Members of the Month:
J. Mark Anderson, M.D., and Walter Gaman, M.D.
Southlake physicians share family medicine with broad audience
As hosts of a popular Dallas radio show and authors of a new book, J. Mark Anderson, M.D., and Walter Gaman, M.D., are no strangers to the media. They are partners in practice at Executive Medicine of Texas in Southlake, Texas. They are joined by additional co-host and co-author Judy Gaman.
The one-hour Staying Young radio show airs live every Sunday at 11 a.m. on 660 AM KSKY and is simulcast on 92.9 FM in Dallas, 95.5 FM in Arlington, and 99.9 FM in Fort Worth. As with most shows, each host plays an important role: Walter Gaman is known as the “resident brainiac,” Judy Gaman brings personality and structure, and Anderson brings humor through his “unpredictable analogies” and dry sense of humor. They host experts speaking on a variety of topics that run the gamut from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia to hormonal therapy for women to the future of medicine. All shows are available free on iTunes.
The trio also collaborated on their book, Stay Young: 10 Proven Steps to Ultimate Health, which gives readers a “place to start” when striving to live a healthier life. Steps include “know your family history,” “modify your eating habits,” “adopt an exercise program,” and “have sex often.”
A Dallas native, Anderson received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and completed a family medicine residency at Southwestern Medical School - St. Paul Medical Center in Dallas. Gaman received his medical degree from the University of Manitoba and served as head of the Department of Family Medicine in Winnipeg, where he practiced family medicine until relocating to Texas in 1987.
Both physicians were recently named one of the Best Doctors in Texas by Newsweek Magazine and have been previously recognized as one of the Top Docs in Dallas by D Magazine. Gaman has also been named a “Healthcare Hero” by the Fort Worth Business Press.
JMA – Dr. J. Mark Anderson
WG – Dr. Walter Gaman
Tell us a little about yourself and your career.
JMA– I received my medical degree from UTMB Galveston and continued to practice in Texas. I have enjoyed being a family physician and the rewards of seeing patients over the years. I am excited to have the opportunity to step away from the “HMO treadmill,” so to speak, and open Executive Medicine of Texas. It’s very gratifying as a physician to have patients fly in from all over the world because they want to see you and not because you were the first doctor listed in their insurance packet.
WG – I was first a physician in Canada and moved to Texas in the 1980s. The freedom that American doctors were given to practice their craft without government involvement or dictation was very enticing. I first opened up practice in Irving, but about six years ago opened a second office in Southlake with Dr. Anderson. The days that I spend in Southlake are by far the most rewarding, especially since I can spend lots of time with my patients and really get to know them.
Why did you choose family medicine, and what’s your favorite aspect of it?
JMA– I chose family medicine because of the diversity of problems and the longitudinal care of seeing people over the years and growing up with their families.
WG – I chose family medicine because of breadth of the issues that you deal with. Complex diagnoses are challenging.
How does your radio show advance family medicine and good health? Your book?
JMA– Our radio show allows us to teach listeners about common medical conditions, treatments, and what’s new in the world of medical discoveries. This allows me to do what I do one-on-one with patients, on a broader scope. Half the time we learn from our guests as well. For example, George Church, the head of genetics at Harvard and MIT, will be on with us in October to discuss what’s new in the field of genetics. This show keeps us on our toes and ahead of the curve. It re-stokes our fires of excitement about medicine.
WG – We wrote the book Stay Young: 10 Proven Steps to Ultimate Health as an informative resource for people who are trying to live longer and healthier but don’t know where to start. It works like an interactive journal where patients can fill in their answers and make it specific to their needs.
Why is it important to provide a family medicine perspective on health care issues?
JMA– We are the physicians on the front lines of health care. Patients see us first and they see us last. Almost everything that happens in between is because of our direction.
WG – Family medicine should always be the core provider for all answers to health care issues. As the primary caregiver, we see the big picture.
How would you define the mission of your practice? JMA– The mission of Executive Medicine of Texas is to put the patient back in control of their health.
WG – In addition to what Dr. Anderson said, we want to be proactive and preventative with our patients. This way we don’t have to practice so much reactive medicine.
Is there any advice you would like to give colleagues?
JMA– Find your passion. If you are burnt out, find a way to rekindle the flame.
WG – If you are tired of the same old rut, keep your mind open to other ways to practice. Remember why you got into medicine in the first place and follow your heart.
How do you spend your free time?
JMA– Out on the open road with my Harley, trimming down the bucket list.
WG – With my family, usually enjoying baseball with my sons or taking in the arts with my wife and daughters.
TAFP’s Member of the Month program highlights Texas family physicians in QuickInfo and on the TAFP website. We feature a biography and a Q&A with a different TAFP member each month and his or her unique approach to family medicine. If you know an outstanding family physician colleague who you think should be featured as a Member of the Month, nominate the physician by sending his or her name, phone number, and e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org. View past Members of the Month here.