The AMA Delegation to the World Medical Association plays a major role in proposing and authoring global policy on many important issues. As the predominant U.S. medical association, the AMA is the only national medical association eligible for membership in the WMA.   

Three AMA presidents at the WMA General Assembly
AMA Delegation at the WMA General Assembly meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia, 2019 (Barbara L. McAneny, MD, Patrice A. Harris, MD, MA and Susan R. Bailey, MD)

Founded in 1947, the WMA is a non-governmental, not-for-profit voluntary organization representing 9 million physicians from 114 national medical associations. Since its founding, the WMA’s scope of agenda has expanded to include social, public health and medical practice concerns.

The AMA’s longstanding WMA membership creates a beneficial synergy and strong working relationship between the two organizations.  

The AMA sends a delegation (consisting of the three AMA presidents) to the WMA to propose, debate, and adopt WMA policies and an advocacy agenda on global health issues.  

Several AMA delegates have been elected by WMA members to high-level leadership positions within the WMA, including WMA president and council chair. 

Dr. David Barbe
David Barbe, MD

Our three presidents—immediate past president Susan R. Bailey, MD, president Gerald E. Harmon, MD, and president-elect Jack Resneck Jr., MD, represented the AMA at the recent virtual General Assembly meeting.

David O. Barbe, MD, MHA, became the immediate past president of the WMA, having completed his one-year term as president.


David O. Barbe, MD, MHA, in his role as WMA's president, attended a vaccination summit at the Vatican organized by the WMA, the Pontifical Academy for Life and the German Medical Association. The goals of the summit were to ensure equitable global access to vaccines, which is a key prerequisite for a successful global vaccination campaign, to confront vaccine hesitancy by sending a clear message about the safety and necessity of vaccines, and to counteract vaccine myths and disinformation.

David O. Barbe, MD, MHA, with the Pope

WMA policies contribute to an international policy database that influences global health policy. The AMA’s large and well-developed policy base serves as a starting point for many of the WMA’s policies, both ethical and social. Explore WMA policies or learn how to join as an associate member.

Recent AMA-led policies at the WMA include:

  • Augmented intelligence

  • Hypertension and cardiovascular disease

Learn more about the AMA’s international activities under the direction of the AMA Office of International Relations.

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