Darrell G. Kirch, MD
Darrell G. Kirch, MD, is president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Founded in 1876 and based in Washington, D.C., the AAMC is a not-for-profit association representing all 134 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 teaching hospitals and health systems, including 68 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and nearly 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC also represents 128,000 faculty members, 75,000 medical students and 110,000 resident physicians.
A distinguished physician, educator and medical scientist, and a noted authority on the organization and management of academic medical centers, Dr. Kirch’s career spans all aspects of academic medicine and includes leadership positions at two medical schools and teaching hospitals, as well as at the National Institutes of Health.
Before becoming AAMC president, Dr. Kirch was selected as chair-elect of the association and co-chaired the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. He also has served as chair of the AAMC Council of Deans Administrative Board and as chair of the American Medical Association Section on Medical Schools.
Dr. Kirch assumed the position of AAMC president in July 2006 following six years as senior vice president for health affairs, dean of the college of medicine and CEO of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at The Pennsylvania State University, where he and his leadership team are credited with revitalizing the institution and guiding it through a period of educational innovation and major growth in clinical activity and research funding. Before joining Penn State, Dr. Kirch held a number of leadership positions at the Medical College of Georgia from 1994 to 2000, including serving as dean of the medical school, senior vice president for clinical activities and dean of the school of graduate studies.
As a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, Dr. Kirch conducted research on the biological basis of and clinical treatments for severe neuropsychiatric disorders. Following the completion of his residency training at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, he joined the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Md., where he was named acting scientific director in 1993. His NIMH contributions were recognized when he was presented with the Outstanding Service Medal of the United States Public Health Service.
Dr. Kirch is a member of several professional societies, including the American Psychiatric Association, American College of Psychiatrists and American Medical Association. He was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in 2007 and currently serves as a member-at-large of the National Board of Medical Examiners and as chair of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Special Medical Advisory Group.
A native of Denver, Colo., Dr. Kirch earned his BA and MD from the University of Colorado, which in 2002 presented him with its Silver and Gold Alumni Award. He has had an active career as a clinician and researcher, and has held medical faculty positions at Penn State, the Medical College of Georgia and George Washington University. A prolific writer and public speaker, he has published more than 100 articles and book chapters, and made presentations to numerous medical, educational, scientific and advocacy organizations.