AAMC CEO to speak on link between arts, medicine

David Skorton, MD, president and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and a longtime musician, will present, “Reflections on Music and Medicine: Why We Love It, Why We’ll Never Stop” during a free Zoom presentation as part of the inaugural conference of the National Association of Medical Orchestras (NAMO).

picture disc.

picture disc.

Matthew Brooks, DMA

Matthew Rizzo, MD

The NAMO conference is being spearheaded by, among others, the Nebraska Medical Orchestra, directed by Matthew Brooks, DMA. Matthew Rizzo, MD, chairman of the UNMC Department of Neurological Sciences, is a driving force behind the Nebraska Medical Orchestra and is a member.

Dr. Skorton’s presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, May 27. A Zoom link will be provided in a future UNMC Today story and on the UNMC calendar.

“We are thrilled to have someone with Dr. Skorton’s pedigree provide words of inspiration on maintaining his musicianship, despite tremendous responsibilities,” Dr. Rizzo said. “Dr. Skorton also will highlight work the AAMC is doing to facilitate this connection to the arts and humanities for tomorrow’s doctors.”

Before becoming the fifth president and CEO of AAMC in 2019, Dr. Skorton served as the Secretary of the Smithsonian, where he oversaw 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, and many research centers and education programs. A cardiologist by training, he was on the faculty of the University of Iowa College of Medicine and College of Engineering for more than 20 years before becoming president of the University of Iowa and later president of Cornell University, where he was professor in medicine, pediatrics and engineering.

Dr. Skorton is an avid musician who plays the saxophone and flute. During his tenure at the University of Iowa, he hosted a Latin Jazz program, “As Night Falls,” on Iowa Public Radio, saying “As night falls over the river city and all of eastern Iowa, it’s time for jazz.” He co-hosted “As Night Falls” with Frank Conroy, jazz pianist, author and director of the Iowa Writers Workshop; Daniel Moore, director of the UI percussion program; and John Rapson, director of the UI jazz studies program. He sat in with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and with Billy Joel, both at Cornell concerts.

Zoom information will be provided upon registration.