Leadership

Update your picture of the AMA

When you close your eyes and picture the AMA, what do you see? Everyone carries a mental image of the AMA, but I’d venture that the picture you have is outdated. We’re keeping pace with—and in many ways, leading—major changes in health care. Here are some things you need to know to update your picture of the AMA.

First, check out a photo of the AMA Board of Trustees. As the AMA’s first Asian-American president, I’m proud to say the 2014-2015 board is the association’s most diverse.

Out of 21 members, eight are women, including AMA Board Chair Barbara L. McAneny, MD, from whom you hear each month via the AMA Viewpoints. The board also is probably a bit younger than you may have thought. President-elect Steven J. Stack, MD, will be the youngest AMA president in 150 years.  And our young physician member, Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, is the first openly gay member on the board.

Members of the AMA Board of Trustees live all across the country, practice in a wide variety of settings and specialties, and represent every stage of the profession—from medical student to late-career physician. We are privileged to lead our AMA. We reflect you, and we make sure your experiences, challenges, frustrations and successes are heard.

As you are updating your mental image of the AMA, consider the many exciting things we’re accomplishing through our three strategic focus areas.

We’ve taken the three most pressing issues for physicians of today and tomorrow—training future doctors, improving health outcomes for our patients with chronic diseases, and ensuring professional satisfaction and practice sustainability—and built the future of the association around the progress we’re making in these areas.

These focus areas resonate with people. Every physician is touched by at least one of these initiatives. People who still think of the AMA as it was years ago frequently say to me after hearing about the AMA’s latest work, “You’re right. It’s time to rethink what I know about the AMA.”

So take a “selfie” with your AMA. Throw out what you think you know, and take a closer look at what we’re working on today.