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Match Day 2017 Successful for Alabama’s Medical Students

Match Day 2017 Successful for Alabama’s Medical Students

MOBILE — The excitement was thick in the ballroom of the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center on in March for Match Day. What is perhaps the most important day for each graduating medical school student can also be the most stressful. This day serves as a focus of celebration for medical schools and students nationwide – the day medical students learn the locations of the residency programs in which they will continue the next phase of their medical training.

Match Day is the result of medical students nationwide interviewing with different residency programs and ranking their top-choice programs in order of preference with the training programs doing the same. The National Residency Matching Program uses a mathematical algorithm to designate each applicant to a residency program.

Each student receives their sealed match letter at promptly 10:45 a.m. (CT). At 11 a.m., the students rip open their letters to learn the location of their residency program. It is truly a day of well-earned pageantry.

“Match Day is the most important day in a medical student’s career,” said Dr. Susan LeDoux, associate dean of medical education and student affairs at the University of South Alabama. “They work so hard to get into the specialty they like, and once they are in that specialty they continue to work hard throughout their training.”

According to USA, of the 70 College of Medicine seniors, 22 students went to Alabama medical institutions, including 12 who will do their residencies at USA hospitals. Forty-eight others, or 69 percent, drew out-of-state residencies in a total of 22 other states.

The University of Alabama-Birmingham also had impressive results. UAB’s match rate was 98 percent, or 173 students, from its School of Medicine seniors. Its students matched in 75 institutions in 29 states.

The inaugural class of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dothan experienced its first Match Day this year with outstanding results as well. ACOM students achieved positions in 15 disciplines, 97 unique institutions/programs, and 29 states.

According to NRMP, the 2017 Match Day was the largest on record with 35,969 U.S. and international students and graduates vying for 31,757 positions – the most ever offered during a match.

“The number of U.S. allopathic seniors who submitted program choices is an all-time high. The number of students/graduates of osteopathic medical schools who submitted program choices, as well as their match rate, are all-time highs,” said Mona M. Signer, NRMP president and CEO. “It’s also a good sign for primary care.”

National Match by the Numbers

  • Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and Pediatrics added a combined 2,900 positions, a 25.8 percent increase
  • Emergency Medicine offered 2,047 first-year positions, 152 more than in 2016, and filled all but six
  • Psychiatry offered 1,495 first-year positions, 111 more than in 2016, and filled all but four
  • Specialties with more than 30 positions that achieved the highest percentages of positions filled by U.S. allopathic seniors, were Integrated Plastic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery and Otolaryngology
  • Applicants who did not match participated in the NRMP Match Week Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program®. This year, 1,177 of the 1,279 unfilled positions were offered during SOAP.

*Special thanks to University of South Alabama College of Medicine, University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine and the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dothan for participating in this article. Photo courtesy of Bill Starling, photographer with USA.

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Haleyville Physician Installed as President for 2017-2018

Haleyville Physician Installed as President for 2017-2018

MONTGOMERY – Boyde Jerome “Jerry” Harrison, a family practitioner from Haleyville, was formally installed as president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama during the 2017 Inauguration, Awards Presentation and 50-Year Physician Recognition Dinner last month.

“From the time I was a boy, my mother wanted me to get an education, so she pushed me towards one,” Dr. Harrison told the crowd of banquet attendees. “Patience, persistence, perspiration, stubbornness…these are a good combination for success. Physicians face challenges every day, and I’m excited to lead the state’s oldest professional medical organization as we navigate these challenges to fight for better health care for our citizens and fewer mandates for our physicians.”

Dr. Harrison is a graduate of the University of Alabama Birmingham School of Medicine and did his internship and residency at Georgia Baptist Medical Center. He’s been in family practice in Haleyville since 1981, and has been very active in the community serving on numerous staff appointments with Burdick-West Memorial Medical Center, Carraway Memorial Medical Center, Lackland Community Hospital, and medical director for Haleyville Healthcare, Hendrix Healthcare and Ridgeview Healthcare, among others.

