viernes, 20 de diciembre de 2013

MHS News > Military Doctor Leads American Medical Association

MHS News > Military Doctor Leads American Medical Association Home
Military Doctor Leads American Medical Association
Yolanda R. Arrington  |
December 19, 2013
AMA President Dr. Robert Wah
American Medical Association President Dr. Robert Wah
“As long as we’re going to stand out, we should try to be outstanding.”

Those memorable words are from Dr. Robert Wah’s Chinese immigrant father. Wah recently became the first American Medical Association president in modern times with an extensive military career. He’s also the group’s first Chinese-American president. Wah never forgot his father’s message. It fueled his drive to become a doctor and be the best. Wah works as a reproductive endocrinologist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He was elected AMA president in June and takes the helm in January for a yearlong term.  

Wah is leading the AMA during what he described as “very exciting and challenging times.” His road to the presidency includes serving as national chairman of the young physicians’ section of the AMA, running the organization’s long-range planning council and chairing its board of trustees. Wah said his journey to becoming president included a selection process of nearly 30 interviews with hundreds of AMA delegates around the country. The candidates for president also “had a one-hour debate in front of about two thousand people,” Wah said. He took advantage of social media to reach younger physicians. “I had some of my younger supporters – the medical students – who were very helpful in generating a lot of the social media around the campaign. I think I attracted some of that younger constituency, as well, because I’m a younger candidate.” 

Wah said his more than two decades as a military physician in the Navy Medical Corps will help him in his new role. “The military gave me the opportunity to have an impact on a large scope and scale. … I’ve learned to navigate large organizations.” During the debate, Wah told his colleagues that being in the military had placed him in a number of leadership roles that were on the “firing line.” Military doctors run towards the problem and are the first to respond when someone says, “Is there a doctor in the house?” Wah said. He’s had to face admirals, generals and congressmen in his military career which, Wah believes, was good preparation for being the lead spokesperson for the AMA. 

Wah said his military resume will help him in his new job. “Military doctors are some of the best in the world. We provide world-class care for our patients. Clearly, I believe it’s some of the best training in medicine today.”
AMA members can expect Wah to advance the organization’s three new focus areas: health outcomes, medical education and the dual area of physician satisfaction and practice sustainability. Wah’s work in military medicine won’t change despite his new position. Patients at Walter Reed will still see him around the hospital. “I’ve worked part time at Walter Reed since 2001, and I plan to continue that during my term. One of the most rewarding activities I have is the privilege to be able to take care of patients at Walter Reed and to continue teaching. It’s a great academic environment.”

Photo courtesy of Dr. Robert Wah.

No hay comentarios: