Recent Workshops on Professional Medical Associations

A Dialogue on Professional Medical Associations and Health Policy: In this April 26, 2019 workshop, academics and physicians involved in professional medical associations met together at the University of Chicago Center in Delhi to discuss the future of professional medical associations within the increasingly globalized context of biomedicine.

An Interdisciplinary Workshop on Politics and Strategy in Medical Associations: In this August 28, 2019 workshop, organized in conjunction with the American Political Science Association, we convened an interdisciplinary group of scholars to discuss/challenge assumptions about the ongoing salience of professional medical associations in policy-making.

Professional medical associations around the world have historically been conduits for channeling physician interests into policy. Today, these associations remain powerful national stakeholders despite increasingly crowded policy arenas and threats to their power by populist movements, the privatization/corporatization of healthcare and the fragmentation of organized medicine. Critical analysis of professional medical associations’ role is necessary to better understand how they continue to impact debates about the future of healthcare and to assess the extent to which their interests and values are translated into nation-state policies.

Research on professional medical associations has emerged from several disciplines, including political science, sociology, anthropology, history, and global health. However, there are few spaces for researchers from diverse backgrounds to have constructive dialogue about the different theories and methods that inform their work. In this workshop, we brought together a global, interdisciplinary group of scholars to share research, draw comparisons, discuss methods, and consider future directions for research on the politics and strategy of professional medical associations.

The learning objectives of this workshop were threefold: 1. To enumerate shared themes in research from diverse contexts/disciplines; 2. To identify methodological tools and theoretical concepts that can be exported from other disciplines; 3. To formulate an interdisciplinary, globally-oriented research agenda on professional medical associations and policymaking

Following this workshop, I am now in the process of editing a journal special issue, tentatively titled “Recontextualizing Professional Medical Associations.”