AAMC’s Darrell Kirch to give June 5 commencement address

February 08, 2018

Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, will give the 2018 commencement address to graduating medical students of the Wayne State University School of Medicine during the June 5 ceremony.

Dr. Kirch has led the AAMC, which represents all 149 accredited medical schools in the United States and the 17 accredited medical schools in Canada, since 2006.

A member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Dr. Kirch is a distinguished physician, educator and medical researcher. He served for six years as senior vice president for Health Affairs, dean of the College of Medicine and chief executive officer of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Pennsylvania State University. Before joining Penn State, Dr. Kirch served as dean and senior vice president for Clinical Activities at the Medical College of Georgia from 1994 to 2000. He also co-chaired the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the accrediting body for U.S. medical schools.

A psychiatrist and clinical neuroscientist, he began his career at the National Institute of Mental Health, becoming the acting scientific director of the institute in 1993 and receiving the Outstanding Service Medal of the United States Public Health Service. A native of Denver, Colo., he earned his bachelor’s and medical degrees from the University of Colorado, which in 2002 recognized him with its Silver and Gold Alumni Award.

Dr. Kirch last visited the WSU School of Medicine in 2011, when he toured the campus, met with students and delivered a speech titled “This Time It Really Is Different,” on the changes – and the lack of changes – put into effect by national health care reform legislation.

The commencement ceremony will take place at the Fox Theater in Detroit.