CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA), the nation’s largest physician organization, today announced the election of Texas-based pediatrician Melissa J. Garretson, M.D., to its Board of Trustees.

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.

“It is an honor to be elected to represent my colleagues on the AMA Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Garretson. “Shaping the future of medicine is a responsibility that I will take on with great care. I will work tirelessly to address the issues important to physicians, so that we can focus on what matters most—our patients.”

Dr. Garretson has served in the AMA House of Delegates, the AMA’s policy-making body, for more than 25 years, and currently serves as the delegation chair representing the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has also leant her expertise to the work of the AMA’s Section Council on Emergency Medicine and the AMA’s Specialty and Service Society.

Dr. Garretson previously served on the AMA Board of Trustees as the medical student trustee. She was also vice speaker of the AMA’s Medical Student Section, a delegate to the Resident and Fellow Section, and served on the Young Physicians Section Governing Council as delegate to the House of Delegates.

In addition to roles with the AMA, Dr. Garretson served as the first resident member of the North Carolina Medical Society’s political action committee board and was chair of the resident and fellow section. She joined the Tarrant County Medical Society and the Texas Medical Association (TMA) upon relocating to Texas. After entering practice in Texas, she served as county medical society president, advanced public health through private partnerships as chair of the TMA Council on Health Promotion and represented her district on the TMA political action committee board.

Dr. Garretson received her undergraduate degree in biology and history with a minor in chemistry from Texas Christian University and graduated with honors as a Chancellor’s Scholar. She received her medical degree from Mayo Medical School, now the Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas.

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The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.