A long-time member of the American Medical Association, Dr. Harrison has served as Hospital Medical Staff Section Representative, Alternate Delegate and received the Physicians Recognition Award. He has been a member of the Medical Association and Winston County Medical Society since 1982 and has served on the Council of Medical Service, Board of Censors for 10 years before being elected chair, Counselor and Life Counselor. As a member of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, Dr. Harrison has served on the Credentials Committee and chair of the ALBME. He is a member and Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Harrison is also a member and past president of the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians and has served on the board of directors as vice president, president-elect and chair.

Dr. Harrison is also one of the architects of the Medical Association’s Opioid Prescribing Conference. This year marks the ninth year of the course, and by the end of 2017, the Association will have completed 31 courses. So far, the courses have reached almost 5,000 prescribers. Until 2013 Alabama was one of the only states offering an opioid prescribing education course when the FDA developed the blueprint for Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies for producers of controlled substances.

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Survey: U.S. Physicians Overwhelmingly Satisfied with Career Choice

Survey: U.S. Physicians Overwhelmingly Satisfied with Career Choice

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association recently announced survey findings that explore the experiences, perceptions and challenges facing physicians in the rapidly changing health care environment. The survey of 1,200 physicians, residents and medical students asked when respondents knew they would become physicians, who encouraged them down that path, what challenges they face professionally, and whether they are satisfied with their career choice.

According to the survey, nine in 10 physicians are satisfied with their career choice, despite challenges common to each career stage. Three-quarters of medical students, residents, and physicians said that helping people is a top motivator for pursuing their career and sixty-one percent of all respondents said they would encourage others to enter the field of medicine. Personal experiences as a patient, volunteer, and with family members played a role – across career stages – in realizing one’s calling to practice medicine. Additionally, 73 percent of respondents knew before they reached the age of 20 that they wanted to be physicians, and nearly a third knew before becoming a teenager.

“Physicians may be discouraged at times, but almost every single one of us remains confident in our decision to enter medicine and continues to be driven by our desire to help our patients,” said Andrew W. Gurman, M.D., AMA president. “As an organization, the AMA is constantly striving to deliver resources that empower physicians to maximize time with their patients and help them succeed at every stage of their medical lives. Understanding the challenges physicians face, as well as their motivations for continuing on, is critical to fulfilling that mission.”

Conducted in February 2017, the AMA survey found administrative burden, stress, and lack of time were among the top three challenges of respondents; however, among residents, a larger proportion indicated long hours and on-call schedule among their top challenges.

These survey findings are released as the AMA launches a comprehensive brand initiative that strives to demonstrate to physicians, residents and medical students the many ways the AMA listens, supports and empowers them to succeed throughout their unique journeys with timely and relevant resources. The brand initiative features individual stories such as:

The brand initiative will reach physicians through print, digital and social media platforms. It is intended to recognize and celebrate the core reasons that physicians choose the profession while also highlighting the broad array of initiatives and resources the AMA provides in support of physicians.

The survey included medical students (n=400), residents (n=400) and physicians (n=400) up to 10-years in practice. Additional information on the survey findings and methodology is available upon request.

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Medical Association Celebrates Second Annual Doctors’ Day in Alabama

Medical Association Celebrates Second Annual Doctors’ Day in Alabama

MONTGOMERY – On March 29, Gov. Robert Bentley signed a proclamation declaring March 30, 2017, the Second Annual Doctors’ Day in Alabama formally recognizing Alabama’s nearly 17,000 licensed physicians serving millions of residents through private practice, in hospitals, in research, and in other health care facilities.

Doctors’ Day in Alabama, a project sponsored by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama and the Alabama Department of Public Health, is held in conjunction with National Doctors’ Day to celebrate physicians of all specialties serving in our communities.

“Physicians often lead patients and families through some of life’s most challenging moments,” said Mark Jackson, executive director of the Medical Association. “We wanted to have one day to thank our physicians for the work they do each day to make the health of our residents and our state better. The practice of medicine is a special calling, and we wanted to recognize that,” he said.

Montgomery radiologist Mark LeQuire had the opportunity to explain a more about the path to becoming a physician to a Today in Alabama morning news crew.

