By AFRO Staff

Dr. Patrice A. Harris, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, was recently elected president of the American Medical Association during its annual conference. When she assumes the helm in June 2019, she would become the first Black woman to hold the position.

“It will be my honor to represent the nation’s physicians at the forefront of discussions when policymaker and lawmakers search for practical solutions to the challenges in our nation’s health system. I am committed to preserving the central role of the physician-patient relationship in our healing art,” said Dr. Harris in a statement.

Dr. Patrice A. Harris, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, was recently elected president of the American Medical Association. (Twitter Photo)

Founded in 1847, the AMA is the largest association of physicians and medical students in the U.S. and the first of its kind worldwide. It lobbies for a range of issues but its core mission is to support scientific advancement, set and maintain standards for medical education and medical ethics with an eye toward improved public health.

Dr. Harris said she means to continue that long legacy of medical advocacy.

“The American Medical Association has well-crafted policy concerning the changing health care environment in this country and I look forward to using my voice to help improve health care for patients and their physicians,” she said.

Dr. Harris was first elected to the AMA Board of Trustees in 2011 and has held the executive offices of AMA board secretary and AMA board chair. She has also chaired the influential AMA Council on Legislation and co-chaired the Women Physicians Congress.

A private psychiatrist who consults with both public and private organizations on matters such as the emerging trends in practice and health care, Dr. Harris also is an adjunct assistant professor in the Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.