Hunter Pattison, MD: An advocate for local, national peers


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: Hunter M. Pattison, MD, an emergency medicine resident at UC Davis Health in Sacramento, California.

AMA member since: 2013.

What inspired me to pursue a career in medicine: Growing up with a special needs sibling, I saw the impact that a physician can have—not just on their patients but their communities at large. Between my love of science and desire to help others, I knew from an early age that a career in medicine was meant for me.

How I move medicine: By serving as an physician advocate for my peers, community and state, as well as day-to-day on shift in the emergency department advocating for my patients and connecting them with the resources they need to improve their own health and wellness.

Career highlights: My involvement with organized medicine is really one of the highlights of my career. It’s allowed me to gain a better understanding of how medicine operates and integrates with other professions, and it has also allowed me to grow as a leader on both a local and national level.

One of the most important positions I held was one of my first—being the AMA chapter president of my medical school, the University of Florida—and working to help advocate for my peers and patients, and get others excited about health policy and advocacy.

From there, the rest is history—serving on a statewide scale as chair of the Florida Medical Association Medical Student Section, then nationally as speaker of the AMA Medical Student Section, and now member-at-large of the AMA Resident and Fellow Section.

I was extremely honored to have received the AMA Foundation Excellence in Medicine Award (2016), as well as the American College of Emergency Physicians’ National Outstanding Medical Student Award (2017), and to join the inspiring group of student and physician leaders who have been prior recipients of those awards.

Advice I’d give to those interested in pursuing a career in medicine: Take the time to explore all facets of the health care field. Shadow a physician, nurse and physician assistant, volunteer with a local clinic, and try and get as much exposure as you can.

There is so much about medicine that I am still learning even as I navigate through residency. The more knowledge and awareness you can have about health care, the stronger of a provider and advocate for your patients you can be.

How I give back to the community: I try and have a role in all facets of the communities I consider myself a part of—on my hospital’s resident community, as a delegate for my county medical society, within my own specialty society, and on a national level as well. It can be very easy to sit back and be frustrated with different facets of the health care system, but the only real way to change things for the better is by taking an active role and being a voice for those who may not be able to advocate for themselves.

Aspect of my work that means the most: Having the ability to make a difference in patient’s life within minutes of seeing them is one of the most important aspects to my work. The emergency department can be a busy and stressful place sometimes, but it’s important to remember that patients are coming to you at their most critical time of need. And as an emergency medicine physician, you have the ability to truly make a difference in their lives.

My hope for the future of medicine: That we will not only improve upon the ways we deliver medicine to our patients, but also continue to have one of the strongest voices in health care and in making health policy—and can work with all of the leaders in our amazing field to improve our health system and keep moving forward.

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