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First board-certified clinical informatician to lead the organization

WASHINGTON, DC - Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, FAMIA is a vanguard in healthcare and informatics. Rising to president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA) in 2022, he now steps formally into the role as the 178th President of the AMA, the venerated healthcare organization representing 270,000+ members world-wide, including physicians and medical students.

Dr. Ehrenfeld holds noteworthy positions as a physician, educator, administrator, veteran, principal investigator, innovator, husband, father, mentor and advocate. A member of AMIA for 10+ years, he is a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association (FAMIA), a member of Physicians in AMIA, and board-certified in the subspecialty of clinical informatics. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Systems and the first board-certified clinical informatician to lead the AMA.

“As digital technologies transform how physicians practice and how patients experience healthcare, it is critically important for the AMA to ensure that these tools meet the needs of all communities. Too often, we see digital innovations brought into the marketplace that are either unresponsive to the needs of marginalized communities or worsen health disparities. As the first board-certified informaticist to lead the AMA, I am excited to bring my expertise in digital health forward to ensure health technologies become an asset not a burden,” said Dr. Ehrenfeld.

Dr. Ehrenfeld is the first openly gay leader elected to lead the AMA. He supports AMA’s ongoing efforts to dismantle structural racism, sexism and transphobia impacting health equity and access to healthcare. His leadership of AMA is timely in the wake of legislative attacks targeting trans Americans’ access to healthcare. As reported in the Washington Blade, he said “We see the attack on reproductive care, reproductive access, and transgender healthcare as a continuum of government overreach into patient-physician decision making.”

Elected to the AMA Board of Trustees in 2014, Dr. Ehrenfeld is senior associate dean and tenured professor of anesthesiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. At Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., a strong center for innovation in biomedical informatics, he is also an adjunct professor of anesthesiology and health policy. A 10-year U.S. Navy combat veteran of the Afghanistan War (Operation Enduring Freedom and Resolute Support Mission) Dr. Ehrenfeld also continues to serve at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., as an adjunct professor of surgery

For the past two decades, Dr. Ehrenfeld has advocated on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals. He cofounded Vanderbilt’s Program for LGBTQ Health. In 2018 Dr. Ehrenfeld became the inaugural recipient of the NIH’s Sexual and Gender Minority Research Investigator Award.

“We are thrilled to celebrate Dr. Ehrenfeld’s leadership of AMA. AMIA is home to more than 1,700 physicians board-certified in clinical informatics. Leading with the eyes of a clinical informatician, we anticipate he will elevate the critical role of informatics in healthcare delivery,” said Gretchen Purcell Jackson, MD, PhD, FACS, FACMI, FAMIA, AMIA Board Chair and President, Vice President and Scientific Medical Officer, Intuitive Surgical and Associate Professor of Surgery, Pediatrics, and Biomedical Informatics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Recent publications by Dr. Ehrenfeld

  • Artificial Intelligence in Medicine & ChatGPT: De-Tether the Physician 
    DiGiorgio, A., Ehrenfeld, J.M., J Med Syst 47, 32 (2023).
  • S. Medical School Admissions and Enrollment Practices: Status of LGBTQ Inclusivity
    Gamble R., Pregnall A., Deng A., Ehrenfeld J.M., Talley J., Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. 2021;121(10): 787-793.

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AMIA, the leading professional association for informatics professionals, is the center of action for 5,600 informatics professionals from more than 65 countries. As the voice of the nation’s top biomedical and health informatics professionals, AMIA and its members play a leading role in assessing the effect of health innovations on health policy and advancing the field of informatics. AMIA actively supports five domains in informatics: translational bioinformatics, clinical research informatics, clinical informatics, consumer health informatics, and public health informatics.