Honoring Leadership: Dr. Bob McAfee


Robert McAfee, MD                                                                    

Born August 25, 1935 in Portland, ME, Dr. McAfee received his B.S. Degree at Bates College and his M.D. degree from Tufts University School of Medicine.

He completed his internship and surgical residency at the Maine Medical Center in 1965. He was attending surgeon on MMC for 31years as well as Chief of Surgery and Vascular Surgery at Mercy Hospital in Portland.  

He has held teaching positions at Tufts University and the University of Vermont School of Medicine.

In June 1993 was elected president-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA) and served as the 149th President of AMA from June of 1994 to June 1995.

Dr. McAfee has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of New England since 1995 and was elected as Trustee Emeritus in 2008. He is a founding member of the Maine Citizens Against Handgun Violence and of its Foundation. He was a member of the Executive Council of Maine’s Communities for Children initiative. He served as Chairman, from 1997-2001, of the Advisory Council to the Partnership for Tobacco Free Maine. He served a leadership role in the creation of Maine’s statewide Emergency Medical Services as well as the creation of the first Ambulance Licensure Board. During the 150th celebration of the Maine Medical Association, he was selected as one of four physicians who have “made a difference” by his peers in Maine. Dr. Daniel Hanley was also selected for this honor.

In 2002, Gov John Baldacci of Maine appointed Dr. McAfee as Chairman of the Board of the newly created Dirigo Health Plan designed to assist in provision of health care coverage to Maine citizens. Dr. McAfee has been appointed to some position by every Maine governor from 1968 to 2011.




“The problem with health care is people like me – doctors (mostly men) in our fifties and beyond, who learned medicine when it was more art and less finance. We were taught to go to the hospital before dawn, stay until our patients were stable, focus on the needs of each patient before us, and not worry about costs. We were taught to review every test result with our own eyes – to depend on no one. The only way to ensure quality was to adopt high personal standards for ourselves and then meet them. Now, at many health care institutions and practices, we are in charge. And that’s a problem, because health care today needs a fundamentally different approach – and a new breed of leaders.”

                                                Dr. Thomas H. Lee

                                                Turning Doctors Into Leaders

                                                 Harvard Business Review, 2010

  • Network President, Partners HealthCare System
  • Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Professor of Health Policy and Management, HSPH
  • Associate Editor, New England Journal of Medicine