ASRM Joins CMSS in Calling for Safer Working Conditions for Healthcare Workers on the Frontlines of COVID-19 Patient Care

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has put its support behind a statement, released by the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) representing more than 800,000 physicians across 45 specialties, strongly urging action to ensure safer working conditions for physicians, other clinicians, and all healthcare workers on the frontline of direct patient care in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

CMSS and its member societies, including ASRM, believe that adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) should be a fundamental expectation for all physicians and other clinicians: 

  1. Federal, state and local authorities are urged to ensure an adequate supply and distribution of PPE for every clinician in the United States. Physicians and other clinicians can and should expect their institutions to provide appropriate means to limit occupational exposure.
  2. Physicians and other clinicians should be allowed to bring their own PPE to protect themselves, colleagues, and patients when these items are in short supply at their healthcare systems. CMSS applauds the updated guidance from The Joint Commission that allows use of private PPE.
  3. The United States needs a simple, uniform mechanism for all healthcare facilities to report their PPE needs and other medical supply needs to help guide optimal distribution of supplies across the country.
  4. Physicians and other clinicians should not be at risk of having their employment terminated, or be otherwise disciplined, for speaking out, within their health care systems or publicly, on conditions and practices related to care of COVID-19 patients (including lack of PPE) that the physician and other clinician has direct knowledge of and deems to be in conflict with the health and safety of patients, themselves, and others involved in providing care to patients. 
  5. Supports the American Medical Association (AMA) statement that “no employer should restrict physicians’ freedom to advocate for the best interest of their patients.” Physicians and other clinicians may appropriately decide that going public (including to the news media and on social media) with their concerns is necessary to achieve needed change for the health and safety of patients and clinicians, both within the healthcare facility and more broadly.
“We are pleased to support this statement and grateful to CMSS for spearheading this effort to amplify the need to protect our healthcare providers by maximizing availability and distribution of PPE and ensuring physicians have the freedom to advocate for their patients’ interests. ASRM’s role as a leader in the global reproductive health community is something we take quite seriously, and we look forward to continued collaboration with our world-wide partners to convey these and related messages,” stated ASRM CEO Ricardo Azziz, MD. 

For almost a century, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has been the global leader in multidisciplinary reproductive medicine research, ethical practice, and education. ASRM impacts reproductive care and science worldwide by creating funding opportunities for advancing reproduction research and discovery, by providing evidence-based education and public health information, and by advocating for reproductive health care professionals and the patients they serve. With members in more than 100 countries, the Society is headquartered in Washington, DC, with additional operations in Birmingham, AL.

For more information on these press releases, contact: 

J. Benjamin Younger Office of Public Affairs 
409 12th Street SW, Suite 602 
Washington, DC 20024-2188
Tel: (202) 863-2494


Sean Tipton
Ph: 202-863-2494 or 202-421-5112 (mobile)

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