May 3, 2014
Medical Association (TMA) has elected Austin I. King,
MD, of Abilene as its 149th president. TMA’s House of Delegates, the
association’s policymaking body, elected Dr. Kingtoday during TMA’s annual conference inFort Worth.
“I am honored to
lead and advocate on behalf of the more than 47,000 physicians of TMA,” said
Dr. King. “I look forward to working with our members to find ways to improve
Texas’ health care.”
otolaryngologist — an ear, nose, and throat specialist ― described priorities for
his year as TMA president.
patients both are challenged by a dysfunctional health system, which tends to
drive us apart,” he said. “It is only by working together that patients and their
physicians can improve the system and make it work.”
As America’s health care system evolves, Dr. King said
he believes TMA must continue to preserve the autonomy of physicians and the
integrity of the patient-physician relationship. “We often cannot control
change,” he said, “but we can control how we respond. I believe patients and
physicians must come together to reclaim health care. Only together can we face
the challenge of improving health care for future generations.”
expressed concern that physician organizations have been
increasingly marginalized in health care
policy decisions. As TMA represents physicians who
ultimately are responsible for all medical care, Dr. King believes it is critical
physicians participate in all medical
care and health care delivery discussions.
That type of
involvement is routine for Dr. King, who has
dedicated more than 30 years to improving the health of Texans. He is board-certified
in otolaryngology and has practiced medicine for 35
years. He cares for otolaryngology, head, and neck surgery
patients in his private practice in Abilene. He operates a
clinical voice research lab in Abilene, and helped to build one of the first
ambulatory surgical centers in Texas.
Dr. King is a
member of the TMA Board of Trustees and has served as its secretary. He has chaired
TMA’s Council on Legislation; served on the Executive Committee of TEXPAC, the TMA Political Action
served as a trustee of the TMA Foundation (TMAF), the association’s philanthropic arm. Currently,
Dr. King is a member of TMAF’s Leadership Society, having donated his time and
resources to charitable endeavors the foundation funds.
He is a past
president of the Taylor-Jones-Haskell-Callahan County Medical Society and has
represented the society as a delegate to TMA’s House of Delegates. He is a
diplomate of the American Board of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, and
participates in several national and state organizations dedicated to
otolaryngology, head, and neck surgery, and facial plastic and reconstructive
In his community, Dr. King has
served as vice president and long-time board member of the Presbyterian Medical
Care Mission, an organization that provides health and wellness services to
thousands of people lacking access to basic care. Dr. King also is a Paul
Harris Rotary Fellow, an Eagle Scout, a past member of the Abilene Chamber
Military Affairs Committee, and was named Honorary Hospital Commander for Dyess
Air Force Base.
Dr. King received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, where he
also completed residencies in general surgery and otolaryngology. Between completing medical school and his residencies, he completed an
externship at the Royal Institute of Laryngology and Otology in London,
England. Dr. King began his studies at Trinity University in San Antonio where
he received a bachelor’s degree in biology.
He is married to Rep. Susan King (R-Abilene),
a surgical nurse. They have been married for 36 years, and have three children
and three grandchildren.
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 47,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 112 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.