Skip to Content

Hidden Figure No More: The American Medical Association’s First Black Woman President Speaks Out

Everyone should have an equitable opportunity for optimal health. Read on to learn how the American Medical Association’s first black woman president wants to bring health equity into focus.


Everyone should have an equitable opportunity for optimal health. That’s the message Patrice Harris, MD, the American Medical Association’s (AMA) newly elected and appointment president sent in a podcast interview with the National Urban League.

Dr. Harris spent decades as a child psychiatrist. Now she’s leading the AMA as the first black woman president in the Association’s 172-year history.

In the recent episode entitled, “Up in Smoke: A Conversation About the Youth Smoking Epidemic in America,” Dr. Harris explained to listeners her plans as president to tackle the opioid epidemic, teen e-cigarette use, maternal mortality rates, and diet-related illnesses like type 2 diabetes. While these are all very different issues, they do share a common thread: health inequity.

“We want everyone to have an equitable opportunity for equitable health,” explained Dr. Harris in the 50-minute podcast episode. “If I give you every opportunity in the world and you don’t take it, that’s one story. But I want to be sure I give you an equitable opportunity to eat healthy, an equitable opportunity to exercise, an equitable opportunity to see your doctor, an equitable opportunity not to be inundated with [health averse] marketing.”

You can listen to the full episode of “Up in Smoke: A Conversation about the Youth Smoking Epidemic in America” on Stitcher. It’s also available on Google Play, iTunes, SoundCloud and Spotify.