Although Susan Rudd Bailey, MD’s installation as the new American Medical Association president Sunday earned most of the attention, four other Texas physicians earned leadership positions during the virtual 2020 annual meeting of the AMA House of Delegates.
As expected, Russell W.H. Kridel, MD, a facial plastic surgeon from Houston, is the new chair of the AMA Board of Trustees. Dr. Kridel, a board member since 2014 and chair-elect of the board last year, said he looks forward to working with Dr. Bailey at the top of the AMA leadership team.
“Sue and I grew up in the Texas Medical Association; we know what’s important to Texas physicians, especially as it relates to practice viability,” he said. “The pandemic has made heroes of physicians on the front lines, but it’s also put their practices at tremendous risk. We have to protect physicians and their practices so we can continue to provide the good care we do to our patients.”
Dr. Kridel said his to-do list includes making sure physicians have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and financial support to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic; better payment to cover care for patients who have lost job-based insurance; and decreased paperwork and prior authorization demands from commercial insurers.
Also as expected, Lubbock pulmonologist Cynthia A. Jumper, MD, was unopposed in her bid for reelection to the AMA Council on Medical Service.
“I want to thank the house and the state of Texas for having the confidence in my abilities to serve another four years on the council,” said Dr. Jumper, who also serves on the TMA Board of Trustees. “You each will have my promise to work hard and tirelessly to represent the very fluid field of medical education while living the values of the AMA.”
And two North Texans now have seats on the prestigious AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. Dallas OB/Gyn Monique A. Spillman, MD, was elected by her colleagues on the council to serve as the new chair. Meanwhile, Dr. Bailey appointed fellow Fort Worthian Larry Reaves, MD, to a seven-year term on the council.
The council maintains and updates the 169-year-old AMA Code of Medical Ethics, and it promotes adherence to the code’s professional ethical standards.
One Texas physician fell short in his bid to move up the AMA leadership chain. Tyler anesthesiologist Asa Lockhart, MD, did not prevail among a crowded field running for a seat on the AMA board. Dr. Lockhart will continue to serve on the AMA Council on Medical Service.