AMA Takes Step to Further Protect Health Care Providers Following Shooting of Boston Surgeon

CHICAGO - June 9, 2015 - Less than six months after a Boston cardiac surgeon was fatally shot by an individual with a suspected grudge, the American Medical Association (AMA) voted today in support of a study that would look at the various ways to prevent violence against health care providers while in the workplace.

“It’s imperative that health care providers feel safe and secure while caring for their patients,” said AMA Board Chair Stephen R. Permut, M.D., J.D. “Given that there are currently no clear interventions proposed to ensure a safer and more secure environment for health care providers, the AMA is committed to taking the necessary steps to help shed light on the various protocols, procedures and mechanisms that can be put in place to do so.”

According to a study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, there have been more than 150 shootings in health care facilities in the past decade, which has prompted some states to adopt legislation banning guns in hospital settings. Another study done this past year showed that 28 percent of emergency physicians reported being physically assaulted while at work. Recent evidence also points to an increase in violent acts towards health care providers both inside and outside of the workplace.

“It’s clear that we need to explore more ways to curb the incidence of violence against America’s health care providers and this new policy puts us on the path to finding new ways to protect these individuals, who devote their lives to improving the health and well-being of their patients,” said Dr. Permut.  

# # #

Media Contact:
Stephanie Johnson
Director, Media and Editorial
(312) 464-5921

About the AMA
The American Medical Association is the premier national organization dedicated to empowering the nation’s physicians to continually provide safer, higher quality, and more efficient care to patients and communities. For more than 165 years the AMA has been unwavering in its commitment to using its unique position and knowledge to shape a healthier future for America. For more information, visit


About Us

About the American Medical Association (AMA) Since 1847 the American Medical Association has had one mission: to promote the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health. Today, the core strategy used to carry out this mission is our concerted effort to help doctors help patients. We do this by uniting physicians nationwide to work on the most important professional and public health issues. In 2011 our strategic plan focuses on five areas that encompass the central elements in health system reform: Access to care Quality of care Cost of health care Prevention and wellness Payment models Vist the AMA's 2011 strategic plan at: These topics represent the major areas of emphasis in which the AMA carries out its mission in the current environment. Our proposed actions are not only directed at solving reform issues at the policy level, but also at helping physicians adapt to—and adopt—changes in a productive way. To learn more about how the AMA is moving medicine forward, read our flyer at: