Member of the Month

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Meet our Members of the Month

Nominate the next Member of the Month

If you know a family physician who should be featured as a Member of the Month or if you want to share your story, nominate the physician or yourself by sending a name and contact information to


February | Chris Larson, DO
Direct primary care physician focuses on doctor-patient relationship

Though he didn’t begin his career in health care, Chris Larson, DO, arrived in the medical field as quickly as he could. Watching the fall of Enron while working in the financial industry made him reconsider, which led him into the world of primary care. He knew even during residency he wanted to practice in a nontraditional way. Years later he would start his own direct primary care practice, where he still works today.

January | Rida Khan, MD
FMLE alum reaches local community through radio

New physician Rida Khan, MD, practices palliative care at MD Anderson in Houston, wanting to ease suffering when and as often as she can. When completing TAFP’s Family Medicine Leadership Experience in 2022, she used the program as an opportunity to focus on preventive care in a non-traditional way: through segments at a Houston South Asian radio station.


December | Gerald Banks, MD
Corpus Christi doc a voice for other new physicians and international medical graduates

After an academic career that spanned from California all the way to the Virgin Islands, Gerald Banks, MD, eventually settled down in Corpus Christi where he practices today. Still a new physician himself, his desire to be a voice for other new physicians as well as international medical graduates led him to organized medicine. In 2022, Banks represented TAFP at AAFP’s National Conference of Constituency Leaders.

November | Crystal Nwagwu, MD
Academic family doc focuses on advocating for patients

After completing her residency at UT Health San Antonio, Crystal Nwagwu, MD, began her career in academic medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She not only practices full-spectrum family medicine, but is also core faculty for Baylor’s Family Medicine Residency program and precepts both residents and medical students.

October | Olusesan Olotu, MD
TAFP delegate serves to positively impact health care system

Olusesan Olotu, MD, arrived in the U.S. after practicing in the U.K. for a decade, then completed a residency at Howard University Hospital in Washington D.C. After a stint in rural West Texas, he eventually relocated to the DFW area, where he practices full time as a solo family doc. He served as one of TAFP’s international medical graduate delegates to AAFP’s National Conference of Constituency Leaders this year.

September | Jessica Garcia, DO
Houston physician focuses on palliative care and representing the underrepresented

Wanting to care for a wide variety of patients in Texas’ underserved communities, Jessica Garcia, DO, chose family medicine when beginning her medical education. A mentor during her residency in Corpus Christi steered her toward palliative care, which she later studied through a fellowship. She has previously served as medical director for an inpatient palliative care program, associate medical director for a hospice in Houston, and has had opportunities to practice family medicine and geriatrics in clinical outpatient settings. She is currently an assistant professor in family medicine with Baylor and Harris Health in Cypress, where she sees mainly geriatric and palliative patients in her clinic. Garcia also works with the underserved minority populations in Harris County.

August | Jessica Glick, DO
FMLE participant passionate about building meaningful relationships with patients

After completing a rural rotation and being encouraged by her family medicine preceptor, Jessica Glick, DO, settled into the life of a family physician in The Woodlands. Making meaningful connections with her patients is key to her career enjoyment, and she is passionate about preventive, sleep, and obesity medicine. Glick is currently a participant in TAFP’s Family Medicine Leadership Experience and will graduate from the program this fall.

July | Sam Mathis, MD
AAFP Board member focuses more on teaching than healing

After completing medical school and a fellowship both at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Sam Mathis, MD, returned to UTMB where he is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine. Mathis is very active in organized medicine, currently serving as the new physician member of AAFP’s Board of Directors, president of the Galveston County Medical Society, and as the Young Physician Section representative to the Texas Medical Association’s Board of Trustees.

June | Tyler King, DO
Family medicine resident running for Laredo City Council

Tyler King, DO, is a third-year resident at TIGMER Laredo Family Medicine Residency Program. After earning degrees in political science and education, as well as a stint with Teach For America, King and his family have settled in Laredo, where he is currently running for city council. King plans to practice full-scope family medicine in Laredo, while serving on the city council to better the South Texas community.

May | Christopher Trinh, DO
Sports medicine physician enjoys the variety of life as a family doc

After working with student and professional athletes during residency in Oklahoma, Christopher Trinh, DO, returned to Texas to practice sports medicine in the DFW area. Trinh was an active TAFP member as a medical student at TCOM, and has continued to stay active in organized medicine as a way to help shape the health care system and better the health of patients across the state.

April | Richard David, MD
Small-town doc builds new residency program focusing on rural family medicine

Almost two years ago, a new family medicine residency program launched in the small town of Athens, with Richard David, MD, at the helm. Sponsored by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, the program David is building along with TAFP member Doug Curran, MD, is a bright light for the shortage of rural family physicians in Texas.

March | Zach Sartor, MD
Mental health advocate passionate about training family medicine’s next generation

Zach Sartor, MD, is the Curriculum Director at the Waco Family Medicine residency program. Exposed to the power of family medicine physicians at a young age, he chose primary care early in his clinic years, ultimately deciding to work in academic medicine to help train the specialty’s future workforce. He was also part of the team to create a free resource for clinicians who serve patients seeking mental health treatment.

February | Mary Nguyen, MD
TAFP President to work to further TAFP mission during term

Mary Nguyen, MD, was installed as TAFP President on November 6, 2021, at TAFP’s Annual Session and Primary Care Summit. In her year of service to the Academy, she hopes to spread the message of the specialty, and encourage medical students to choose family medicine as a career.

January | Larry Kravtiz, MD
Beloved preceptor encourages family docs to help teach the next generation

Larry Kravitz, MD, is a family physician with Austin Regional Clinic, where he’s been in private practice for 34 years. He also has a great passion for teaching, having served as a preceptor to many medical students over the years for Baylor College of Medicine, UT Southwestern, and now also as affiliated faculty at Dell Medical School.


