Russ Kridel is a Member of the AMA Board of Trustees and is currently the Immediate Past Chair. He has served as Secretary and Chair of the BOT during the height of the pandemic. He has been an AMA Delegate/Alternate from the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) for over twenty years in the AMA HOD. He has held extensive leadership positions in the AMA House of Delegates, including Chair of the AMA Council on Science and Public Health. He has also served as a board member of the AMA Foundation and on the AMA Specialty and Service Society Governing Council. He helped accelerate the formalization of the Private Practice Physician Section and co-authored a section in the Health Systems Science AMA textbook on private practice to highlight private practice as a career option. Dr. Kridel has been a multi-year member and two-year Chair of the BOT Awards and Nominations Committee where he worked to advance diversity and the selection of young physicians to numerous leadership positions. He has actively pushed for and campaigned for minority candidates in the TMA and HCMS as well. When President of the TMA Foundation, he drove the significant increase in minority scholarships. And he has made diversity within his own medical staff a priority since opening his practice.
In private practice for over 30 years, Russ specializes in reconstructive, head and neck surgery of the face and neck and aesthetic facial surgery. Dr. Kridel is recognized internationally for his work in comprehensive reconstructive surgery in cases other doctors shy away from and if often referred to as the “doctor’s doctor.” He completed the largest ongoing study in the world on the use of irradiated cartilage grafting in nasal reconstruction, which was published in the AMA Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery (now JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery) and was hailed by its editor as a landmark study. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles in medical journals and textbook chapters, and he has been on the faculty of over 50 courses in the U.S., as well as in Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. He has served as a reviewer for JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery and other significant medical journals. He has advised biomedical companies on medical aspects of new science. He founded The Face Foundation in Houston in 1995, which provides surgical care at no fee to financially disadvantaged women and children who are survivors of domestic violence and need to receive restorative or reconstructive plastic surgery.
Dr. Kridel is a Clinical Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center and McGovern Medical School in Houston. He has been Chief of Staff of Houston Hospital for Specialized Surgery and Chief of Surgery at Sam Houston Hospital. Dr. Kridel was National President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). He previously served as AAFPRS Vice President for Public Affairs, Treasurer, member of the Executive Committee, and Chair of its Ethics Committee. During his tenure he formed the Women in Facial Plastic Surgery Committee, and set the stage for the election of the first female president of his society. Russ has received the highest honors from his specialty academy, the William K. Wright Award and the F. Mark Rafaty Award for excellence in facial plastic surgery and the J. Conley Lectureship Award for Health Policy. He has also been awarded the C. Frank Webber Award for his outstanding service to Texas medical students.
Russ led the Harris County Medical Society (HCMS) as President, representing 12,000 physicians, making it larger than 37 state medical associations. During his tenure, Dr. Kridel has actively worked with national and state government elected officials on important medical issues such as health care reform (including SGR), simplifying practice red tape for physicians, and preserving the physician patient relationship. He has also made an impact on the fight against obesity as Chair of the Personal Responsibility Committee. The committee initiated the “Shut Out Sugar” program, including the development of a brochure for physicians and health care organizations to share with patients. Russ also published a study in JAMA: Facial Plastic Surgery on Opioid Misuse. He received the prestigious Texas Bluebonnet Award for his contributions to diet and nutrition.
For years Russ has been a staunch advocate and spokesperson for physicians against overreaching governmental regulations and interference with the practice of medicine. He served 12 years on Board of Directors and District Chair of TEXPAC and was chairman of the TMA Committee on Professional Liability. He maintains close working relationships with the local U.S. Congressmen and Senators and Texas Representatives and has helped draft multiple pieces of legislation related to medical issues and has testified on several health care issues. Russ also served on Texas Medical Center Board of Directors and as President of the TMA Foundation. He has testified in the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C., and Texas to address excessive government red tape and regulations affecting the quality and accessibility of care.
At the AMA, Dr. Kridel served seven years as the Chair or Member of the Council on Science and Public Health (CSAPH). Reports during his Dr. Kridel’s tenure have covered such issues as: drug shortages, screening mammography, genomics, nanotechnology, and e-cigarettes. He also was Chair of the Committee to Select a Public Member for AMA BOT, on which he had served for 11 years. He is a past member of the Governing Council of the SSS, and was also chair of the SSS Long Range Planning Committee. As a CSAPH representative, Russ participated in a joint educational program and panel discussions on the Aging Physician at the AMA Annual Meeting.
Dr. Kridel attended the Choate School and received his B.A. in political science from Stanford University. He received his M.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and then attended Baylor College of Medicine where he completed residencies in General Surgery and in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He then completed a fellowship in Facial Plastic Surgery. As a medical student, Russ was elected national President of the Student American Medical Association (now AMSA). As president, he testified before Congress on different health care issues. He also was the student representative to the AMA Council on Medical Education. During his residency at Baylor, Russ co-authored a book on medical cost containment that as published by the AMA. He also served on the AMA Resident Physician Governing Council, was the Resident Delegate to the HOD, and represented residents on the Liaison Committee on Graduate Medical Education.
Russ has a passion for art and architecture throughout the world with a particular interest in Italy. Fluent in Italian, he has presented scientific papers at medical conferences in their native language. He has also been known to spin an album or two as a DJ and share his theatrical talents on stage.