Muller to chair AAMC

Ralph Muller, president of the University of Chicago Hospitals & Health System, selected to chair AAMC

November 9, 1998

Ralph Muller, president and chief executive officer of the University of Chicago Hospitals & Health System, has been selected as chair-elect of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). He will succeed William A. Peck, MD, executive dean of Washington University School of Medicine as chair in November 1999.

The AAMC is the primary organization representing the institutions that provide the backbone for all complex patient care, medical education, and biomedical research--including the 141 accredited U.S. and Canadian medical schools, the 400 major teaching hospitals, 87 academic and professional societies representing 88,000 medical faculty, and the nation's 67,000 medical students and 102,000 residents.

"It's an honor to be chosen," said Muller, "and a considerable responsibility, especially in the current rapidly shifting healthcare arena." Muller, 53, is only the third chair that is not a physician or scientist since the office was created in 1968. As chair, he will work closely with AAMC President Jordan Cohen, MD, a former University of Chicago faculty member and chairman of medicine at Michael Reese Hospital in the 1980s.

Muller plans to maintain the AAMC's traditional leadership role as an advocate for increased research funding and improvements in medical education, but will also work to help build a new coalition of healthcare professionals and organizations to improve access to medical care for those with inadequate health insurance.

"Healthcare was a crucial issue in the 1992 election when we had 37 million Americans without adequate coverage," said Muller. "Now we have 45 million. I'd like to see even greater interest and accountability in the 2000 campaign."

Muller has served as president and CEO of the University of Chicago Hospitals since 1985 and has helped to build it into a $670 million health care system, based at the University campus in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago and extending into surrounding suburbs as well as into Indiana and Michigan.

He has long been active in AAMC and related organizations, serving last year as chair of the AAMC's Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems. He has held leadership roles at the University Health System Consortium and is chairman of the board of the National Opinion Research Center in Chicago.

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