Darrell Kirch, M.D., dean of Penn State College of Medicine and senior vice president for health affairs at Pennsylvania State University, will be the new president of the Washington-based Association of American Medical Colleges, succeeding Jordan Cohen, M.D. Kirch, who also serves as chief executive officer of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, is the current chairman-elect of the AAMC, a not-for-profit association that represents all 125 accredited U.S. medical schools, and has served on the organization's executive council since 2001. Kirch, 56, who takes over as president on July 1, said, "The next few years promise to be a transformative time for medical education and research, the practice of medicine and our nation's healthcare system. I look forward to working with all the AAMC constituents to shape our future course." Cohen, who has been the AAMC's top executive since March 1994, will step down in June as only the third full-time president in the organization's history. Kirch, a psychiatrist, is a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he also completed his residency training.
Meantime, the American Medical Group Association, the Alexandria, Va.-based organization that represents major medical groups across the U.S., announced that Francis Crosson, M.D., executive director of the Permanente Federation, will serve for the next year as board chairman. Crosson, who takes over the post in January, heads the national organization that oversees some of the business operations of Permanente's eight medical groups.