P. John Seward, M.D., a family physician from Rockford, Ill., has taken the reins as top executive at the American Medical Association.
Seward, 56, was named by the board as executive vice president after James S. Todd, M.D., announced last spring his intention to retire.
"Dr. Seward is a born leader who possesses enormous strengths as a consensus-builder and has a strong record in shaping the direction of national health policy," said AMA board Chairwoman Nancy W. Dickey, M.D.
Seward was board chairman from June 1994 until December 1995, when he resigned after the board selected him to succeed Todd.
Todd, who became executive vice president in 1990, will perform unspecified duties for the AMA until he officially retires at the end of July.