Robert M. Wah, MD, sworn in as AMA president
The American Medical Association has inaugurated reproductive endocrinologist and obstetrician/gynecologist Robert M. Wah, MD, as its 169th president, the association announced in a press release.
Wah, who practices and teaches at the Walter Reed National Military Center in Bethesda, Md., and at the NIH, also is the first Chinese American to hold the office of AMA president.
In his term as president, Wah plans to work toward furthering progress in the AMA’s three areas of strategic focus: improving health outcomes, expediting change in medical education, and improving physician satisfaction and practice viability.
“I am extremely humbled and honored to have been chosen by my colleagues to lead the AMA during this important time,” Wah said in the press release. “I believe physicians must work together to shape the unprecedented changes happening in health care and I am dedicated to being a strong voice for America’s physicians and the patients we serve.”
Robert M. Wah
Wah, who served more than 23 years as an active-duty captain in the US Navy Medical Corps, is also a nationally known expert in the field of health information technology. He was the first deputy national coordinator in the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and was instrumental in implementing the president’s executive order to have electronic medical records in place for most Americans by 2014. Additionally, he is currently chief medical officer for Computer Sciences Corp.
Wah served as chair of the AMA’s board of trustees from June 2011 to June 2012 and was a member of the AMA’s House of Delegates for 17 years. He has held numerous leadership positions in the AMA and on various other medical and specialty boards and associations.
He was recently chosen by Modern Healthcare as among the country’s “50 Most Influential Physician Executives.”
Wah graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s in chemistry, and he earned his medical degree from the Oregon Health Sciences University. His obstetrician/gynecologist residency was completed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, and he completed his endocrinology fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He also graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Wah said he hopes to work with AMA members to effect change and innovation in the field of medicine.
“The one constant in the field of medicine is change, and I believe physicians are not only advocates for medicine but drivers of change and innovation,” Wah said in the press release. “I’m inspired by the power and impact of what we as physicians can do together. My message to physicians is that we need to share our diverse perspectives and experiences and take full advantage of opportunities to innovate and improve care for our patients and the communities we are privileged to serve.”