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AMA Inaugurates Peter W. Carmel As President

For immediate release:
June 21, 2011

CHICAGO – Peter W. Carmel, M.D., a pediatric neurosurgeon practicing in Newark, N.J., was inaugurated today as the 166th president of the American Medical Association (AMA), the nation’s largest and most influential physician organization.

In his inaugural address as AMA president, Dr. Carmel spoke to the nation’s physicians about his lifelong love of the profession of medicine.

“My heroes have always been doctors,” said Dr. Carmel. “I can’t recall a day in my life when I did not admire doctors, did not want to be a doctor, nor doubted I would one day become a doctor.”

He also pledged the AMA would continue to support physicians and fight for improvements in health reform as it continues to evolve.

“The AMA is the trusted advisor that America’s physicians need to help them navigate health reform and the overwhelming changes occurring in medicine,” said Dr. Carmel. “Physicians can count on the AMA to use the powerful voice of our profession to help Congress get health reform right.”

Dr. Carmel has served on the AMA Board of Trustees since 2002 and has a distinguished record of service and leadership in organized medicine. He served on the Council on Long Range Planning and Development and chaired this influential advisory committee from 2006 to 2007. Dr. Carmel served as president of the AMA Foundation and is on the Foundation Board.

Dr. Carmel has served in numerous positions in both the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). For 17 years, Dr. Carmel was a CNS representative in the House of Delegates, the AMA’s primary policy-making body. He received the AANS Distinguished Service Award 2008.

A committed researcher and advocate for neurological research, Dr. Carmel served as chairman of the National Coalition for Research in Neurological Disease and Stroke, and subsequently as chair of the National Foundation for Brain Research.  In this capacity he helped launch the Decade of the Brain initiative.  This initiative raised millions of dollars in new research money for neurological diseases and stroke.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Dr. Carmel completed his medical training at the New York University School of Medicine and was research associate at the National Institutes of Health. He completed his residency in neurosurgery at the Neurological Institute of New York. He obtained his doctorate in neuroanatomy from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S). Dr. Carmel was on the faculty at P&S for 27 years and was the founding chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery and a professor of neurological surgery. 

In 1994 Dr. Carmel moved to the New Jersey Medical School, where he is currently chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery and co-medical director of the Neurological Institute of New Jersey.  He currently operates at the University Hospital in Newark, N.J. and is the first neurosurgeon to be elected AMA president and the second physician from New Jersey to hold the office.

Dr. Carmel and his wife, Jacqueline Bello, M.D., a neuroradiologist, live in Manhattan, N.Y.  Dr. Carmel has three sons.

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Media contact:

Robert J. Mills
American Medical Association