimination prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, protecting the rights of LGBTQ+ persons. Last year, the AAMC objected to the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) 2020 rule that removed the enumeration of groups who are protected from discrimination in the administration of HHS programs and services because it would harm access to health care for LGBTQ+ Americans.

The AAMC looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to address inequity in all forms, especially the health disparities that have plagued our country for generations and continue to be barriers to efforts to improve the health of people everywhere. In October 2020, we established a framework for addressing and eliminating racism in academic medicine that outlines four levels of self-reflection and effort to guide us — as individuals, as an association, as an academic medicine community, and as part of a broader community. The AAMC has also called on the federal government to enhance data collection regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and disproportionately impacted populations. Additionally, our new strategic plan prioritizes substantially increasing the diversity of the physician workforce, making academic medical centers diverse, equitable, and inclusive institutions, and increasing health equity through the new AAMC Center for Health Justice.”

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The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) is a nonprofit association dedicated to transforming health through medical education, health care, medical research, and community collaborations. Its members are all 155 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; approximately 400 teaching hospitals and health systems, including Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 70 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC leads and serves America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and the millions of individuals employed across academic medicine, including more than 186,000 full-time faculty members, 94,000 medical students, 145,000 resident physicians, and 60,000 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the biomedical sciences.