At a time when much of the press about the American Medical Association is negative, the organization elected its first woman president in its 151-year history. And while it may be tempting to make much of that free and positive publicity, Dr. Nancy W. Dickey has stressed the content of her vision, rather than her gender, to outline the future of the AMA in the com-ing year and what medicine can do to enhance people’s lives.
In her June 17 inaugural address at the AMA’s 147th annual meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, Dickey connected with her audience not only with her personal story (which can be found in the full text of this speech on the RaganWeb) but with the help of a visual aid: a small black physician’s bag.
‘I’ve also packed some more tangible items in my bag tonight,’ she told AMA members. ‘Symbolic items, really, which represent my presidential priorities for the year ahead. Let me start with this: It’s my stethoscope.’ Dickey goes on to pull out a key, explaining, ‘I believe our AMA holds the key to initiating needed and overdue changes in our current healthcare system.’