“Most people probably don’t realize the length of training that it takes to become a doctor. After four years of college, four years of medical school, five to seven years of training after that, and then the lifelong experience of training to become a good physician. But, it can be so much more. The concept I try to use in my practice is that of a physician-priest — to heal the body and soul of our patients and our communities as well. We are involved not only in the physical health of our patients but also in the wellness and well-being of our communities. You see that a lot more now with wellness centers in our communities. It’s more about the entire person and not just a body part,” radiologist Dr. LeQuire explained to WSFA-12 on March 31 as he toured the crew through his workspace at Baptist South in Montgomery.

How Do Physicians Contribute to Alabama’s Economy?

Alabama’s physicians fulfill a vital role in the state’s economy by supporting 83,095 jobs and generating $11.2 billion in economic activity, according to a joint report by the Medical Association and the American Medical Association.Alabama’s physicians are major economic engines in their communities. Urban or rural, large group or solo practitioner, Alabama physicians can improve both patient health and the economy.

Alabama’s physicians are major economic engines in their communities. Urban or rural, large group or solo practitioner, Alabama physicians can improve both patient health and the economy.With the changing

With the changing health care environment, it is increasingly important to quantify the economic impact physicians have on our society. To provide lawmakers, regulators and policymakers with reliable information, the report measured the economic impact of Alabama’s physicians according to four key economic barometers. The overall findings in Alabama include:

  • Jobs: Each physician supports an average of 9.5 jobs, including his/her own, and contributed to a total of 83,095 jobs statewide.Output: Each physician supports an average of $1.3 million in economic output and contributed to a total of $11.2 billion in economic output statewide.
  • Output: Each physician supports an average of $1.3 million in economic output and contributed to a total of $11.2 billion in economic output statewide.Wages and Benefits: Each physician supports an average of $758,744 in total wages and benefits and contributed to a total of $6.7 billion in wages and benefits statewide.
  • Wages and Benefits: Each physician supports an average of $758,744 in total wages and benefits and contributed to a total of $6.7 billion in wages and benefits statewide.Tax Revenues: Each physician supports $46,148 in local and state tax revenues and contributes to a total of $404.9 million in local and state tax revenues statewide.
  • Tax Revenues: Each physician supports $46,148 in local and state tax revenues and contributes to a total of $404.9 million in local and state tax revenues statewide.The study found, in comparison to other industries, patient care physicians contribute as much or more to the state economy than higher education, home health care, legal services, nursing and residential care.

The study found, in comparison to other industries, patient care physicians contribute as much or more to the state economy than higher education, home health care, legal services, nursing and residential care.

Watch Dr. Mark LeQuire’s interview with WSFA-12 on March 31, 2017.

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The Changing Face of Medicine

The Changing Face of Medicine

Although women continue to break boundaries in politics, business and medicine, barriers still remain, which mean trailblazers will always be there to forge ahead.

In fact, Alabama’s first female medical trailblazer passed the Alabama State Medical Examination in 1891 catching the attention of The New York Times. Halle Tanner Dillon Johnson became not only the first woman to pass the 10-day written exam, but she was the first woman of any race to officially practice medicine in the State of Alabama. Dr. Johnson’s actions 126 years ago set the stage for female physicians in Alabama.

Today’s face of health care is changing. One would have been hard-pressed to find many women in medicine just a generation ago where now female applicants to medical schools make up about 50 percent of the total applicant pool. Nationally about one-third of American physicians are women, and with more female physicians come a few more, well…complications.

Women are wives and mothers, jobs which in their own right bring with them their own set of rules to be addressed, such as child care and maternity leave. Factor in the everyday stresses of being a physician, and it becomes complicated.