December | Kelly Bennett, MD
Professor has teaching, love of learning in her bones

Kelly Bennett, MD, is an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and serves as co-medical director of the free clinic there. Having grown up with more than one teacher in the family, her desire to pass on knowledge comes naturally.

November | Elena Zamora, MD
TAFP Board of Directors member teaches medicine and life through professorship and mentoring

Elena Zamora, MD, MHA, is an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She was also the 2020-2021 resident director on the TAFP Board of Directors. Read more about how she values mentorship and about her passion in obesity medicine.

October | Rashmi Rode, MD
Residency program leader and NCCL co-convener shares passion for medicine, teaching, and involvement

Rashmi Rode, MD, FAAFP, works as the associate program director for the family medicine residency program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She finds learning and teaching essential and interchangeable. “I must teach to learn, and I must learn to teach,” Dr. Rode says.

September | Emily Levy Kamugisha, MD
Early-career family physician advocates for HIV harm reduction strategies

Emily Levy Kamugisha, MD, AAHIVS, is an assistant professor and one of the associate program directors in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She researches and advocates on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis for HIV prevention and reducing health disparities. “I am passionate about reducing health disparities to marginalized groups of individuals and in particular, gender and sexually diverse persons,” Dr. Kamugisha says.

August | Benjamin Gonzalez, MD, MPH
El Paso family physician brings passions for international health and public health to practice

Benjamin Gonzalez, MD, MPH, of El Paso practices comprehensive family medicine care and has interests in public health and preventive medicine. Gonzalez is also a member of our 2021 class of the TAFP Family Medicine Leadership Experience. Learn about his career goals in international health and much more.

July | Jerry Kirkland, MD, MBA
Amarillo family physician shines as an exemplary doctor and teacher in variety of settings

Jerry Kirkland, MD, MBA, has experienced many different practice settings throughout his family medicine career: rural private practice with obstetrics, suburban private and group practice, a clerkship director, and a family medicine residency program director. He current works as an academic hospitalist. “My experience is emblematic of the adaptability offered in family medicine as life changes occur in our personal lives,” Kirkland says.

June | Evelyn Sbar, MD
Amarillo physician spearheads area COVID clinic and headache care

Evelyn Sbar, MD, is passionate about quality health care, medical education, and headache medicine. She opened the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Amarillo Headache Clinic in 2020. “There just aren’t enough neurologists around to take care of the 39 million migraine patients in the United States,” Sbar says.

May | Ron Cook, DO, MBA
Family medicine educator encourages lifelong learning and involvement in advocacy for specialty, patients

Ron Cook, DO, MBA, is a professor in the Department of Medical Education for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock. Cook was drawn to medicine at a young age and found inspiration for teaching from his parents. “The human body continues to fascinate me, and I really enjoy sharing my enthusiasm with medical students and residents,” Cook says.

April | Tyler King, DO
Resident physician applies experiences in advocacy and teaching to medical practice

Tyler King, DO, is a PGY-1 at TIGMER-Laredo Family Medicine Residency Program. “It brings me joy to know I am serving patients who need care the most. I trained to become a physician for all patients, not just those with the best insurance,” King says. Read what inspires him and his experience working with underserved patients at a Federally Qualified Health Center.

March | Timothy Martindale, MD
Solo family physician draws inspiration from careers as preacher, journalist

Timothy Martindale, MD, is a solo family physician and owner of the Martindale Family Medicine Clinic. Read about this former pastor and journalist’s joy in family medicine and his inspiring words to those who are experiencing burnout during the pandemic.

February | Dale Moquist, MD
Longtime TAFP leader reflects on career, volunteering and the importance of being involved

Dale Moquist, MD, is a longtime leader at the state and national levels of organized medicine. “I have many great memories but I feel being involved in more than 1,000 deliveries is my fondest memory,” Moquist says. Read what inspires him and what he is doing now in retirement.

January | Alicia Harbison, DO
Early-career family physician enjoys precepting medical students

Alicia Harbison, DO, is a family physician running a new practice in Pantego, Texas. “I don’t find medical practice to be work. Sure, the paperwork is work but interacting with patients and figuring out what to do with them is play,” Harbison says. She enjoys precepting students, and the student learning from her during the time of this interview also provided his impressions of family medicine.


December | Amer Shakil, MD, MBA
TAFP president to focus term on supporting Texas family physicians

Amer Shakil, MD, MBA, is your new TAFP president. Shakil recognized the increased feelings of burnout this year and so he started a TAFP partnership with Anticipate Joy, an online counseling platform, that gives TAFP members access to discounted online therapy sessions. “The goal is to support our members at every level,” Shakil says, “talking to them, being there for them, listening to them and providing these services for those who may need them.”

November | Fozia Ali, MD
Highly regarded teacher enjoys vibrant practice, research, and mentoring students and residents

Fozia Akhtar Ali, MD, is an associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Texas Health San Antonio. She cares for patients and mentors residents and medical students at the Family Health Center and the Family Medicine Inpatient Service at University Hospital. “Teaching helps me grow each and every day. I love sharing knowledge with medical students and residents as this is not only rewarding but also helps me to be a better physician,” Ali says.

October | Tharani Ravi, MD
Academic physician mentors future physicians, inspiring many to pursue family medicine

Tharani Ravi, MD, is a faculty physician at the UTHSCSA Family Medicine Residency Program. Her interests include preventive care, caring for the underserved, and teaching. “I truly enjoy teaching residents and inspiring them to be excellent clinicians who will never lose their passion for medicine,” Ravi says.

September | Belinda Gonzalez, MD
Solo Corpus Christi family physician serves patients and community

Belinda Gonzalez, MD, is a board-certified family physician in Corpus Christi who has been in private practice for 24 years. As a regular volunteer in her church hospitality department, she shows her spirit of service. Read more about how her mother’s doctor inspired her to be a family physician and how her practice has changed during the pandemic.

