by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Published in ASRM Bulletin Volume 16, Number 27
Robert M. Wah, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist and ASRM’s first alternate delegate to the AMA House of Delegates, was sworn in as AMA president last night in Chicago.
Dr. Wah will give the President’s Guest Lecture at the ASRM Annual Meeting in Honolulu.
View Dr. Wah’s address:
Below is the text of a press release from the AMA:
Foundation of Tradition Required for Future of Change
Virginia reproductive endocrinologist and OB-GYN, Robert M. Wah, MD assumed the AMA presidency Tuesday night during a standing-room-only inaugural ceremony.
The 169th president of the AMA, and the first Asian American to hold the post, Dr. Wah emphasized in his inaugural address both the importance of tradition and the courage to embrace change.
Reflecting upon his time in the U.S. Navy, he likened the military to the practice of medicine, pointing to the way members of both professions must prepare for the unexpected while still respecting strong traditions.
“It instills a way of thinking—a willingness to act—and the ability to perform as a team,” Dr. Wah told the assembly. “That makes overcoming the unexpected possible.”
He also highlighted the dichotomy between tradition and innovation in new technologies, sharing lessons he’s learned as chief medical officer for the Computer Science Corporation and as the first national deputy coordinator for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
“Where health information technology, cloud computing and cyber-security intersects, we’ll find our patients,” Dr. Wah said. “While it sounds like science fiction, it’s really just an ancient tradition—respecting the doctor-patient relationship and keeping it in confidence—while tapping new technology as yet another tool to help us take better care of our patients.”
He called on physicians to embrace change, survive and thrive in order to build more traditions and continue growing the AMA’s strength, citing the association’s current and future work as ways to achieve that growth.
Physicians can make change in such areas as fighting the nation’s chronic disease epidemic, improving medical education to better prepare the next generation of physicians and creating a more satisfying and sustainable practice environment for physicians, Dr. Wah said.
“Our goals are ambitious but obtainable,” Dr. Wah said. “Moreover, meeting them is crucial if we’re to shape a better future and not have it shaped for us. ... I’m energized and inspired by the hopes and dreams of what more we can do for our patients, for our communities and for this country.”
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