Dr. Darrell G. Kirch is president emeritus of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which represents the nation's medical schools, their teaching hospitals and health systems, and related academic societies. He served as President and CEO of the AAMC from 2006 until 2019, when he was succeeded by Dr. David J. Skorton.
A distinguished educator, biomedical scientist, and clinician, Dr. Kirch speaks and publishes widely on the need for transformation in the nation’s health care system and how academic institutions can lead change across education, research, and health care for their communities and beyond. As a respected university leader, Dr. Kirch has chaired the Washington Higher Education Secretariat and served as a member of the American Council on Education Board of Directors. In 2007, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and has been active in multiple initiatives of the National Academies. As an ardent champion for the well-being of the nation's health professions workforce, he currently serves as co-chair of the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Clinician Well-Being and Resilience. Dr. Kirch also serves as a member the Board of Regents of the American College of Psychiatrists.
Prior to becoming AAMC president, Dr. Kirch served as dean, university senior vice president, and academic health system leader of two institutions, the Medical College of Georgia and the Pennsylvania State University Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He has co-chaired the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the accrediting body for U.S. medical schools, and chaired the national AAMC Council of Deans.
A psychiatrist and clinical neuroscientist by training, Dr. Kirch began his academic career at the National Institute of Mental Health, becoming chief of the Schizophrenia Research Branch, serving as the acting scientific director in 1993, and receiving the Outstanding Service Medal of the United States Public Health Service. A native of Denver, he earned his BA and MD degrees from the University of Colorado, and in 2002 received the Silver and Gold Award from the University of Colorado Medical Alumni Association.