JRMC Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Amy B. Cahill, M.D., FACOG, was born and raised in Southeast Arkansas. In addition to practicing medicine, she remains true to her Southern roots and maintains a farm with her husband, Doug, in Pine Bluff.
It’s no surprise that Dr. Cahill, who was known as a brilliant medical student, grew up in a family of schoolteachers. Instead of teaching school, however, she broke the family mold and decided to become a physician.
Today, Dr. Cahill is still breaking molds as a strong leader at JRMC and in the community and state. In May, she accepted the position of 2017-2018 President of the Arkansas Medical Society (AMS). She is the second woman to ever lead in this role, and she is proud to serve as the face of the AMS.
In addition to serving as AMS president, she has a family of eight, a thriving Ob-Gyn practice, is a member of the American Medical Association and serves on the local CASA (Committee Against Spousal Abuse) Women’s Shelter Board.
The AMS was established in 1875, and Dr. Cahill explained the rumored beginnings of the society. At the time, she said, “snake doctors” and “voodoo type medicine,” were wide spread across Arkansas. “So the real doctors – whomever the real doctors were back then,” she said, “got together and said, ‘We’ve got to do something to end this fake medicine.’” As the story goes, that’s when the AMS was formed. “Here we are, fast forward to 2017, and now it’s the largest organization of physicians in Arkansas,” she said.
Today, the AMS is the body that represents the best interests of Arkansas physicians and patients in governmental affairs and serves as a resource for Arkansas physicians. As president of the AMS, Dr. Cahill looks forward to representing rural Arkansas, private practice medicine and physicians across the entire state of Arkansas.
This is a particularly important year for the AMS. In her first weeks as president, Dr. Cahill flew to Washington D.C. to speak with U.S. Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman to discuss the funding shortfall that could come from the end of the Affordable Care Act. In the meeting, Dr. Cahill and other Arkansas healthcare leaders urged the senators to get the necessary funding to ensure that insurance isn’t taken away from anyone needing healthcare.
The AMS will spend this year fighting to take care of Arkansas patients, and Dr. Cahill will be the face of the society’s efforts.
Despite her statewide influence, Dr. Cahill says she’s not going anywhere and is proud of her home in Southeast Arkansas. “I could go anywhere, but I like it here,” she said. “We have one hospital, and we have a very agreeable, patient-centered medical staff. We have doctors that really care about the community and are involved in the community.”
Dr. Cahill especially appreciates the team atmosphere that is cultivated among physicians at JRMC. This leads to a safe environment for both JRMC physicians and patients as opposed to a culture of animosity and competition. “If I can’t understand what’s going on with a patient, I can pick up the phone and call any of our specialists and ask for advice,” she said. “There’s a lot of teamwork that goes on at JRMC.”
Practicing in such a tight-knit community, Dr. Cahill said that JRMC physicians do not bargain with their reputations. “Our patients live here, and we live here,” she said. “I’ve got to do the right thing every time, because this is my reputation. This is not anonymous medicine. You don’t stay in a small town for a long time if you’re not good at what you do.”
Because her friends and family are so dear to her, Dr. Cahill and her husband have plans to someday retire here in Southeast Arkansas. “It’s who you live with that’s important, and who your relationships are with,” she said. “I enjoy traveling and meeting other people, but this is my home.”