For the first time in history, a black woman is leading the country’s largest collective of physicians and medical students.
According to Atlanta Daily World, Patrice A. Harris, M.D., M.A. was sworn in as president of the American Medical Association. She successfully worked her way up the ranks after previously serving as an AMA board secretary and AMA board chair.
During her inauguration in Chicago on Tuesday, Dr. Harris shared her plans for tackling the health disparities that plague minority communities.
“We face big challenges in health care today, and the decisions we make now will move us forward in a future we help create,” she said in a statement, according to Atlanta Daily World. “We are no longer at a place where we can tolerate the disparities that plague communities of color, women, and the LGBTQ community. But we are not yet at a place where health equity is achieved e in those communities. I hope to be tangible evidence for young girls and young boys and girls from communities of color that you can aspire to be a physician. Not only that, you can aspire to be a leader in organized medicine.”
She reportedly will focus her tenure on the AMA’s three strategic arcs: attacking the dysfunction in health care by removing obstacles and burdens that interfere with patient care; driving the future of medicine by re-imagining medical education, training and lifelong learning, and by promoting innovation to tackle the biggest challenges in health care; and leading the charge to confront the chronic disease crisis and improve the health of the nation, according to the Atlanta Daily World.
Dr. Harris medical background includes working as the chief health officer of Fulton County, Georgia and as an adjunct assistant professor in the Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and an adjunct clinical assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine.
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