What is your hometown?
What is your official title?
Medical Director, Emergency Department, Memorial Hermann the Woodlands
How/when did you become interested in science and medicine?
I became interested in science and medicine around the age of 6 years old. My dad’s close friend was a physician in Houston and I was inspired by him.
What interested you to pursue a career in medicine and medical education?
During high school I had the opportunity to attend a few summer programs associated with our local medical school (Baylor College of Medicine). During those summers we were assigned to various medical research sections. Our medical research allowed a small degree of clinical observation. It was fascinating and sealed my interest in medicine.
Please highlight your major career achievements, awards, discoveries, etc.
In 2008 I was selected as an American College of American Emergency Physicians Hero of Emergency Medicine. I served as the President of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians from 2005-2006, and am currently on the TeamHealth Medical Advisory Board. For eight years I have been a Councilor for the American College of Emergency Physicians, and I was on the Texas College of Emergency Physicians Board of Directors from 1998-2007. I worked as the Chairperson on the Patient Encounters Task Force for the Texas Health Resources Family Violence Prevention Initiative, and in 1997 I received the Texas College of Emergency Physicians Board Recognition Award.
Is there a teacher, mentor or UI Carver College of Medicine faculty member who has helped shape your education?
Dr. George Baker was our Medical School Dean at the UI Carver College of Medicine. He took a personal interest in the students, provided encouragement for our academic performance, and promoted extracurricular professional activities. This was the initiation of my interest and involvement beyond the practice of clinical medicine into the social and political aspects of medicine.
How or why did you choose the University of Iowa for your education and medical training?
Dr. Edward Martin (62PhD), the chair of the Biology Department at Prairie View A & M University, where I completed my undergraduate studies, had obtained his PhD from the University of Iowa. He, and a few other professors who had attended the University of Iowa, often spoke highly of the school. During my senior year at Prairie View, a group of medical students from University of Iowa visited Prairie View and discussed the medical school program and atmosphere. It was obvious that they were excited about the faculty, the programs and the learning environment there. Although I already had received an acceptance letter from Georgetown, I decided not to accept and chose to apply to University of Iowa.
What kind of professional opportunities or advantages has your University of Iowa medical training provided?
In addition to my core medical knowledge and skills, the UI Carver College of Medicine provided me a sturdy foundation and the fortitude needed for a successful career in medicine. It enabled me to relate the clinical with the social and political aspects of the practice of medicine.
Please describe your professional interests.
My professional interests are broad and have led me to be active on a multitude of American College of Emergency Physicians and Texas College of Emergency Physician committees, as well as numerous committees within the hospital. I particularly enjoy creating and implementing strategic programs that benefit our emergency medicine customers and the quality practice of emergency medicine.
I have participated on several medical missionary journeys and this has gripped my heart. My professional passion is to provide medical missionary services in a variety of countries.
What are some of your outside interests?
My family and spiritual life take high priority. Working with and interacting with young people, sharing my knowledge and success to help shape their lives and their futures is a particular joy. Additionally, I find considerable gratification in creative and artistic cooking and gardening. What’s more, it is hard to coax me in from outdoor activities as I thoroughly enjoy outdoor sports such as biking, skiing, rafting, rock climbing and hiking.
Do you have an insight or philosophy that guides you in your professional work?
Each of us must remain optimistic and forever hopeful that our daily work and interactions are bringing positive, creative change to our environment and the world.
If you could change one thing about the practice or business of medicine, what would it be?
I am hopeful for the day that legal, bureaucratic, and legislative activities impacting medicine, in particular the field of emergency medicine, will aptly address the requirements of the patients as well as the providers.
What is the biggest change you've experienced in medicine since you were a student?
The impact of technology, the speed of communication, and the availability of information has taken our practices to new heights and provided our patients with the depth and breadth of health care and services that I had not imagined.
What one piece of advice would you give to today's medical students?
Your knowledge base and technical skills are indeed a critical asset, however your most valuable asset is the development of excellent interpersonal skills, communication skills and an unyielding compassion for our patients and each other.
What do you see as "the future" of the medicine?
The future of medicine will depend on how we address health care in this country. There is a certain privilege but this needs to be carefully balanced with our resources, vigilant planning and intellectual propensity.
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