American Association for Physician Leadership

Claude D. Brunson


Executive Director

Mississippi State Medical Association
Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA)

Claude Brunson, MD, CPE, MS, FASA, serves as Executive Director of the Mississippi State Medical Association. As the Chief Executive of the Association, he is responsible for carrying out the mission, vision and goals of the state’s largest and oldest physician organization. As such, he represents the interests and voices of more than 5,000 physicians and medical students by advocating at the federal and state levels for sound and effective healthcare policy.

He previously served as the Senior Advisor to the Vice Chancellor for External Affairs and Director of the Office of Government Affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. In his Senior Advisor role, he led the external affairs division at the Medical Center. His responsibilities included nurturing key relationships with constituencies outside the medical center campus to advance the missions of the medical center. As the Director of Government Affairs, he coordinated all state and federal advocacy for the Medical Center. An anesthesiologist and former chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at UMMC, he practiced medicine at the rank of full professor until his retirement in 2019. He now holds the title of Professor Emeritus in the University of Mississippi School of Medicine.

In 2014, he was elected president of the Mississippi State Medical Association, the first African American to hold that position in the 160-year history of the organization. He was also named to Ebony’s Power 100 List of Most Influential African Americans in 2013. He was the recipient of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning Diversity Educator of the Year Award, the Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award from the University of Mississippi Alumni Chapter and the Alabama Majesty Award as a Living Legend in the Field of Healthcare in 2015. In 2022 he was selected to deliver the keynote address, the Rovenstine Lecture, at the American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual meeting.

His board roles currently include Academy of Anesthesiology (Treasurer), Mississippi Blood Services (Secretary/Treasurer), Central Medical Society, KONZA National Network, Inc. (Health Information Exchange), Mississippi Physicians Care Network (Treasurer). Previous Board roles include American Society of Anesthesiologists, Mississippi Board of Medical Licensure, Mississippi Board of Nursing, National Medical Fellowships, Inc., Interstate Medical Licensure Compact Commission (Vice Chair), Mississippi Public Health Institute (Chair), Mississippi Sickle Cell Foundation (Chair).

He earned his B.S. in Psychology degree from the University of Alabama after a four-year tour with the U.S. Navy as a hospital corpsman and field medicine technician with the Fleet Marine Force. He completed his medical degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and his residency in anesthesiology at UMMC. After graduating, he joined the faculty of the School of Medicine and later served as chief of the medical staff and Hospital Administrator for Perioperative Services. He earned a Master’s in clinical health sciences from the University of Mississippi and is board certified in Anesthesiology.


  •  BS in Psychology
    University of Alabama

  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
    University of Alabama at Birmingham

  • Master's in Clinical Health Sciences
    University of Mississippi


  • Board-certified in Anesthesiology

  • Certified Physician Executive (CPE)
    American Association for Physician Leadership

  • Fellow of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (FASA)

For over 45 years.

The American Association for Physician Leadership has helped physicians develop their leadership skills through education, career development, thought leadership and community building.

The American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL) changed its name from the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE) in 2014. We may have changed our name, but we are the same organization that has been serving physician leaders since 1975.


Mail Processing Address
PO Box 96503 I BMB 97493
Washington, DC 20090-6503

Payment Remittance Address
PO Box 745725
Atlanta, GA 30374-5725
(800) 562-8088
(813) 287-8993 Fax



AAPL providers leadership development programs designed to retain valuable team members and improve patient outcomes.

American Association for Physician Leadership®

formerly known as the American College of Physician Executives (ACPE)