AMA to lay off 100 employees

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The American Medical Association (AMA) is reducing its 2009 operating budget to offset declining revenues amid the ongoing economic downturn, and will eliminate selected open and 100 existing staff positions in its Chicago and Washington, D.C. offices.

"This is a tremendously difficult decision for the AMA," said Michael D. Maves, MD, AMA's CEO and executive vice president. "Associations like ours, however, are not immune to the economic realities that many other companies are facing."

The reduction will be effective May 4.

The AMA did not disclose specific areas where revenue shortfalls exist. However, the Chicago Tribune reported that the group generates a substantial amount of revenue from its publishing operations that have been hit hard from the loss of advertising revenue, particularly from print publications. The AMA, which represents about a 250,000 physicians across the country, has seen a decline in dues-paying members in recent years, according to the Tribune.

"Appropriately aligning our revenues and expenses provides us with an opportunity to sharpen our focus and ensure we have the financial resources to get the job done," Maves said.