August | Elizabeth Seymour, MD
Denton family and functional medicine physician focuses on preventive medicine, public health

Elizabeth Seymour, MD, is a family and functional medicine physician at the Environmental Health Center and a leader in organized medicine. When she realized that most of her patients suffered from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, she decided to focus her practice on cardiovascular health, preventive medicine, and risk reduction. “That’s when my eyes were opened to a more integrative approach,” Seymour says.

July | Alyssa Molina, MD, MPH
Full-spectrum family physician cares for patients, directs EMS

Alyssa Molina, MD, MPH, practices full-spectrum family physician in Eagle Lake. She has been our Member of the Month before, but this is a pandemic-exclusive interview. Learn how her practice of three physicians and two midlevel providers is adapting to the pandemic and how Molina is inspired by the kindness of her “fellow Americans.”

June | Lane Aiena, MD
Rural physician leader experiencing PPE shortage is hopeful for the future

Lane Aiena, MD, is a family physician in Huntsville. Since the pandemic hit, access to PPE in the rural community has been an ongoing issue. “We were initially given five swabs that were supposed to last two weeks. You want to talk about rationing?” he says.

May | Triwanna Fisher-Wikoff, MD
Fort Worth family physician adapts patient care to the pandemic, draws strength from her team

When the pandemic began, Dr. Fisher-Wikoff held a meeting to let her team know of the hard times ahead. “I told them...I didn’t blame them if they wanted to take a leave of absence especially since they all had families. Rather than shying away, they repeated a meme that was floating around at the time; we ride at dawn,” Fisher-Wikoff said. Read about how she’s adapting her patient care during the pandemic.

April | Jean and Marc Ghosn
Brothers share future in family medicine

Brothers Jean and Marc Ghosn are both planning to become family physicians. Jean is a third-year family medicine resident at Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program in Sugar Land and Marc is a third-year medical student at University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine in San Antonio. Learn about how they support each other and plan to practice together in the future.

March | Arindam Sarkar, MD
Resident embraces teaching for its challenges and rewards

Arindam Sarkar, MD, is a third-year resident at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston who loves teaching and wants to care for the underserved. Read about his advice to medical students and why he is inspired to become a family physician.

February | Cynthia C. Brinson, MD
Austin family physician blazes her own path in medicine, public health

Cynthia Brinson, MD, of Austin has dedicated her career to addressing the HIV epidemic through clinical research and evidence-based clinical care. For her outstanding work she won the TAFP Public Health Award in November.

January | Bharat Joshi, MD, and Sanjana Bhattarai, MD
Married physicians balance family and careers to find personal and professional joy

Bharat Joshi, MD, and Sanjana Bhattarai, MD, are our January Members of the Month. Both were born and raised in Nepal and were married after finishing medical school. Learn more about what inspired them to become family doctors, the joy and challenges that come with a medical marriage, and why they love what they do.


December | Mahdi Awwad, MD
Academic family physician excels in teaching, maternal-child health, and full-spectrum care

Mahdi Awwad, MD, is an assistant professor in family and community medicine with the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas where he also serves as Maternity Care and Women’s Health Curriculum Leader. Learn more about his experiences in teaching, maternal-child health, and full-spectrum care.

November | Jennifer Liedtke, MD
Sweetwater family physician finds joy in connecting with patients

Jennifer Liedtke, MD, is a rural family physician in a town of 10,000 in West Texas. Learn more about how she provides full-spectrum care for her patients in Sweetwater and what brings her joy in her day-to-day life.

October | Fiona Prabhu, MD
Academic family physician finds variety and joy in practice

Fiona Prabhu, MD, teaches first- and second-year medical students and family medicine residents. She shares her experiences working in an academic setting and what has influenced her teaching career.

September | Lani Ackerman, MD
Texas physician works internationally to transform lives and communities

Lani Ackerman, MD, has spent most of her career serving the poor internationally and training family medicine residents and students in the U.S. and Asia. Read about her adventures in international practice and the non-profit she and her husband founded.

August | Melissa Jacaman, MD
Laredo native returns to her hometown to help build family medicine residency program

After completing residency training, Melissa Jacaman, MD, of Laredo, returned to her hometown to help create its first graduate medical education program, Laredo Medical Center – University of Incarnate Word. Read about her journey to increase access to care, provide top-notch training to residents, and support the health care workforce in her community.

July | Marian Allen, MD
Houston-area physician describes the energy of medical education and patient care

Marian Allen, MD, has seen patients of all ages in her more than 30 years of practice in the Houston area. Find out what drew her to family medicine, her joy through teaching, and about the “energy” of family medicine.

June | Rodney Young, MD
Cultivating excellence in care and education

Rodney Young, MD, of Amarillo, is a natural teacher, a caring doctor, a persuasive advocate, and a devoted dad. He is also the 2019 winner of the Texas Family Physician of the Year Award.

May | T. David Greer, MD
Rural family physician gives lifetime of service to patients and community

T. David Greer, MD, is a rural family physician in Henrietta, Texas. He served his country as a flight surgeon for four years and then returned home to care for his community for the next 50 years. Read about his perspective on rural family medicine and why he believes in being an advocate for family medicine.

April | Timothy Benton, MD
Academic physician trains physicians to excel in rural medicine

Timothy Benton, MD, oversees an innovative rural training track at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center — Permian Basin School of Medicine that places family medicine residents in communities across West Texas.

March | Michael R. McLeod, MD
Family doctor practices in all settings in his journey of medicine

Michael R. McLeod, MD, has practiced in many different settings through his journey of medicine, but he says the direct primary care model restored his joy in practice. Learn more about his thoughts on preventative medicine and his commitment to making our primary care system more effective.

February | Jessica Bracks, MD, and Jessica Ugwu, MD
Tyler family medicine residents work to cover students’ health care needs

Jessica Bracks, MD, and Jessica Ugwu, MD, were both residents at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler when they stepped up to fill a health care need. They noticed that students of a nearby college were in need of better access to health care. Learn more about their proposal to school administrators to fill that need.

