Association Notes Nancy W. Dickey, MD, is the new president of the American Medical Association, elected at the AMA's 147th annual meeting on June 17 in Chicago. She is the first woman to be elected president of the AMA. In her acceptance speech she implicitly includes CME as part of the solution to a problem: "One way we can recommit to ethics and professionalism is by teaching these lessons in our medical schools--in fact, at every level of our medical training" (emphasis added). Anybody ready to conduct a needs assessment for a course on medical ethics?

At the same meeting, E. Ratcliffe Anderson, Jr., MD, was elected executive vice president of the AMA. He declared a new membership drive. "Your own membership task force tells us that if we don't reverse the current trends, by the year 2023 we won't have any members at all." So specialty societies can expect strong competition from the AMA in the next 12 months for a piece of physicians' dues budget. About 36 percent of U.S. physicians belong to the AMA, down from a high of nearly 75 percent in the mid-1960s. CME providers in the Midwest know Anderson is no stranger to tough situations. He had a high-profile stint as both executive director of the Truman Medical Center and dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine in Kansas City.

On June 20, the South African Medical Association was launched at an inaugural meeting in Pretoria. SAMA unifies the country's medical associations, which were racially, geographically, and politically separated. SAMA's first chairman will be Zolile Mlisana, MD, a pediatrician from Durban. Its first president will be Bernard Mandell, former chairman of the old segregated Medical Association of South Africa.

CME Notes Is your organization preparing physicians for the aging of America? Of the approximately 684,000 practicing physicians in the U.S., only about 8,000 are certified to practice geriatric medicine, according to the American Society of Geriatrics. Only about 50 of the nation's 126 medical schools even have programs in geriatrics. For more information, contact the ASG at (212) 308-1414.

Are you targeting your meetings toward the needs of women doctors? At the end of last year, 24 percent of U.S. physicians were women, up from 16 percent five years ago. The election of Nancy Dickey, MD, to the presidency of the AMA (see page 17) is taken as a sign of progress. Medical conference organizers can look to the American Academy of Pediatrics for a glimpse of the future of CME, at least in regard to gender--46 percent of practicing pediatricians are female.

If you're looking for a new, nontraditional speaker on cancer care issues, you might call Oncology Education Service, Inc., a subsidiary of the Oncology Nursing Society, and ask about its Ambassador 2000 Program, which trains oncology nurses to become spokespeople on cancer care issues. To obtain a list of the 56 oncology nurses from all parts of the U.S. participating in the Ambassador 2000 program, call (412) 921-1929. *