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AMA elects three incumbents, two newcomers to board


By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: June 11, 2014 - 1:45 pm ET
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Members of the American Medical Association's House of Delegates re-elected three incumbent trustees and two newcomers Tuesday to fill five seats on the AMA's 20-person board.

The successful candidates were Dr. Russ Kridel, a facial plastic surgeon from Houston; incumbent Dr. Barbara McAneny, an oncologist/hematologist from Albuquerque; incumbent Dr. Stephen Permut, a family physician from Wilmington, Del.; Dr. Jack Resneck Jr., a dermatologist from San Francisco; and incumbent Dr. Carl Sirio, an internist and critical-care physician from Pittsburgh.

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The eight candidates introduced themselves with short campaign speeches during the meeting's opening session on Saturday.

Kridel is chairman of the AMA Council on Science and Public Health and past president of the 11,000-member Harris County (Texas) Medical Society.

In his speech, Kridel promised to stand up to the government and the “insurance cartel” to insure that young physicians will be able to practice with some autonomy and career choices in the years ahead.

McAneny said Saturday that physicians are frustrated with the growing “hassle factor” and having to fulfill different quality requirements for every payer.

“I know what it means to physicians to feel like a data entry clerk,” McAneny said, adding that she also knows what it feels like to hold the hand of a frightened patient.

“I have a head for business, but my heart is for medicine,” she said.

Permut began his campaign speech on Saturday by acknowledging his lack of height.

“I hope that you remember me as the small guy from the small state with big ideas,” Permut said on Saturday.

Permut, who is also a lawyer, is one of the seven AMA appointees on the Joint Commission's board. He pledged to continue to work toward reversing the Joint Commission policy allowing nurse-led practices to be certified primary-care medical homes. He also promised to work toward eliminating Medicare's sustainable growth-rate physician pay formula and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act-created Independent Payment Advisory Board.

“They simply must go,” he said.

Resneck noted that his father was a physician and that he wants to “revitalize medicine” so his two children will want to enter the profession. The former chairman of the AMA Council on Legislation and former government affairs chairman of the American Academy of Dermatology, Resneck issued a call for unity saying the AMA “must rise above” divisiveness.

A professor of medicine at the University of Toledo, Sirio is a co-founder of the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, a pioneering local collaborative working to improve quality and patient safety.

“We're on the right track,” Sirio said Saturday in a speech made difficult by laryngitis. “We're respected and effective in Washington.”

The AMA, a 228,000-member, Chicago-based organization, does not publicly disclose the vote count for each candidate or the order in which they finished.

Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks


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