January | Yetunde Sokunbi, MD
Austin family physician improves community health through practice, volunteering

Yetunde Sokunbi, MD, is deeply committed to those in her community and her profession in family medicine. Learn more about her experience in full-time outpatient care, why she volunteers, and what inspired her to become a physician.


October | Rathna Nuti, MD
Frisco physician practices sports medicine with a family medicine touch

Find out what drew her to sports medicine, how her family medicine training compliments sports medicine, and the lessons she’s learned while assisting in the immense task of opening a new practice.

September | Astrud Villareal, MD
Dallas resident physician reflects on the importance of self-care and travel

Find out how enthusiasm, self-care, and mindfulness have helped Astrud Villareal, MD, on her career path.

August | Neelima Kale, MD, PhD, MBA
Dallas FP prepares the next generation of family doctors for the future

Neelima Kale, MD, PhD, MBA, took some time out of her busy schedule to talk about why she’s passionate about advocacy, how she prepares residents for the future, and why academic medicine keeps her inspired.

July | Philip Huang, MD, MPH
Austin FP looks out for the health of the population

Philip Huang, MD, MPH, is the medical director and health authority for the Austin Public Health Department. Find out what drives his passion for public health and why continued focus is necessary for the issues of tobacco and HIV/AIDS.

June | Li-Yu Mitchell, MD
Tyler physician brings a family medicine touch to wound care

Li-Yu Mitchell, MD, wasn’t always keen on becoming a physician. As the child of an OBGYN, she experienced how difficult it could be to manage the personal and the professional, but her interest in medicine never truly faded. Find out how she made her way back to medicine and why the Family Medicine Leadership Experience was a necessary next step.

May | Seth Cowan, MD
Longtime TAFP leader reflects on a magnificent career

Seth Cowan, MD, had a small-town beginning, but his journey would lead to Garland, where he would create one of the largest physician groups in Dallas county.

April | Kendra Williams
MS3 looks back at her journey and looks forward to what’s next

Kendra Williams, an MS3 at McGovern Medical School, has learned a lot early on in her journey to become a physician. Find out what led her to medicine and why she finds it important to share both the good and the bad of medical school on her blog, Paging Student Dr. Kendra.

March | Robert Borchardt, MD
Vernon FP ensures legacy of family medicine in his town

Robert Borchardt, MD, grew up 33 miles away from his uncle, Alvin Borchardt, MD, and his future community. Find out how little moments led him to build a legacy of family medicine in Vernon, Texas and what he’s learned about people over the years.

February | Leo Lopez III, MD
Rio Grande Valley resident physician makes the most of every moment

Leo Lopez III, MD, is busy. From TEDx Talks, to creating his own non-profit organization, to presenting at the World Congress in Rome, Italy, to producing documentary films, to — his latest achievement — being accepted into Yale University National Clinician Scholars Program, Lopez is focused and ready for what’s next.

January | Adanna Amechi-Obigwe, MD
Vernon FP considers the legacy of family medicine

Find out how Adanna Amechi-Obigwe, MD, went from a quiet medical student, who passed out at the sight of blood, to a physician advocate dedicated to continuing the legacy of family medicine.


December | Vicky Bakhos Webb, MD, MBA | Permian Basin
Third-year resident advocates for patients and her specialty

Vicky Bakhos Webb, MD, MBA, has had some unique experiences. Find out what she thinks about the challenges facing international medical graduates, why it’s important to get involved in TAFP and AAFP, and how watching a doctor care for kids during the Lebanese civil war set her on the path to family medicine.

November | Rolf Montalvo, MD | Houston
Houston FP found the heart of medicine

Find out why Rolf Montalvo, MD, loves teaching physicians, what he thinks are the biggest challenges facing international medical graduates, and how quick trips to small towns help him hit the reset button.

October | Travis Bias, DO
Globe-trotting Texas doc brings family medicine to areas of need

Travis Bias, DO, MPH, DTMH, has traveled to 30 countries and has worked extensively in East Africa. Find out what led him to take his talents overseas, why he decided to pursue a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and what advice he offers others with a desire to serve low-resource areas.

September | Edward Seto, MD | San Antonio
Family medicine resident looks for ways to prevent burnout before it happens.

When Edward Seto, MD, was 5 years old, he came down with pneumonia and was admitted to the hospital. There he was inspired by his family doctor who sat with him regularly to chat. Those hospital-bed chats led him to find a mentor in his family physician and ultimately make the decision to pursue a career in medicine.

August | Alyssa Molina, MD | Eagle Lake
Eagle Lake FP thrives on giving compassion and comfort to her community of patients

It’s been almost seven years since Alyssa Molina, MD, transitioned from family medicine resident to family physician. Molina found joy in all her rotations but she found a home in family medicine.

July | Troy Fiesinger, MD | Sugar Land
Past TAFP president considers the evolution of his career and where he’s headed next

Troy Fiesinger, MD, has experienced a very fluid career in family medicine. Whether working with large medical organizations, residents, or private practice groups, he never compromised his love for family medicine and knows the best is yet to come.

June | Douglas Curran, MD | Athens
Athens FP wins race to become TMA president-elect

Former TAFP President, Douglas Curran, MD, has recently taken on a new role — that of president-elect for the Texas Medical Association. Find out how Curran continues to fight on behalf of his colleagues and all of their patients.

May | Sherri Onyiego, MD | Houston
Houston FP revels in the science of care

Learn how Dr. Onyiego forged her passion for science into a career of caring for her community.

April | Janet Realini, MD | San Antonio
A patron saint of Texas women’s health

Dr. Janet Realini is on the frontlines ensuring the women and girls of Texas continue to have access to health care. Find out what inspired her to become an advocate and how her passion became a full-time pursuit.

March | Edward Strecker | Galveston
Second-year UTMB medical student shows dedication to family medicine

Galveston medical student, Edward Strecker, has already honed in on what makes a family medicine doctor great.

