Willie Underwood III, MD, MSc, MPH, is a board-certified urologist with more than 20 years of overall urologic surgery experience, including more than 10 years focused on robotic urologic surgery. He was elected to the American Medical Association Board of Trustees in June 2019 and chair in June 2023.
An expert in health care disparities and health care policy, Dr. Underwood has served on several national and regional health care policy committees, including as a board member of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western and Northeastern New York and the Board of Commissioners of the Joint Commission.
He has also served as a board member and medical advisor to the Love Canal Medical Fund Inc., as a past president of the Erie County Medical Society of New York, as a member of the AMA and National Medical Association Commission to End Health Care Disparities, and as a member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Urology Residency Review Committee. Dr. Underwood has also chaired the AMA Council on Legislation, the Erie County Medical Society Legislative Affairs Committee, and the Medical Society of the State of New York Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Committee.
Raised in Gary, Ind., Dr. Underwood earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Morehouse College, and his Doctor of Medicine and Master of Science in anatomy and cellular biology degrees from the State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, N.Y. He received his general surgery and urologic surgery training at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Conn.
After his residency, he became the fifth urologist admitted into the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, which he completed in 2002 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. While in Ann Arbor, he also earned a Master of Public Health degree in health management and policy from University of Michigan, School of Public Health in 2004.
In addition to co-authoring more than 120 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and published abstracts, he has received millions in research funding from the National Institute of Health and holds patents in the U.S. and Japan for co-developing a biomarker for prostate cancer. He is the co-founder of KAPS Biotechnology LLC, which is currently conducting a larger validation study of its new and novel prostate cancer biomarker.
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