New AMA President and Vice President + Conference Roundup

Australian Medical Association

The AMA conference was held in Sydney and online from 29 July to 31 July with delegates electing a new President, Professor Steve Robson and Vice President, GP Dr Danielle McMullen.

The election, at the AMA’s National Conference, follows the conclusion of the two-year terms of President Dr Omar Khorshid and Vice President Dr Chris Moy. New AMA Vice President Dr McMullen is a GP in Sydney’s Inner West, and immediate past president of AMA (NSW), which included handling the state’s response to COVID.

Throughout the pandemic, Dr McMullen demonstrated strong leadership, effectively engaging decision makers to further the AMA’s strategic policy and public health aims. Dr McMullen is passionate about the AMA and strongly believes it is the only organisation that successfully brings together doctors from all specialties and stages of career to advocate for a better system for patients and their doctors.

AMA President Professor Robson is a senior specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology who initially trained as a GP and has been in practice in Canberra for 20 years. He has served as ACT President and is in his fifth term on the AMA ACT Board and is a Federal Councillor. He has also been President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

The three-day conference was a great success with COVID-19 and the crisis within General Practice running as the main themes throughout the national conference. In a question time style session, Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler and Shadow Health Minister Anne Ruston recognised the crisis in General Practice as an urgent bipartisan issue, with Minister Butler committing to improving the number of graduates entering GP training. Similarly, Shadow Minister Ruston offered support to any government policies meaningfully addressing this issue.

Minster Butler told delegates that amongst the many worrying health statistics, only 15% of medical graduates are now wanting to be GPs is most terrifying to him. There is also recognition from the Department of Health the need to better support General Practice and address issues such as training inequities, GP morale and funding. These issues were discussed in a recent Sydney Morning Herald article about the conference and the issues around general practice.

Further, Dr Simon Torvaldsen began his term as Chair of the Council of General Practice on Sunday 31 August. Medical Board of Australia Chair Dr Anne Tokins pledged that the MBA is aiming to wrap up hundreds of ‘low-risk’ complaints against doctors within 4-6 weeks. Vape suppliers, Victorian and Queensland Governments were recipients of the AMA and Australian Council on Smoking and Health’s Dirty Ashtray Awards. Outgoing AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid recognised Professor Kerryn Phelps AM, Dr Chris Moy and Associate Professor Dr Rosanna Capolingua with the special President’s Award for outstanding service to the Australian Medical Association. Professor Emily Banks AM was awarded the AMA Gold Medal for her research on the dangers posed by e-cigarettes. The AMA also announced the recipients of the AMA Indigenous medical scholarships to Indigenous medical students Malissa Hodgson and Cameron Howard.

You can visit our conference website and see the full range of panels, talks and discussions here.

/AMA/AusMed News. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).