February | Erica Swegler, MD | Austin
Austin FP has a strong committment to advocacy

Learn how advocacy has influenced her outlook on family medicine, why state-level influence through TAFPPAC is where it’s at, and how volunteering to serve as Physician of the Day kicked it all off.

January | Adrian Billings, MD | Alpine
Alpine family doc provides medical care for underserved rural and frontier medical communities

Learn what things led him to become a rural family physician and those things may or may not include a rabies scare, a phone book, and a family doc available on a Saturday afternoon.


December | Tricia Elliott, MD | Galveston
Galveston family doc becomes first black woman president of TAFP

Learn how Dr. Elliott went from a high school candy striper enthusiastic about the life sciences, to family medicine resident in the South Bronx, to the president of the Academy.

November | Linda Siy, MD | Fort Worth
Fort Worth FP chairs TAFPPAC Board of Trustees

Dr. Siy is passionate about advocacy on behalf of family docs and their patients. Read her interview to find out how TAFPPAC helps amplify your voice.

October | Amer Shakil, MD | Dallas
Dallas FP has a love of teaching and a passion to serve

Dr. Shakil says working with residents is among the best parts of his career. Read his interview to find out what he thinks makes a great family doctor.

September | Lisa Nash, DO | Fort Worth
Educator endeavors to recruit new family doctors from rural communities

Learn what Dr. Nash is doing to make sure that aspiring medical students from rural communities are not forgotten and how focusing on this demographic strengthens the #FMRevolution.

August | Shaun Garff, DO | Dallas
Community service and relationships with patients are key for this third-year resident

Resident Shaun Garff, DO, embraces the unique role family physicians play in the community, from fostering the reading program, Charlton Reads, at his current home clinic, to his vision of how he would like to contribute to his community in the future. Find out why he’s excited about what lies ahead.

July | Melinda Balarbar, MD, and JP Santiago, MD | Flower Mound
Husband and wife share passion and success in family medicine

Melinda Balarbar, MD, and JP Santiago, MD, know a little something about the struggle to lead balanced lives. With four kids, a busy practice, and interests ranging from travel, photography, triathlons, and aviation there is no shortage of things to do. And did we mention they work together?

June | Zaiba Jetpuri, DO | Dallas
DFW family doc embodies the concept of physician as teacher

Zaiba Jetpuri, DO, believes in caring for the underserved and in sharing the beauty of family medicine with students to bring more of the best and brightest to the specialty.

May | Christopher Trinh | Fort Worth
Medical student loves the breadth and scope of family medicine

Christopher Trinh is a fourth-year med student at UNT Health Science Center. He has served as chair of the TAFP Section of Medical Students as has represented medical students on the TAFP Board of Directors.

April | Mark Nadeau, MD | Beaumont
Residency director emphasizes flexibility of family medicine

Dr. Nadeau is currently the director for the family medicine residency program at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. He previously served for 27 years as an Air Force Medical Corps officer.

March | Farron Hunt, MD | Beaumont
TAFP Board member practices in hometown

Dr. Hunt is a new physician practicing in Beaumont, near her hometown of Port Arthur. She was recently elected as the special constituencies director of the TAFP Board of Directors.

February | Irvin Sulapas, MD | Houston
New physician enjoys sports medicine

Dr. Sulapas is a new physician (out of residency for seven years or fewer) and an assistant professor in the Family and Community Medicine department at Baylor College of Medicine, and acts as a team physician for Texas Southern University and local Houston high schools.

January | Darnel Dabu, MD, MPH | Lubbock
Lubbock physician helps build a healthier West Texas

Dr. Dabu has been the medical director of Community Health Center of Lubbock since he completed residency in 2010. He is active in many professional organizations, including chairing TAFP’s Commission on Public Health, Research, and Clinical Affairs.


December | James Mobley, MD, MPH | Portland
Retired Army doc contributes to public health of Texas

After 38 years of service to the Army, Dr. Mobley retired from active duty in 1981 with the rank of brigadier general. Since then, he has been in private practice in Portland, Texas, acting as the health authority for San Patricio County, and earning his Master of Public Health.

November | Rebecca Hart, MD | League City
League City doc enjoys evolving practice

Dr. Hart received her medical degree from UT Southwestern, then completed a residency at Baylor Houston. She started her career as a family doc in La Grange, Texas, where she practiced full obstetrics, an experience she says made her fearless as a physician.

October | Janet Hurley, MD | Whitehouse
TAFP officer sees importance of caring for entire community

TAFP officer Janet Hurley, MD, practices in a small East Texas town, Whitehouse, in a multispecialty medical group within the Trinity Clinic. As a child she was interested in biology, leading her to medical school. A preceptorship with a family doc in another small Texas town led her to choose family medicine.

September | Anthony Lyssy, DO | Dallas
Direct primary care doc helps patients focus on prevention

Anthony Lyssy, DO, founded his direct primary care practice, Diamond Physicians, in Dallas with partner James Pinckney, MD, to provide patients with great care without insurance restrictions. He aims to help patients focus on prevention through nutrition and fitness.

July | Ahmad Abazid, MD | Wichita Falls
Residency faculty enjoys womb-to-tomb aspect of specialty

Born and raised in Syria, Ahmad Abazid, MD, moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, for an internship at a Carolina Medical Lab, and later to Wichita Falls for his residency, where he is currently full-time core faculty at the Wichita Falls Family Practice Residency Program.

June | Tasaduq Mir, MD | Denton
International medical graduate passionate about treating the whole patient

Tasaduq Mir, MD, came to the U.S. after a childhood in India and completing medical school in Shiraz, Iran. After completing a residency in Minnesota and a fellowship in Fort Worth, Mir became faculty in the Department of Family Medicine at UT Southwestern. He lives in Denton with his wife, Sadaf, and his two children, Anoush and Urooj.

May | Natalia Gutierrez, MD | Carrollton
International medical graduate cares for the underserved

Natalia Gutierrez, MD, was born and raised in Colombia by parents both in the medical field. Her mother, a dentist, and her father, a general practitioner, greatly impacted her decision to become a physician. She is now working in Carrollton, Texas, at Jose Burbano, MD, and Associates, part of the Texas Health Physicians Group.