According to a 2014 study by the Association of American Medical Colleges:

  • The proportion of applicants to medical school who are women has continued to drop since it peaked in 2003-2004 at 51 percent.
  • Research indicates that many women who take part-time positions do so on account of dependent children, while most men take part-time positions due to holding other professional positions.
  • Amongst full-time faculty, the only rank at which women account for more faculty than men is at the instructor level.
  • While women residents increasingly enter specialties where they have been historically underrepresented, large gender disparities remain.
  • The top 10 specialties for women residents in 2013-14 were OB-GYN, pediatrics, family medicine, psychiatry, pathology, internal medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, anesthesiology and internal medicine subspecialties.

The long working hours and dedication to delivering a high quality of health care to their patients take its toll on female physicians who are constantly striving to balance their work and home lives. According to a study by the Mayo Clinic and published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine in
2013, this struggle for a work/life balance is felt especially by those whose life partners also work, or by female physicians, younger doctors
and physicians at academic medical centers and manifests as burnout, depression and lower levels of satisfaction about their quality of life.

Finding that balance can be difficult but still possible, according to Irene Bailey, M.D., a family physician in Tallassee. Dr. Bailey and her husband are in the process are opening a new urgent and primary care facility in Montgomery that will be open seven days a week with extended hours.

“I always say, when you work, don’t work long hours that will sacrifice your family life. Budget your time. A lot of medical students and residents feel they have to work very long hours and have no personal life to be successful. But, that’s not true,” Dr. Bailey said. “I learned this rule from my attending, and I’m still living it today: Come to work at least 15 minutes early. You’ll have time to get a cup of tea or coffee and get your paperwork started. That 15 minutes is your head start on your day so you don’t rush before you see your first patient.”

Jennifer Dollar, M.D., a pediatric anesthesiologist in Birmingham, agreed with Dr. Bailey that going the extra step to plan out your schedule, especially for female physicians with busy schedules and families, is a necessary key to success.

“When I’m in the operating room, I may not have that ability to take the time out of the day that I would like to slow down a little. You have to be pretty wise about how you plan out your day. It’s the little things like bringing your lunch and thinking about the things you need to prepare yourself with for what your day may bring. Planning ahead is very important because you’ll still get pulled in a lot of different directions. Your patients need you, your staff, your family, and if you have administrative roles outside your practice…these are all things you juggle throughout the day that pull you in different directions,” Dr. Dollar explained. “I try to map out my week. I even try to map out my month in the very beginning just so I have some kind of idea of where I’m supposed to be and when and what kind of preparation I need before I get there. Then, when I toss in what my kids need, it gets really tricky. It’s a challenge of how do we get all of these moving pieces moving in the right direction to get everything accomplished.”

Unfortunately, in creating a balance between work and home, more importantly making time for their family, can cause some cracks in a female physician’s professional world. The decision then becomes how to speak up to make the situation better.

Lee Sharma, M.D., an OB-GYN in Auburn, found herself with that decision 16 years ago after working as a partner in an all-male practice in which she was the first female partner.

“I don’t think my partners were really prepared to have a female physician, much less a working mother, in the practice because it really is a different consideration when you have a child. My husband and I were already working our call schedules so we were never on call at the same time,” Dr. Sharma said.

Dr. Sharma admitted that when she joined the practice, she never thought of having a conversation with her partners about what would happen when she and her husband decided to have a family. But, when she became pregnant and took maternity leave, she said it was something not only she and
her husband had to adjust to, but her partners as well.

“I had to explain to them that I’m not like you. I do what you do and what your wife does on a daily basis. Because of that, there’s some other things that I have to have,” Dr. Sharma said.

She worked long, crazy hours for four years trying to make the best of being a partner in her practice, being a physician to her patients, and being a wife and mother at home. But, it was an early morning page from her husband that made Dr. Sharma realize just what she was giving up.

“I was on call at the hospital and my husband paged me at about 7 a.m., and he never did that unless it was an emergency. He told me that our youngest woke up around 2 a.m. and wanted to know where I was. He told her I was at the hospital taking care of the babies. She got the phone and asked him to ‘call Mommy.’ I was heartbroken. That was it. I could not have my children miss me like that again,” Dr. Sharma said. Shortly after, she resigned her partnership and opened her own practice.

