Dr. Jeremy Lazarus, a Denver psychiatrist, was chosen president-elect of the American Medical Association during opening day proceedings at the 160th annual meeting of the AMA House of Delegates in Chicago.
AMA chooses Lazarus as president-elect
Lazarus, who has served as speaker of the House of Delegates since 2007, ran unopposed and was elected “via acclamation” after no other nominations were brought to the floor. The nomination for Lazarus was brought forward by his daughter-in-law, Dr. Melissa Lazarus, a dermatologist from Bay Harbor, Fla.; and by his son, Dr. Ethan Lazarus, a Denver family physician, who opened his remarks by saying “I went to medical school to be like my dad.”
Lazarus said he didn't want to give a long speech and instead played a snippet of the song “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds which features words from the book of Ecclesiastes put to music by folk musician Pete Seeger. He followed by saying that the AMA will have to fight for its patients and fight for its profession, but that there should also be some time for building and maybe even some “laughing and dancing.”
Known as avid marathon runner and triathlete, Lazarus has said in the past that he worked his way through school as a choir director and said that experience has helped served him well running the annual meeting.
His partner in running the meeting for the last four years, Vice Speaker Dr. Andrew Gurman, was also elected speaker via acclimation after no other candidates were nominated. He is an orthopedic hand surgeon practicing in Altoona, Pa. Gurman and Lazarus are credited with keeping the meetings running smoothly even through turbulent debate.
Contested elections are being held Tuesday, which include two candidates vying for Gurman's vice speaker seat: Dr. Susan Rudd Bailey, an allergy and immunology specialist and former president of the Texas Medical Association; and Dr. David Hannan, a family physician and former president of the Medical Society of New York.
Six candidates are running for the four open seats on the Board of Trustees also gave speeches on Saturday.
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