May 6, 2017
Douglas W. Curran, MD, an Athens family physician, has been elected
president-elect of the Texas Medical Association (TMA). The TMA House of
Delegates policymaking body elected Dr. Curran today at TexMed, the association’s annual conference.
“I feel very humbled by this opportunity to serve the patients of Texas
physicians as well as protect and preserve the integrity of our profession,”
said Dr. Curran. “The opportunity to serve as president-elect and ultimately president
of this great organization will allow me to speak from the heart about the
profession I love and the commitment to improve the health care of all Texans.”
Dr. Curran will become TMA’s 153rd president on May 19, 2018, at TexMed
2018 in San Antonio. He practices at East Texas Medical Center and Lakeland
Medical Associates in Athens.
Throughout his 38
years in medicine, Dr. Curran has advocated on behalf of Texas patients and
physicians. He played a leading role in the passage of Texas’ groundbreaking
medical liability reforms in 2003, fought for sweeping patients’-rights reforms
including holding managed care insurance companies accountable for their actions,
championed legislation to improve the Children’s Health Insurance Program
(CHIP) and Medicaid, and fought attempts by non-physician practitioners to
expand their scope of practice. He has testified before legislative committees
countless times, and visited with the Texas and Washington powerful in a
never-ending push for a better health care system.
Many know Dr.
Curran for his ability to weave personal and professional stories into his lessons about providing care and the
need to reduce physicians’ obstacles to doing so — from discussing a hard-working
neighbor on Medicaid to comparing doctors’ pay for a particular medical service
to that of a veterinarian.
Dr. Curran is the
immediate past-chair of the TMA Board of Trustees and a member of TMA’s Select
Committee on Medicaid, CHIP, and the Uninsured, and he chaired TMA’s Select
Committee on National Health System Reform.
He also has
served on TMA’s Primary Care Coalition, Task Force on Health System Reform, Council
on Member Services, and Committee on Professional Liability.
Dr. Curran also
has represented the Henderson County Medical Society in the TMA House of
Delegates, the association’s policymaking body, for more than 19 years.
Dr. Curran has
been active in other physician organizations as well. He is a past president of
the Texas Academy of Family Physicians (TAFP); has chaired the group’s
Commission on Membership and Member Services and Commission on Legislative and
Public Affairs, and served on its Board of Directors. He also is an active
member of TAFPPAC, the organization’s political action committee. Dr. Curran
also has served on the American Academy of Family Physicians and its Commission
for Governmental Advocacy.
The family physician
has received many awards and accolades, including the “Rural Health Champion
Award,” which the Texas Rural Health Association presented to him in March.
as a caring physician and community leader, Dr. Curran is committed to improving
access to quality health care for all Texans. He was instrumental in the
creation of a rural health clinic and an obstetrical care clinic for patients
with no means of payment, and through his participation in the Texas Family
Medicine Preceptorship Program, he has helped inspire the next generation of
Dr. Curran and
his wife, Sandy, have been married for 48 years. “Sandy has empowered me in the
practice of my profession as well as made me so much better as a person,” he
said. “I would not be a physician today without Sandy.”
They have a
daughter, Cortney, and a son, Chris, whose wife is Britne. The self-titled
“country doctor” enjoys serving his church, tending his cattle, sharing in
hospitality with friends and neighbors, and “shaking a leg every now and then
to a good Texas swing band.”
As he embarks on service as TMA’s
president-elect and then the association’s president, Dr. Curran intends to
draw upon his past to lead his future. “For 37 years, I’ve been blessed to be
doing exactly what I’m convinced I was meant for: I’ve cared for the people of
my community. And I’ve stood beside my colleagues in support of medicine with
the conviction that if we fight for our patients’ best interests, we will
succeed in crafting good policy for Texas,” he said.
“Today, we face crises of cost and access at
the local, state, and national levels that threaten to shake the very
foundation of our association. We must unite as never before, and with wisdom
and courage, stand strong for the protection of our patients and the sanctity
of our profession. I am prepared to be that voice that advocates, that leader
TMA is the largest state
medical society in the nation, representing more than 50,000 physician and
medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county
medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to
improve the health of all Texans.
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