Leadership

Christopher Clifford, MD: Looking out for those who need help

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The AMA "Members Move Medicine" series profiles a wide variety of doctors, offering a glimpse into the passions of women and men navigating new courses in American medicine.

On the move with: Christopher Clifford who served as the AMA’s Government Relations Advocacy Fellow and is a member of the 2018 graduating class of the University of Reno Nevada School of Medicine. He will be entering residency training in emergency medicine.

AMA member since: 2013.

What inspired me to pursue a career in medicine: In my undergrad, I had the opportunity to volunteer for a free health clinic that took care of indigent patient populations. Seeing the need for health care in this population and observing how even a single physician can make a substantial difference inspired me to pursue medicine.

How I move medicine: By staying involved in local and national decision-making. There are a lot of people in government who make decisions about health care, but very few have the background of actually working with patients and their day-to-day struggles. I hope to be a strong patient advocate in these debates by sharing their real-life experiences.

Career highlights: Working to develop a new office in Nevada’s health department known as the Office of Minority Health and Equity. Having a minority health office in your state is a staple for indigent communities and we have lacked this resource for a while. By developing this office, I believe I am advocating for some of the most vulnerable patient populations in my state.

Advice I’d give to those interested in pursuing a career in medicine: Keep your mind open as you progress, and be open to new experiences. I never had any health care advocacy experience until medical school. However, once I obtained that first experience, I instantly knew this was going to be a strong passion of mine.

Aspect of my work that means the most: The opportunity to make a significant difference in people’s lives. The trust and connection you establish with people is rare outside of health care. The physician-patient relationship is one of the most important and sacred aspects of medicine and is something that should be protected.

Learn more about AMA members who are relentlessly moving medicine through advocacy, education, patient care and practice innovation, and join or renew today.