Harris, who is the director of health services for Fulton County, Ga., is a past member of the APA Board of Trustees. In addition to having served as a member of the AMA Women Physicians Congress and chaired the AMA Council on Legislation, Harris is a past president of the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association and was the founding president of that district branch's political action committee. Last year, Harris was elected secretary of the AMA Board by her fellow trustees.
In comments to the House of Delegates on Saturday, Harris recalled the words of Kent Brantly, M.D., the American physician who contracted Ebola while treating patients in Liberia: "When the going gets tough, the tough return to their calling." "What an apt description of those of us who are called to medicine," Harris said. "Our challenges are many—electronic health records, maintenance of certification, alternative payment models. But when we remember our mission and our calling, the challenges are not insurmountable. The AMA must continue to protect the practice of medicine and support physicians in choosing their own path. The challenges are real, the issues are complex, there is work to be done, and it will take all of us to do it. While I cannot promise an outcome, I can promise you the fight."
For more information about Harris, see the Psychiatric News articles “Patrice Harris, M.D., Elected Secretary of AMA Board” and “Psychiatrists Vie for AMA Positions: Harris Seeks Board of Trustees Seat.”
(Image: Ted Grudzinski/AMA)