Meet 8 women leading medical societies and associations

For the female physicians across the U.S. who head medical societies and associations, the experience is more than an opportunity to represent colleagues in their chosen practice, it's also a chance to advocate for them on healthcare issues.

Below are eight of these physician leaders:

Note: This list is not a ranking or exhaustive. Leaders are listed in alphabetical order. Individuals or organizations do not pay and cannot pay for inclusion on this list.

Contact Kelly Gooch at  with questions or comments on this list.

1. Susan Bailey, MD. President of the American Medical Association. Dr. Bailey became the 175th president of the American Medical Association June 7. She is the third consecutive woman to assume the office. An allergist from Texas, she has worked with Fort Worth Allergy and Asthma Associates for more than three decades and serves on the board of directors of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. 

2. Eva Chalas, MD. President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Dr. Chalas became the 71st president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists April 25. She is a professor and vice chair of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University Long Island School of Medicine, a partnership between New York University and New York City-based NYU Langone Health. She also serves as physician director at the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, N.Y.

3. Anne Coleman, MD, PhD. President of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Coleman became the 124th president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in January, leading 32,000 ophthalmologist members. Dr. Coleman is a glaucoma specialist and  director of the UCLA Stein Eye Institute's Center for Community Outreach and Policy in Los Angeles.

4. Jacqueline Winfield Fincher, MD. President of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Fincher serves as president of a medical specialty organization with 159,000 members worldwide. An internal medicine specialist, she is a partner at Center for Primary Care – McDuffie Medical in Thomson, Ga. Dr. Fincher also served as a member of the American College of Physicians Board of Regents and was governor of the organization's Georgia Chapter.

5. Sara "Sally" Goza, MD. President of the American Academy of Pediatrics. On Jan. 1, Dr. Goza became president of the American Academy of Pediatricians, a group with 67,000 members. A general pediatrician, she serves on the Community Physicians Advisory Board for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Dr. Goza is a more than 20-year veteran of the American Academy of Pediatricians Georgia chapter, most recently serving on the legislative committee, the fall planning group and the Pediatric Foundation of Georgia board.

6. Mary Dale Peterson, MD. President of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Dr. Peterson was named president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in October. She is board-certified in anesthesiology and critical care medicine, and she has served on the American Society of Anesthesiologists board for 14 years. In addition to her work with the medical society, she is executive vice president and COO of Driscoll Health System and emeritus staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas.

7. Athena Poppas, MD. President of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Poppas became president of the American College of Cardiology in March. Outside of that role, she is chief of cardiology and professor of medicine at Brown University's medical school in Providence, R.I. She also is director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Rhode Island, The Miriam and Newport hospitals. 

8. Valerie Rusch, MD. President of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Rusch has served as president of the American College of Surgeons since October. A thoracic surgeon from New York City, she is vice chair for clinical research, department of surgery; Miner Family chair in Intrathoracic Cancers; and attending surgeon, thoracic service, department of surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Rusch also serves as professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and was one of the nation's first women to be board-certified in thoracic surgery.



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