April | Patrick Leung, MD | Midland
TAFP Foundation donor practices alongside wife

TAFP member Patrick Leung, MD, and his wife Nancy Leung, RN, run a family medicine clinic in Midland, where they have lived since 1980 and raised three children who now work in health care. The Leungs recently made a generous donation to the TAFP Foundation that will provide scholarships to medical students participating in the Texas Family Medicine Preceptorship Program.

February | Brittany Taute | UTMB
Medical student Board member hopes to practice in rural setting

Fourth-year medical student and TAFP Board member Brittany Taute had the perfect kind of childhood to succeed in rural medicine. Being from the outskirts of Amarillo, she was raised with horses and cattle, showing animals, farming land, and building fence. Her background and experiences at UTMB have helped her decide to go into rural medicine post-residency.

January | Jake Margo, MD | Rio Grande City
Rural physician active in community and TAFP business

TAFP Valley Chapter president and Hidalgo Starr County Medical Society president are just two of the many hats Jake Margo, MD, wears. After finishing a family medicine residney in 2004, Margo returned to his rural hometown of Rio Grande City and remains there today, practicing full scope family medicine.


November | Nish Shah, MD | Houston
Resident member chose family medicine long before medical school

Long before even entering the Baylor College of Medicine, Shah knew family medicine was the path for him. He was born and raised in Houston by parents who firmly believed in academics and that hard work and discipline allow you to accomplish anything. Now in his second year at the Houston Methodist San Jacinto Family Medicine Residency program, Shah is very active in TAFP’s Section on Residents.

October | Terrance Hines, MD | Austin
TAFP Board member followed parents’ footsteps into health care

After completing an undergraduate degree and a medical degree at Texas A&M and a residency at John Peter Smith, choosing family medicine was a natural decision for Terrance Hines, MD, who knew he wanted to be a family doctor since before beginning medical school, thanks to his nurse parents and his childhood physician.

September | Emily Briggs, MD, MPH | New Braunfels
New physician Board member hopes to speak for younger doctors

After finishing a residency at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa, Dr. Emily Briggs set up camp and her own private practice in New Braunfels, Texas. It is now five years later and her full scope practice is thriving enough that in 2012 she hired a second physician. Briggs was recently elected as the new physician member for not only the TAFP Board of Directors, but also for the AAFP Board.

July | Joe Anzaldúa, MD | Sugar Land
Sugar Land doctor loyal to community

Dr. Joe Anzaldúa has been in private practice in the Sugar Land area since 1985 and has been on faculty at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston since 1994. He is also the medical director of Emergency Medical Services for Sugar Land, Stafford, and Missouri City.

June | Linda May, MD | San Antonio
TAFP Board member hopes to be voice of Texas residents

After attending the University of Texas at Austin for her undergraduate degree, Linda May, MD, moved to Bayamon, Puerto Rico to attend the Universidad Central del Caribe for medical school. She then completed a residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where she is currently the chief resident.

May | Mary Nguyen, MD | Castroville
Rural doc enjoys caring for multiple generations of families

After earning her undergraduate degrees from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, a medical degree from UTHSC at Houston, and completing a residency with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa, Dr. Mary Nguyen took her state boards and immediately jumped into practicing. Literally. “Once I graduated from residency, I took my boards on a Friday and started work the following Monday,” says Nguyen.

April | Bruce Russell, MD | Port Aransas
Coastal Bend physician encourages patients to spend time in nature

While caring for patients in his community of Port Aransas, Dr. Bruce Russell encourages kids and families to be outside through the Nature Rocks program he is afiliated with in the Coastal Bend area. Family medicine was an easy choice for him while a student, thanks to the family physician that delivered him and cared for him through his medical school years.

March | Tracey Haas, DO, MPH | Austin
Austin physician interested in helping the world’s underserved and fellow physicians alike

While Texas native Tracey Haas, DO, MPH, has always claimed the state as home, her career in the medical field has allowed her to travel all over the globe. From a residency in New England where she met her husband to helping in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, Haas says she has been involved in medical missions for years and is interested in helping out the poverty stricken around the world.

February | Ajay Gupta, MD | Austin
TAFP officer values personal relationships with patients

After being raised by first generation immigrant parents in Chicago and Houston, TAFP Treasurer Ajay Gupta, MD, graduated with his medical degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and completed a residency program in Corpus Christi. He quickly joined Jefferson Street Family Practice in Austin and is still there today.

January | Dan Sepdham, MD | Flower Mound
Former military physician advocates for primary care

Dan Sepdham, MD, went to medical school on a military scholarship and paid back his debt after residency by spending six years in the Air Force as a flight surgeon. After being stationed in Florida and the United Kingdom, Sepdham joined the faculty at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UT Southwestern, where he has been since 2006.


December | Drs. John and Judith Egerton | Austin
Physician couple follows golden rule in practice

John and Judith Egerton married as medical students in 1964 after meeting at The Welsh National School of Medicine in the United Kingdom. John joined the Royal Air Force as a medical student, and after graduating and finishing a residency was stationed in Singapore until 1971. In 1975, they moved with their four small children to Houston and established a joint practice in Friendswood in 1983.

November | Domingo Caparas, Jr., MD | Odessa
International medical graduate wants to serve home and adopted countries

After getting his undergrad and medical degrees, completing a residency, and practicing for three years at a veteran’s medical center all in his native country of the Philippines, Domingo Caparas, Jr., MD, came to the U.S. to become a physician. He is now chief resident for the family medicine residency program at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at the Permian Basin in Odessa, Texas and is scheduled to graduate next year.

