In 1846, and for more than 100 years after that, the American Medical Association as a nationwide organization for all physicians was a powerful idea whose time had come. It worked well for many things and OK for many more.
Then, in the 1970s, 80s, 90s, it came apart and now has the least representation of actual members of a widely diverse base than ever and shows few signs of recuperation. Recently, I advocated that ALL American physicians should become members of the AMA for their entire time in medicine.
Responses, both published and unpublished, were vigorous.
The divide between physicians who think that the AMA should fight for them and those who think that the AMA should fight for the health of the people seems too large to bridge in 2012.