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May 6, 2002

Physicians for Responsible Negotiation (PRN), the labor organization formed in 1999 at the direction of the American Medical Association's (AMA) House of Delegates (HoD), is disappointed by the AMA Board of Trustees' (BoT) vote, on April 18, 2002, to discontinue additional loans beyond the loans previously approved.

In its short existence, PRN has accomplished every goal set for it by the HoD in 1999 and has won important legal and organizing victories for physicians throughout the U.S.

Despite this disappointing decision by the AMA, PRN is determined to use its remaining resources to explore its options, including the possibility of an HoD decision to re-initiate AMA long-term funding. Other options include securing funding from other sources and/or exploring other homes for PRN activities.

The AMA BoT's reluctance this year to provide PRN the financial support that it needs is reminiscent of the BoT's reluctance in 1999 to authorize PRN's formation. At that time, the BoT recommended against the creation of a labor organization and the HoD instructed the BoT to create the organization that became PRN. It is unclear what will happen at the AMA Annual Meeting in June, 2002, but it is possible that the HoD will take up the funding issue and, again, point the BoT in the right direction.

Dr. Mark L. Fox, PRN's new President, said: "Our priority is to save this landmark effort and preserve this organizing option for physicians nationwide."

To date, PRN has more than 200 individual and organizational Sustaining Members representing over 70,000 physicians. In addition, PRN currently represents a group of physicians in Michigan and is in contract negotiations on behalf of a group of physicians in Texas. PRN has two other active cases pending at the National Labor Relations Board in Washington DC that could set stunning and positive legal precedents for physicians nationwide.

For more information:
Jill Poznick

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