Nina Nelson-Garrett, M.D., of Montgomery, chose a very male-dominated specialty when she opted for gastroenterology, but it was her passion. Although now she said she’s beginning to see more women enter the specialty, she’s worried for the profession as a whole.

“I’m finding that physicians are leaving medicine altogether. Some of it might be because of the changes in health care. I mean I’ve seen surgeons who are retiring early because of all these mandates,” Dr. Nelson-Garrett suggested. “For women, I think it’s a question of can I can continue at this pace and in this role?”

As an African-American female physician, Dr. Nelson-Garrett has faced different challenges, which she said she has looked at as changing the image of what a physician is to her patient – one patient at a time. From having patients expecting to see a male physician to coming face-to-face with a patient who admitted upfront that he was a racist. But, Dr. Nelson-Garrett’s personal motto, “one person at a time,” has bolstered her during some trying situations.

“I’ve had quite a few instances of being overlooked, ignored and downright mistreated, but I’ve had to just push through,” Dr. Nelson-Garrett explained. “I try to look at a challenging situation as an advantage, like what can I offer in this situation. Then, I want to change the image of what a physician is to our patients. You have to do that one patient at a time.”

Dr. Nelson-Garrett said that because she’s in a specialty where most of the physicians are men, it’s not uncommon for a patient automatically assume that because of her hyphenated last name, that Nelson is her first name and Garrett her last, the patient will often expect a male physician.

“I’ve even gotten nurse,” Dr. Nelson-Garrett chuckled. “Once in medical school during morning rounds huddle where I was the only female in the group, someone thought I was housekeeping. A patient’s family member walked up to me and asked me for a mop and asked if I could help clean up a room. I was shocked! My male colleagues spoke up very quickly and asked why that family member would ask that question. We were all together, with our white coats, and it was just strange. My colleagues were very supportive, but sometimes people assume incorrectly. I think it may be our history because for so long medicine was dominated by men. Somehow it’s become ingrained in patients to expect their physicians to be men.”

For Dr. Nelson-Garrett being a female physician may have its challenges, but she said she feels some of the challenges she’s had in her career have been framed by her race as well.

“In my life, I have never been able to untwine those two unchangeable parts of me,” she explained. “Patients want to know that you care about them, that you are listening to them, and that you are going to try to do something to help them. “When I was living in Arkansas I was taking care of a young man who told me he was racist. I told him my purpose was to take care of him that day. He had fairly significant liver disease, and it took a good bit to get his health under control. When I was getting ready to leave Arkansas, he came to my office and gave me a gift that I still have on my desk. It’s a stone that reads, ‘Nothing is ever etched in stone,’ because he wanted me to come back to Arkansas. No matter who we are, we want to know that someone cares about us.”

Here in Montgomery, Dr. Nelson-Garrett is chief of staff with Baptist East, and she said she has been extremely impressed with the administration’s willingness and respectfulness to have women in leadership positions.

Although each of these physicians have had their own personal struggles in medicine, they agree on one thing in particular for women in medicine today: Speak up.

Dr. Bailey, who’s now operating in two offices, is a firm believer in the power of teamwork. However, she admits it’s very easy for a woman’s nurturing tendencies to take over in the health care system and try to do everything herself.

“Be a team player from your front desk throughout the office. Your learning experience extends to your nurses. We are a team, and we work as a team. It’s important not to hold the burden of the day on our shoulders alone. We have to rely on each other to be successful for the practice and our patients,” Dr. Bailey said.

For Dr. Dollar, who’s the immediate past president of the Alabama State Society of Anesthesiologists, she said she never felt limited as a woman in medicine or excluded from activities by her male colleagues or administrators. But she really didn’t know what she was truly missing in her career until she was introduced to organized medicine.

“You go through medical school and residency to become the best physician that you can be, and your goal is always to take the best care of your patients that you possibly can. But, what I’ve also learned through organized medicine is that it’s not enough to get up every day to take excellent care of your patients. It’s just not enough. That makes you a great physician for the people that you interact with, but your patients also need you to speak up about policy issues that are going to affect them. Your patients don’t have a way to speak up or to understand the complicated issues affecting medicine or everything that goes into practicing medicine today. You have to be an advocate for your specialty. You have to be an advocate for your patients and their excellent care. There are a whole lot of people who have an interest in health care and in medicine who don’t understand how the rules are made or who those rules affect every day,” Dr. Dollar explained.

