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Sermo Survey of US Physicians Indicates AMA No Longer Represents Them

Results Call for General Public and Legislators to Access Voice of Physicians Through Emerging Channels

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jul 8, 2009 - Sermo (, the world's largest online physician's community, today released the results of a new survey indicating US physicians—at least a representative sample of the more than 100,000 who use Sermo—do not believe the AMA represents them and have no intention of being an AMA member. These are the results of the Sermo online survey of 4,156 US physicians, conducted between July 1 and July 7, 2009.

More specifically:


  • 75% of physicians surveyed are not members of the AMA.
  • 89% of physicians claim, “The AMA does not speak for me.”
  • 91% of physicians surveyed do not believe the AMA accurately reflects their opinion as physicians.

The survey culminates over 2,000 separate AMA discussions on Sermo among physicians over the past 3 years, with the majority of those discussions highlighting frustration with AMA policy stances. Last week, Sermo CEO Dr. Daniel Palestrant posted to the community he is joining ranks with physicians who believe the AMA no longer speaks for them.

“This is a considerable change of heart, given the high hopes that I had when we first partnered with the AMA over two years ago,” he stated. “AMA membership has now shrunk to less than 20% of practicing physicians. Declining membership signals longstanding frustration over the AMA's ineffective advocacy on many issues that are critical to the future of medical practice and healthcare. It's now reached the point that the AMA can no longer claim that it represents physicians in this country.”

Sermo has become the “go-to” place for physicians to exchange the latest in medical thinking and discuss issues emerging on the front lines of medicine. Among the thousands of discussions and millions of comments exchanged by physicians on Sermo, national healthcare policy ranks among the top discussions. Physicians debate the aspects of medicine that must change for them to best treat their patients, and many voice frustration with the AMA's lack of advocacy on critical issues. Some of the issues cited most by physicians include:


  • Limiting insurance companies' abilities to deny care
  • Restricting the encroachment of nonqualified healthcare workers into patient care
  • Tort reform and caps on settlements
  • Malpractice insurance reform and adjudication by qualified boards
  • Abolition of CPT codes
  • Allowing physicians to negotiate collectively for an equal footing with insurers
  • Cost of living increases in insurance reimbursements

Physicians are looking for an alternative voice on critical healthcare issues. Sermo is addressing this challenge through “radical transparency”: an online platform where every US physician can have a voice and have a vote.

“President Obama needs to meet with working physicians in America to get a true picture of the depth of the issues,” said Sermo member Richard A. Armstrong, MD FACS. “Physicians feel that the AMA and other organizations have become self-serving corporations that no longer function as true advocates for America's physicians and their patients. We are at a pivotal juncture in American medicine and must speak with a clear voice.”

To see more than 700 additional MD statements, visit

About the Survey

There are over 100,000 physicians on Sermo, who span 68 specialties and all 50 states. The average age of physicians is 49 years old, with a median of 13 years experience in practice. 4,156 physicians responded to the survey, conducted between July 1 and July 7, 2009. The demographics of physician respondents is representative of the US physician population1 with respect to geographic distribution, specialties and age. All respondents are verified and credentialed, ensuring they have valid, active licenses to practice medicine in the United States. Physician respondents work in practices of all sizes in all major urban and remote rural locations across the Unites States. Survey results along with more than 700 physician statements can be accessed via The Sermo Blog ( a public-facing dialogue that reflects the Sermo physician community's perspective on healthcare issues of national importance.

About Sermo

Sermo is where more than 100,000 US physicians collaborate on difficult cases, share clinical observations and work together to achieve better patient outcomes than each could individually. Sermo's platform enables physicians to aggregate observations from their daily practice, then rapidly and in large numbers challenge or corroborate each other's opinions. Sermo offers clients in healthcare companies, financial services institutions and government agencies a range of mechanisms to engage directly with US physicians. Leveraging aspects of social network theory, prediction markets and arbitrage, subscribing clients can access a stream of fresh, actionable information on emerging trends and market-changing events in healthcare. Visit

1According to Physician Characteristics and Distribution in the U.S. 2009, published by the American Medical Association.



Contact: Sermo, Inc.
Greg Shenk, 617-500-2310
Jacquelyn Thrasivoulos PR
Jackie Thrasivoulos, 508-881-3109


Posted: July 2009