Peter W. Carmel, M.D., a pediatric neurosurgeon at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), was named president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA), the nation’s largest and most influential physician organization. Following a year-long term as president-elect, Dr. Carmel will assume the office of AMA president in June 2011. He is the first neurosurgeon to assume these esteemed positions.
Dr. Carmel, a resident of Manhattan and Thompson Ridge, N.Y., is professor and chair of the Neurological Surgery Department as well as co-medical director of the Neurological Institute of New Jersey, both at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School. He currently serves as an attending neurosurgeon at The UMDNJ-University Hospital. He joined UMDNJ in 1994 after serving at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons for 31 years.
“I am honored to be elected to lead the nation’s most influential physicians’ organization,” said Dr. Carmel. “As AMA president-elect, I pledge to serve as a strong voice and dedicated advocate for patients and physicians on the pressing issues confronting our health care system.”
As an educator, he is founding co-director of a student-run elective lecture series entitled, Introduction to Healthcare Reform at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School. According to Dr. Carmel, this elective is popular among first- and second-year students.
Dr. Robert Johnson, interim dean of the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, said, “Peter Carmel has a distinguished record of service. This well-deserved recognition comes as a direct result of his wisdom and leadership. We are honored that ‘one of our own’ has risen to a point where he can have a profound impact on the future of our profession and the health of our nation.”
Accolades for Dr. Carmel’s vast accomplishments include, but are not limited to, being named to the “Best the Doctors in America” list by American Health magazine; Castle Connelly’s America's Top Doctors® or America's Top Doctors® for Cancer. Dr. Carmel was also an Edward J. Ill Outstanding Medical Educator Award recipient in May 2006.
Dr. Carmel provided service to many national positions in both the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). As chairman of the National Coalition for Research in Neurological Disease and Stroke and, subsequently, as chair of the National Foundation for Brain Research, Dr. Carmel collaborated with the late Representative Silvio Conte to launch the Decade of the Brain initiative. As a result, millions of dollars were raised for neurological disease and stroke research.
Dr. Carmel completed his medical training at the New York University School of Medicine and was a research associate at the National Institutes of Health. He completed his residency in neurosurgery at the Neurological Institute of New York and obtained his doctorate in neuroanatomy from P&S. At P&S he was the founding chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery and a professor of neurological surgery.
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 6,000 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates The University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, which provides a continuum of healthcare services with multiple locations throughout the state.