MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – A Tidelands Health doctor will soon be the new president of the American Medical Association (AMA), making the South Carolina president for only the third time in its 176-year history.
Dr. Gerald Harmon will be inaugurated on June 15 and will serve for a year-long term, according to Dawn Bryant, a spokeswoman for Tidelands Health.
Harmon worked as a family doctor in the region for more than three decades. He is also a pilot and has a military background including Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, Bryant said.
The AMA is the largest medical organization in the United States.
“You will at least know a family doctor’s perspective in rural South Carolina,” Harmon said.
Harmon said his favorite memory of being in the area for so long was being entrusted with health care.
“To gain that trust, to have this legacy of people who count on you to be a trusted source, and I think that is what the AMA is doing now,” Harmon said. “As AMA President, we don’t have to be the only doctor in America you trust; we have to represent every community doctor.”
“For four decades people have entrusted their loved ones to me,” he said. “This will be my strongest memory as a doctor.”
Harmon said he saw this not only as an honor but also as an opportunity.
“It’s an honor, but more than that, I’d think it’s an opportunity,” said Harmon. “I respect it as a very great honor.”
Harmon said one of the AMA’s goals is to move medicine forward.
“We have seen some of the challenges of health inequalities and health inequalities, so let’s try to address that,” Harmon said.
Harmon was previously the chairman of the board and president of the South Carolina Medical Association.