New leaders take the helm at the AMA

Dr. Nelson takes over as president; Dr. Hill is the new president-elect.

By Bonnie Booth — Posted July 12, 2004

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John C. Nelson, MD, MPH, was inaugurated as the American Medical Association's 159th president at its meeting in June. Dr. Nelson is a Salt Lake City obstetrician-gynecologist.

During his inaugural address, he promised to devote his year-long term to advocating for patients and championing professionalism in medicine.

He also urged physicians to join him to work to overcome the mounting challenges affecting health care. "When we work together, we wield a laser-like power," Dr. Nelson said. "We can and we must set the goals, frame the debates and rekindle the power of our profession that burns deeply in our hearts.

Dr. Nelson will still see patients on a limited basis during his term.

He is also a board member of Christmas Box House International, a shelter for battered children, and has served as a local spokesman on public health issues such as substance abuse and teen pregnancy prevention.

J. Edward Hill, MD, a Mississippi family physician, was elected president-elect. Dr. Hill will serve as president from June 2005 through June 2006. He has held various leadership positions in the AMA and in organized medicine.

William A. Hazel Jr., MD, was elected to the AMA's 21-member Board of Trustees and began his four-year term immediately.

Dr. Hazel is an orthopedic surgeon from Herndon, Va. He has been a participant in the AMA House of Delegates, its policy-setting body, since 1984. He is a graduate of Duke University School of Medicine and performed his residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Other new leaders include: Board of Trustees Chair J. James Rohack, MD, a cardiovascular disease specialist from Bryan, Texas; Chair-Elect Duane M. Cady, MD, a general surgeon from Lafayette, N.Y.; and Secretary John H. Armstrong, MD, a general surgeon from Miami.

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