Respiratory physician aims to be next AMA president


By Michael Woodhead

29 Jul 2020

Dr Chris Zappala

Queensland respiratory physician Dr Chris Zappala is one of two contenders to be the next president of the Federal AMA.

Dr Zappala, who is current vice president of the AMA, is a candidate in the election for national president that will take place during a specially convened online AMA National Conference on Saturday 1 August.

Dr Omar Khorshid, an orthopaedic surgeon from Perth is the other candidate.

In his election pitch, Dr Zappala says the AMA need a leader to stand up for a medical-led, well-funded healthcare system while also maintaining a “no doctor left behind” policy to protect the rights of individual practitioners.

“I recognise that a fundamental outcome must always be to support an independent, high-quality and well regarded doctor-patient relationship and to make the working lives of doctors that little bit easier,” he says.

“The AMA will always strive to improve policy and capture funding with this goal in mind, but our association is uniquely placed to promote medical leadership, improve culture and empower individual doctors and support practices to be more resilient, efficient and appropriately rewarded for capably managing complex health problems.”

Dr Zappala is a Thoracic Physician in Brisbane, with special interests in interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension and sleep medicine. His research interests include examining how change in serial pulmonary function and chest imaging describe disease behaviour and predict survival in interstitial lung disease.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the AMA cancelled its traditional national conference, usually held on the last weekend in May, and extended the term of the current President, Dr Tony Bartone, by two months to allow new election arrangements to be put in place.

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