Annual Meeting

Bobby Mukkamala, MD, wins office of AMA president-elect

Brendan Murphy , Senior News Writer

Bobby Mukkamala, MD, an otolaryngologist from Flint, Michigan, was voted president-elect of the AMA by physicians and medical students gathered at the 2024 AMA Annual Meeting. Following a year-long term as president-elect, Dr. Mukkamala will be inaugurated as AMA president in June 2025.

“It is a turbulent time to be a physician in this country,” said Dr. Mukkamala. “Challenges like an unsustainable Medicare payment system, excessive prior authorization, and physician burnout have put our health system in a precarious place. But the AMA is fighting these battles in Congress, in state capitals, and in our communities to achieve a better future where physicians can spend more time with their patients. I am honored to be chosen by my peers as the AMA’s president-elect and I am eager to continue fighting for better health care for all our communities.”

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Dr. Mukkamala has been active in the AMA since he was a resident physician at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. He is chair of the AMA Substance Use and Pain Care Task Force, serving as a strong voice in advocating for evidence-based policies to end the nation’s overdose epidemic.

The son of two immigrant physicians, Dr. Mukkamala was inspired to go into medicine and return to his hometown of Flint to serve the community that welcomed his family decades before. He played a central role in response to the Flint water crisis, serving as chair of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint with a focus on funding projects to mitigate the effects of lead in children. 

Bobby Mukkamala, MD
Bobby Mukkamala, MD

As an otolaryngologist, Dr. Mukkamala sees patients at all stages of life and all phases of health. He will succeed Bruce A. Scott, MD, as the second consecutive AMA president to specialize in otolaryngology. Explore why the AMA is the otolaryngologist’s powerful ally in health care.

Dr. Mukkamala is a past recipient of the AMA Foundation’s “Excellence in Medicine” Leadership Award. He was elected to the AMA Council on Science and Public Health in 2009 and chaired the council 2016– 2017, before being elected to the AMA Board of Trustees in 2017. He won reelection to the board in 2021.

He has served as a member of the Michigan State Medical Society’s board of directors since 2011, as board chair for two years, and as its president. He is also a past president of the Genesee County Medical Society and continues to serve on its board of directors.

After holding the chair for a partial term, Lisa Bohman Egbert, MD, was reelected to the role of speaker of the AMA House of Delegates (HOD). An ob-gyn from Dayton, Ohio, Dr. Egbert previously served as the HOD’s vice speaker. Dr. Egbert began her AMA service in medical school when she was selected to serve as the medical student representative on the Women in Medicine Advisory Panel. Subsequently, she was elected to the governing councils of the Resident and Fellows Section and the Young Physicians Section, serving as chair of the latter. She was also previously a member of the AMPAC board of directors and the AMA Council on Medical Service.

Dr. Egbert’s counterpart, John H. Armstrong, MD, was reelected to the vice speaker position. Dr. Armstrong is a trauma surgeon, medical educator and Army veteran from Ocala, Florida. Dr. Armstrong has been active in the leadership and policymaking process of the AMA, having been elected as the young physician trustee and serving as the AMA secretary in 2004–2005. He was a member of an AMA advisory council on planning and development, and since 1989, has participated regularly in the House of Delegates as a member of several delegations representing the voices of surgeons, physicians in training, hospital-based physicians and Army physicians.

Three physicians were elected to four-year terms on the AMA Board of Trustees. The newly elected trustees are Melissa J. Garretson, MD; Lynn Jeffers, MD, MBA; and David J. Welsh, MD, MBA.

Based in Texas, Dr. Garretson has more than 20 years of experience practicing as an emergency physician who specializes in pediatric medicine. She spent the first five years of her career in a small group pediatric practice before transitioning to pediatric emergency medicine at Cook Children’s, a local children’s hospital, a regional referral center and Level 2 Trauma Center, in Fort Worth.

Dr. Garretson has served in the House of Delegates for more than 25 years, and currently serves as the delegation chair representing the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has also lent her expertise to the work of the AMA Section Council on Emergency Medicine and the AMA Specialty and Service Society. Dr. Garretson previously served on the Board of Trustees as the medical student trustee.

“Shaping the future of medicine is a responsibility that I will take on with great care,” Dr. Garretson said. “I will work tirelessly to address the issues important to physicians, so that we can focus on what matters most—our patients.”

An active AMA member since medical school, Dr. Jeffers—a plastic surgeon from California—has served as chair of the AMA Council on Medical Services and is the former president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Jeffers has been published in peer-reviewed journals and has previously taught residents-in-training and medical students. She led her specialty society and two hospitals through the height of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“I know the power of organized medicine in moving health care forward. I’m excited to play a larger role now, working with my AMA colleagues in advocating for policies that will help our profession and patients,” Dr. Jeffers said. “I want to make sure that practices remain viable across all practice types—private practice, employed and academic—and I look forward to working as a member of the Board of Trustees to find solutions that respect different practice arrangements and needs.”

Dr. Welsh—a general surgeon in private practice in Batesville, Indiana—currently serves as chair of the AMA Council on Science and Public Health and previously chaired the AMA Organized Medical Staff Section Governing Council. He has worked on numerous legislative and policy efforts, including expanding access to mental health care and preservation of Indiana’s medical liability reforms. Dr. Welsh also is a member of the American College of Surgeons’ board of regents and the recipient of several honors. “My professional mission is to help physicians care for their patients by creating the tools needed to bring stakeholders together and improve physicians’ practice environment,” Dr. Welsh said. “Strong, motivated leadership from our AMA is critical to providing the best pathway to improve health care for our physicians and their patients.”

In addition to the three new members of the AMA Board of Trustees, two physicians—David H. Aizuss, MD, and Ilse Levin, DO, MPH & TM—were reelected to their posts on the BOT. An ophthalmologist from Los Angeles, Dr. Aizuss is a longtime leader in organized medicine; he served as chair of the board and later president of the California Medical Association. Dr. Aizuss has been at the forefront on issues such as physician scope of practice, vaccines and mental health, among others.

Dr. Aizuss is the managing partner of an eight-physician multispecialty ophthalmology group in Encino and West Hills, California. He practices full time and has served as chief of surgery, chair of quality improvement and vice chief of staff at his local hospital, as well as chair of the governing board of his ambulatory surgery center.

Dr. Levin. a Maryland-based board-certified internist and epidemiologist, has served on three separate delegations within the AMA House of Delegates. A past member of the AMA Council on Science and Public Health, Dr. Levin has represented the AMA to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Advisory Council for the Elimination of Tuberculosis. Dr. Levin was elected to the board of directors of the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare in 2011, where she served as a member of the executive committee, as vice chair of the education committee, and as chair of the Certified Correctional Health Professional–Physician Task Force.

Also in 2011, she was also elected to the board of directors of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, where she was the president of The Forum for Medical Affairs and served on the finance committee and the legislative action committee. The AMA Foundation also recognized Dr. Levin with a leadership award for her advocacy work.

Candidates also were elected to open positions on these AMA councils:

Read about the other highlights from the 2024 AMA Annual Meeting.