Dr. Nelson-Garrett’s personal mantra of ‘one person at a time’ extends far beyond the treatment room. Having a voice in the legislation of medicine is just as important as the practice of medicine, and for Dr. Nelson-Garrett, she believes that voice is as much of a physician’s job as treating a patient.

“When you’re part of a group, your voice is heard much louder. With all the changes in health care, a lot of people might feel that we didn’t have a real voice in how the change was made, and that’s where all the angst has come in,” Dr. Nelson-Garrett said.

Dr. Sharma, who found her voice while trying to reconcile a difficult situation, went so far as to get her Master’s degree in conflict resolution and was one foot out of the practice of medicine when she realized that it wasn’t medicine after all that was the problem.

“I started with the AMA when I was a med student. One of the things I’m most grateful for is to be able to serve on Graduate Medical Education Advisory Committee, and I was the only one speaking for the residents in that room. They were making changes to the residency training requirements, and I was the only one speaking up for the residents. What a lot of physicians don’t realize is that if they don’t speak for or against something, nobody will. Then, you can’t be surprised or upset when legislation gets passed that has anything to do with your patients. If you didn’t speak beforehand, you’ve got no right to complain. Doctors think it’s hard to get involved, but it’s not. All you have to do is to be willing to help. Doctors may not realize all that legislation we don’t want to deal with now will pass, and you’ll have to deal with it later,” Dr. Sharma said.

Article by Lori M. Quiller, APR, Director of Communications and Social Media

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Celebrating Black History Month: Meet Alabama’s First African-American Physician

Celebrating Black History Month: Meet Alabama’s First African-American Physician

Dr. Cornelius Nathanial Dorsett was born a slave sometime between 1852 and 1859 in Davidson County, NC. He was separated from his mother, when she was sold, when he was just 2 months old. He was also the first African-American to pass the Alabama State Medical Examination.

Once slavery ended, Dr. Dorsett attended Hampton Institute in Virginia and graduated in 1878. He went to the Medical College in Syracuse, NY, but failed to graduate because of poor health and lack of funds. After his health improved, he attempted to enter the Medical College of New York City but was denied admission because of his race. Subsequently, the University of Buffalo in New York accepted him, and he was able to graduate from there in 1882. This was accomplished only after one of his former employers agreed to pay his tuition.

After completing medical school, he worked in an insane asylum in Detroit, MI. There he was able to raise enough money to allow him to move to Montgomery, Ala. in 1884.

Dr. Dorsett was the first African-American to pass the Alabama state medical examination. In the 1800s that test was a six-day written and oral test. Learning that a black person had accomplished this feat, many white physicians said they were astonished he “had enough brains to write a better examination than many whites.” Booker T. Washington wrote of Dr. Dorsett in his memoirs and stated: “Many white physicians welcomed him as a colleague in arms.” Some also offered their services to help him start his private practice in Montgomery.

Dr. Dorsett helped organize the National Medical Association, which continues today as the largest organization for African-American physicians. In addition to his successful medical practice, he owned an office building, operated a drug store, and established the first hospital for African-Americans in Alabama. Dr. Dorsett died in Montgomery in 1897.

Contributed by Jefferson Underwood III, M.D., F.A.C.P., President of the Medical Association’s Board of Censors

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AMA Posthumously Honors Dr. Jeff Terry

AMA Posthumously Honors Dr. Jeff Terry

During its recent Interim Meeting the American Medical Association posthumously awarded Dr. Jeff Terry the AMA Special Award for Meritorious Service in recognition of his contributions to the medical profession. Dr. Terry’s wife, Elizabeth, and their son, Dr. William J. Terry, Jr., accepted the award on behalf of the family.

