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August 21, 1987

Doctor as Patient Advocate

JAMA. 1987;258(7):947-948. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400070085041

I come before you tonight with feelings of pride, humility, enthusiasm, resolve, and deep respect. I respect the many outstanding physicians who have led the AMA before me, and each of you for your selfless commitment in working on behalf of the health of the American people. But most of all, I respect the institution of medicine and what it stands for—health, dignity, service, and excellence. For more than 100 years, the AMA has dedicated itself to preserving those fundamental ideals of American medicine, and I'm proud to be a part of that tradition.

I like to remind people that the AMA is a caring organization of service to the American people. As physicians, we are not here to do battle with the government for our self-interests, we are not here to become leaders of corporate America, and we are certainly not here to amass wealth; we are here for