October | Shiv Agarwal, MD | Fort Worth
First-year resident changes career path for family medicine

In his first year of residency at Fort Worth’s John Peter Smith Hospital, Shiv Agarwal, MD, currently describes his health care career aspirations as “to be determined.” The trail that led him to family medicine wasn’t necessarily direct, but he knows he’s now in the right place. After taking a position with a consulting firm in Manhattan, Agarwal’s career change of heart landed him back in Texas studying medicine.

September | Lamia Kadir, MD | Round Rock
Compassionate physician focuses on diabetes, vaccinations

Dr. Lamia Kadir’s several passions include patient education, chronic pain management, and women’s health. A champion of immunizations, she recently blogged for TAFP on the importance of school vaccinations and was interviewed by a local Austin news station on the same topic.

August | Joshua Splinter, MD | Baytown
Resident member passionate about others choosing family medicine

After being hired by physicians to do some information technology work, Joshua Splinter, MD, started thinking about medicine as a possible career field. Upon entering medical school at UTHSCSA, he chose to pursue family medicine because “it just fit.” Now a second-year resident at the San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown, Splinter also serves the Texas Army National Guard part time as a field surgeon.

July | Linda Siy, MD | Fort Worth
TAFP past president active in Academy business

In honor of this year’s Annual Session & Scientific Assembly taking place in Fort Worth, the July Member of the Month hails from there as well. Linda Siy, MD, has been with the JPS Health Network at a Community Health Center in Bedford since 1995. Siy says she enjoys her work there due to the tremendously diverse patient population, including immigrants from all over the world and a large amount of pediatric patients.

June | Ashok Tripathy, MD | Houston
Physician enjoys creating lasting relationships with patients

For 23 years now, Ashok Tripathy, MD, has been a board certified family physician, doing what he loves and caring for his patients. When asked what career would have been his second choice, he says he cannot see himself doing anything else – caring for his patients and creating relationships with them are his true passions.

May | Gregory Johnson, MD | Houston
Hospitalist raised attending TAFP meetings with father

Houston hospitalist Gregory Johnson, MD, is board certified in both family and internal medicine and serves as the chief medical officer for the central and southeast regions of Sound Physicians, a hospitalist organization founded and led by physicians. His father Glen, a former TAFP president and Physician Emeritus, began taking him to TAFP meetings over two decades ago.

April | Joey Koch, MD | Lufkin
New physician returns to hometown to practice

Hearing stories about his local physician grandfather and watching the local family physicians at work sparked an interest in family medicine for a young Joey Koch, MD He ventured to College Station, San Antonio, and Waco for his education, but returned to his hometown of Lufkin to begin his practice. After working within the Scott and White system for a year, Koch and his psychiatrist wife Rebekah began their own private practice at the Tall Pines Family Clinic.

March | Jane Sadler, MD | Garland
Physician is active in local community, also a published writer

Coming from a family of physicians, Jane Sadler, MD, had no trouble choosing medicine as a major. Her mother’s experience as a family physician drove her to choose the same specialty, leading to her current position practicing as a Baylor physician representative with the Family Medical Center at North Garland. As volunteer faculty with the Baylor Garland Family Practice program, Sadler says she enjoys “teaching young doctors the exclusive art of family medicine.”

February | Sister Rosanne Popp, MD | Houston
Physician serves the needy through religious life, family medicine

From a young age, our February Member of the Month knew she wanted to be a nurse. But after finishing nurse practitioner training, her goal to serve the poor drew her to pursue her medical degree and she found family medicine to be a good fit. In addition to her service as a family physician, she felt called to enter the sisterhood and become a nun.

January | Arie Marancenbaum, MD | Dallas
Wound care physician comes from medical family, loves teaching

Born and raised in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Arie Marancenbaum, MD, now practices at the Lake Pointe Wound Care Center east of Dallas in Rowlett, Texas. His father’s work in engineering sparked his interest in science, while his two uncles in the medical field inspired him to become a physician. He says his career as a physician has exceeded his expectations, but he thinks eventually he will return to the academia world. “After all, the word doctor in Latin is ‘docere,’ which means to teach,” says Dr. Marancenbaum on his plans of becoming a teacher.


December | Jerry Abraham, MPH | San Antonio
Student member is a leader in the world of medicine

Jerry Abraham, MPH, a third-year medical student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, is a busy man, to put it simply. He is a representative, delegate, member, and president to several organizations and committees throughout the state and around the world, including chair to the Academy’s Section on Medical Students. His love of people and desire to contribute to the greater good of public health drove him to choose primary care as a specialty.

November | Charles J. Caskey, MD | Beaumont
Life member reflects on life, medicine, and caring for patients like family

At age 84, 11 years after retirement from the Beaumont practice he ran for more than 40 years, Charles “Chuck” Caskey, MD, still visits with former patients and staff members. He watched medicine change greatly during this time, sometimes for the better and sometimes not, as he says, but his patients were like family and they made each day worth it.

October | Jorge Duchicela, MD | Weimar
Physician serves rural Texas and Ecuador through practice, institute

Jorge Duchicela, MD, is a rural private practice physician in Weimar where he serves a community of patients that is diverse in ethnicity, age, gender, geographical location, and social stratum. He also founded Cachamsi, a nonprofit medical immersion institute, in Cacha, Ecuador, that brings health professionals to this rural community to care for the patients there, learn Spanish so they can better communicate with their Spanish-speaking patients at home, and learn global and cross-cultural medicine.

September | Elizabeth Tran, MD | Houston
Resident member drawn to medicine through international volunteer work

Now chief resident for the Baylor Family Residency Program in Houston, Elizabeth Tran, MD, joined the U.S. Peace Corps after graduating from college to learn about other cultures, and at the same time gained a deep appreciation for her own life: her family and friends, health, and education. She realized she wanted to help people improve their lives through their health, which led her to pursue family- and community-based medicine with a focus on women’s health.

August | Tamarah Duperval-Brownlee, MD, MPH | Austin
Lone Star Circle of Care executive strives to help the underserved

A Chicago native, Dr. Tamarah Duperval-Brownlee moved to Texas in March 2011 to take the reins at Lone Star Circle of Care, a federally qualified health center with 26 locations across four counties in Central Texas. She’s passionate about access to care and patient-centered medicine.