Dr. Terry was nominated for this award by the Medical Association and also received endorsements from physician leaders across the country. U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) offered the following tribute: “Beyond serving his family and community, Dr. Jeff Terry genuinely cared about the future of the medical profession. His contributions to the policy-making process were absolutely invaluable. I am privileged to say that Dr. Terry was a fellow American and a colleague as a physician. He was a blessing to many.”

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) recently described Dr. Terry as “a consummate physician advocate for patients” who always punctuated his advocacy efforts by reminding him that “if we don’t get this right we will not be able to care for patients the way we should.”

Drs. Greg Cooper and Bill Clark, former Southeastern Delegation colleagues of Dr. Terry’s, offered the following endorsement: “We in the Southeastern Delegation will feel Jeff’s presence whenever we rise to speak to important issues that impact the practice of medicine. When we do, because of him, we will be less self-conscious, more passionate, and more determined to carry forward the work of the AMA.”

AMA Delegation Chair Dr. Jorge Alsip also remembered his friend and colleague. “Jeff was a fierce defender of the patient-physician relationship and a force to be reckoned with in the AMA House of Delegates. The sacrifices he made traveling  across the country to advocate for patients and physicians set an example that few can ever hope to emulate.”

In his remarks to the AMA House of Delegates Dr. William Terry recalled his father’s love for the AMA and the privilege of being a physician, and he concluded with the following challenge to the AMA House of Delegates: “Dad would tell us that if we sometimes find the practice of medicine to be a cold place, then make it your business to build fires.”

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Dr. John Meigs Named AAFP President

Dr. John Meigs Named AAFP President

Congratulations to Medical Association Board Member John Meigs Jr., M.D., of Centreville, who was recently named President of the American Academy of Family Physicians. The AAFP represents more than 124,000 physicians and medical students nationwide. As President, Dr. Meigs will be an advocate nationwide for family physicians and patients to improve family health care.

Dr. Meigs is an At-Large Member of the Medical Association’s Board of Censors who began his medical career in private practice in Centreville, Alabama, his hometown, and practiced there from 1982 to 2013. In 2013, he merged with another practice to become a part of Bibb Medical Associates, which is housed in a clinic at Bibb Medical Center, a 25-bed rural hospital in Centreville. He also serves as chief of staff at Bibb Medical Center.

A former speaker of the House of Delegates and College of Counselors for the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, Dr. Meigs currently serves as a member of its Board of Censors. In addition, he is a member of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and the chair of the State Committee on Public Health. He also serves on the Alabama Family Practice Rural Health Board and the Alabama Board of Medical Scholarships.

Dr. Meigs is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and a clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham. In 2003, he was awarded the University of Alabama School of Medicine Argus Award for Best Attending Physician in Family Medicine. He also serves as adjunct clinical faculty for the Cahaba Family Medicine Residency Program in his home town of Centreville. In 2014, he was inducted into the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame.

An active member of his community, Meigs serves on the Board of Directors of Distinguished Young Women of Bibb County, a scholarship program for high school senior girls. He was president of that organization from 1995 to 2015. In 2004, he was named Bibb County Citizen of the Year by the Kiwanis Club of Centreville.

Before being named AAFP president-elect, Dr. Meigs served four years as speaker and three years as vice speaker of the organization’s governing body, the Congress of Delegates. He has been an active member of the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians, serving on its board of directors, including terms as president and chair. Dr. Meigs also was vice president of the Alabama Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, the charitable arm of the organization, from 2003 to 2008. He also serves on the Alabama Family Practice Rural Health Board and the Alabama Board of Medical Scholarship Awards.

Dr. Meigs is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Alabama and a clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. In 2003, he was awarded the University of Alabama School of Medicine Argus Award for “Best Attending Physician in Family Medicine.”

He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama and his medical degree from the University of South Alabama. He completed his family medicine residency at the University of Alabama Birmingham Selma Family Practice Residency Program where he also served as chief resident. Dr. Meigs is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and has the AAFP Degree of Fellow.

The Medical Association congratulates Dr. Meigs for continuing to be a strong advocate for medicine in Alabama and on the national stage as a mentor and leader for our country’s physicians.

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