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MEET LOCAL LEGEND: Nancy Dickey, M.D.

Picture of Nancy Dickey
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Nancy Dickey, M.D.

“My greatest reward is the people I've met and worked with. People are central to everything I do.”

NOMINATING CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

John R. Carter

“LEADER AND ADVOCATE IN HEALTH AFFAIRS”

BIOGRAPHY

In 1997, when Nancy Dickey was elected the first female president of the American Medical Association (AMA), the theme of her inaugural address was "Packing my Bag for the Road Ahead," an appropriate speech for somebody who has spent her career accepting challenges and journeying in new directions that benefit both patients and fellow physicians.

One of Nancy Dickey's first recommendations as president of the AMA was a proposed patient's bill of rights, not surprising from a physician who spent many years working in family practice medicine, but who also has been deeply involved in redefining and reshaping medical care in the United States. As President and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the Texas A&M Health Science Center, her leadership and commitment to medicine combine with an ability to seek solutions "that fall outside the box."

Growing up on a farm in South Dakota, Nancy Dickey recalled, "I loved science in high school, but the truth is I went into medicine because I like dealing with people. I've delivered over 4000 babies in my career, and that's my greatest thrill."

In high school, a counselor told her that it was impossible to be a physician and also have a family. "It was a different world back then" Nancy Dickey recalled of the mid 1970s. "Maybe 10 percent of the class was female. Now half of the new physicians are women. I was lucky. I married the right guy and he told me to go for it. I've been a doctor, a wife and a mother, and spent eight years as a part-time doctor to be with my family. Family is most important."

Nancy Dickey earned her undergraduate degree from Stephen F. Austin State University, and received her M.D., and residency training at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. She then built and maintained an active family medicine practice and is the past program director of the Family Practice Residency of the Brazos Valley.

Nominated as a Local Legend by Representative John R. Carter (R-TX-31st), Nancy Dickey is known for her commitment to community service and medical leadership. Before her election as president of the AMA, she served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees and headed the AMA's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. She chaired the Texas Medical Association's Patient-Physician Advocacy Committee and is active in both the American and Texas Academy of Family Physicians.

Nancy Dickey is widely published with numerous abstracts, papers, and commentaries, and has appeared before Congress. She was listed in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities (1975), and is the recipient of numerous citations in The Best Doctors in America and Best Doctors publications. In 2001, she was chosen for membership in the Society for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (SELAM). She has received honorary degrees from the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, the Medical College of Pennsylvania, and Florida Atlantic University.

"She brings a wealth of energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge to every endeavor," commented Representative Carter.

MILESTONES

1997

Elected President, American Medical Association, (Former Chair of the Board of Trustees--1995)

1999

Appointed Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

2001

Elected to the Society for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (SELAM)

2002

Chosen President and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

BORN

1950

MEDICAL SCHOOL

University of Texas Medical School at Houston

SPECIALTY

Family and Community Medicine

LOCATION

Texas