July | Troy Russell | San Antonio
TAFP student member chooses family medicine through passion for public health, research

A fourth-year medical student, Troy Russell is certain that family medicine is the right specialty for him as it combines his passions for research, public health, and continuity of care. He feels fortunate to be joining the profession in a time when family physicians can reshape the medical profession for the better.

June | Christina Kelly, MD | Harker Heights
New physician finds renewal for specialty through AAFP involvement

As an Army wife, Christina Kelly, MD, has worked in a variety of practice settings — from employed to part-time residency program faculty to her current position as civilian faculty at the Family Medicine Residency at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. She has been involved in the Academy on the state and national level since medical school, feeling re-energized for family medicine with each conference.

May | Edwin Franks, MD | Iraan
TAFP Life Member recalls the golden years of family medicine

Edwin R. Franks, MD, now retired, practiced family medicine for 51 years in the small rural town of Iraan, Texas – pronounced “Ira-Ann,” a mash-up of the names of a cattle rancher and his wife. Over his career, he delivered 3,000 babies, spanning generations, and saw the full spectrum of family medicine, “from soup to nuts,” as he said when he sat down with TAFP at the C. Frank Webber Lectureship in March 2012.

April | Ikemefuna Charles Okwuwa, MD | Odessa
Resident dreams of teaching, tells first-years to “seize every opportunity”

Dr. Okwuwa is a third-year resident at Texas Tech Health Science Center Department of Family Medicine in Odessa, Texas. Though now a U.S. citizen, he was born in Nigeria and received medical training at the School of Medicine at the University of Benin in Nigeria. He loves family medicine for the variety and hopes to join his residency’s faculty to give back to future physicians what he has received from his residency mentors.

March | Dustin Pratt, MD | Childress
Family physician practices full-spectrum medicine in rural Texas

Dr. Pratt is a family physician in the small rural town of Childress, Texas, halfway between Wichita Falls and Amarillo in the Texas panhandle. He enjoys the diversity of family medicine, and certainly practices the full spectrum in his local clinic and hospital, though he worries about the “ever increasing difficulty to recruit new physicians that do full spectrum family medicine.”

February | John Redman, MD, MS | Anahuac
New physician drawn to breadth of specialty, serving the underserved

Dr. Redman is a family physician at Bayside Clinic, a federally qualified health center 50 miles east of Houston, where he serves the poor and indigent of Chambers County. He felt drawn to work at an FQHC because of his residency training at the Waco Family Medicine Program, another FQHC, and because he enjoys helping patients who would not otherwise have access to health care.

January | Lisa Doggett, MD, MPH | Austin
Austin physician “makes a difference” by caring for the underserved

In her 10 years as a family physician, Dr. Doggett has dedicated her career to caring for the uninsured, underinsured, and others in need, following in the footsteps of her parents for whom “public service is a way of life.”


November | Claudia Aguero-Vazquez, MD | Harlingen
Rio Grande Valley educator coaches residents, patients to be their best

Though Dr. Aguero-Vazquez began her career in private practice, she is now faculty at Valley Baptist Family Practice Residency Program. It’s here that she shines as a “remarkable leader, cheerleader, and coach.”

October | J. Mark Anderson, MD, and Walter Gaman, MD | Southlake
Southlake physicians share family medicine with broad audience

As hosts of a popular Dallas radio show and authors of a new book, Drs. Anderson and Gaman are no strangers to the media. The Southlake family physicians say it’s important to provide a family medicine perspective because family physicians are “on the front lines” and “see the big picture.”

September | Aaron Segal, MD | Plano
“Family practice” holds extra meaning for Plano physician

In practice with his wife and father, Dr. Segal reflects on his experience working with family, gives thoughts on the broken reimbursement model, and tells how one ride in a college campus ambulance sealed his destiny to become a physician.

August | Kevin P. Spencer, MD | Austin
Physician uses innovation and technology to deliver better patient care

A private practice physician at Premier Family Physicians in Austin, Texas, Dr. Spencer delivers quality patient care through traditional family medicine mixed with innovation and health information technology.

July | Emily Sullivan Meyer, MD | Hondo
Fourth-generation physician carries on tradition of patient care in rural Texas

Dr. Meyer is a rural physician in Hondo, Texas, who currently practices with her father and four other family physicians. Her family's medical tradition started with her great-grandfather when he moved to Hondo and opened a general practice in 1906.

June | Christine Criscuolo Higgins, MD | San Antonio
Academic physician’s love of fitness inspires community involvement

Clinical faculty at the Christus Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program in San Antonio, Dr. Higgins’ approach to medicine combines her family medicine training, passion for the underserved, and love of fitness.

May | Julie Graves Moy, MD, MPH | Austin
Physician explores many sides of family medicine

Dr. Graves Moy currently works for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, but has worked in academia, private practice, and emergency medicine as well. She’s currently working on her doctorate in policy management and biostatistics.

April | Loren S. Lasater, MD | Roanoke
Physician invigorates practice through military service

Dr. Lasater joined the U.S. Army Reserve to care for soldiers serving abroad and in the United States. Through this service he has gained knowledge and experience working with other physicians and in other health care systems that make him a better physician in his home practice.

March | Howard Brody, MD | Galveston
Galveston physician educates patients, promotes specialty through writing

Dr. Brody contributes columns to local newspapers to educate patients on their health and on the specialty of family medicine, and has dedicated his career to medical ethics.

February | Chrisette Dharma, MD | Dallas
Presenting our inaugural Member of the Month

Your Academy is proud to launch a new program that celebrates the breadth of family medicine, the Member of the Month program. Each month, TAFP will present a short biography and question-and-answer segment that spotlights a family physician’s unique approach to medicine. Read about our first member of the month, Chrisette Dharma, MD, of Dallas, and consider nominating a colleague.