Among the leadership changes that marked the annual American Medical Association House of Delegates meeting held June 13-17 in Chicago were the selection of Winter Park, Fla., internist Cecil Wilson, M.D., as president-elect and the inauguration of its new president, J. James Rohack, M.D., who replaced Nancy Nielsen, M.D.
In his inaugural address, Rohack, a senior staff cardiologist at Scott & White Clinic in Temple, Texas, noted that 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwins birth and referenced that in speaking to the evolution of the medical profession and the AMA.
He noted how the AMA once allowed membership discrimination against African-Americans, women and other groups, and now this is no longer tolerated. And though medicine is becoming increasingly fragmented and specialized, he said the profession must act together for the sake of patients.
When survival is threatened, those who change survive, Rohack said. The evolutionary gain is not always to the swift, the strongest or most intelligentbut to the most adaptable. If we as physicians scatter among the banners of specialtyand fragment ourselves among organ, gender, age, limb, diagnostic and therapeutic components of being a physicianwe forget the lessons that being human mean.
Other changes included the election of Mountain Grove, Mo., family physician David Barbe, M.D., to the AMA board of trustees. Current board members Ardis Hoven, M.D., an infectious-disease specialist in Lexington, Ky., and Robert Wah, M.D., an OB/GYN and reproductive endocrinologist in McLean, Va., were re-elected.
Delegates elected Raj Ambay, M.D., a plastic surgery resident at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, to the boards resident/fellow position. Justin Mahida, who studies at Ohio State University, was elected to the boards medical student position.