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Louisville otolaryngologist becomes president of American Medical Association

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Louisville otolaryngologist becomes president of American Medical Association

Jun 12, 2024 | 11:38 am ET
By Kentucky Health News
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Louisville otolaryngoloist becomes president of American Medical Association
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For the past four years, at least one lawmaker has annually tried to reform Kentucky’s certificate of need (CON) laws. (Getty Images)

Dr. Bruce A. Scott, an ear, nose and throat specialist from Louisville, was sworn in Tuesday, June 11, as the 179th president of the American Medical Association, the nation’s largest organization of physicians.

“I became a physician to care for patients, and we all know that’s getting tougher every day,” Scott said in his inaugural address. “Our health-care system should help physicians provide good care, not get in the way!” He said “The AMA does for physicians and our patients what we as individual physicians cannot do.”

Scott said “two decades of spiraling Medicare payment cuts and ever-increasing administrative burdens” have increased burnout among doctors to the point that “almost two-thirds of physicians show signs of burnout. One-third plan to reduce their hours. One in five physicians are hoping to stop practicing or retire in the next two years.

“We can’t afford to lose even one more doctor! As a physician in an independent practice, I live these issues every day. I see my colleagues struggling. I feel the urgency of the moment. I will bring that urgency to my presidency. You better believe I’m ready to fight.”

Scott has been president of his state and county medical associations and remains on their boards. “As a leader of these associations, he has fought for access to care for vulnerable populations, improvement in public health and reduction of administrative burdens in health care,” an AMA news release said. He joined the AMA Board of Trustees in 2015 and was speaker of the AMA House of Delegates starting in 2019.

Board-certified in both otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery, Scott is president of Kentuckiana Ear, Nose & Throat, a six-physician independent private practice group, medical director of Premier Ambulatory Surgery Center, and holds a clinical appointment at the University of Louisville medical school.

Scott is a director of Health2047, the AMA’s Silicon Valley-based innovation subsidiary that finds and funds tech-enabled commercial health-care enterprises. “In this role he is helping shape the future of medicine to empower patients and healthcare providers with meaningful and measurable impact,” the release said.

He has written many articles for medical journals, as well as chapters in otolaryngology textbooks, He earned his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University, completed his medical education and residency at the University of Texas.

In his inaugural address, Scott told how he suffered a penetrating hand injury when he was 12 and a surgeon told his parents “that I was unlikely to ever regain normal use of my hand, and I would probably lose at least two fingers,” but Dr. Joseph Kutz, Louisville’s world-renowned hand surgeon, “saved my hand and spared my fingers, forever changing the course of my life — and, although I didn’t know it at the time, putting me on the path that led to tonight. To this stage, to this incredible moment. I am a surgeon, using this very hand, because of a doctor.”

Scott and his wife Christy have three adult children. He is the second Kentuckian in recent years to be AMA president; Dr. Steven Stack, the state public-health commissioner sicne January 2020, was president in 2016-17.

This article is republished from Kentucky Health News,  an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.