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By Salwa Choucair
With an affinity for science at a young age and an early memory of a favorite toy—a doctor’s bag—John Doran, M.D., FACP, was destined to become a physician. At age 70, his passion for science and desire to help others continues to be the perfect combination for a successful career.
A member of UT Health San Antonio’s first full medical class, Dr. Doran received his medical degree in 1973.
“I have had a wonderful career,” Dr. Doran said, “during probably the golden age of clinical medicine, as far as I can tell. I saw patients with problems through all subspecialties of internal medicine. It has been much more than I ever dreamed of.”
Dr. Doran chose internal medicine during his third year at UT Health San Antonio because of the challenge it posed to him.
“Internal medicine was where I could use my brain,” Dr. Doran said. “I was attracted to the fact that you had to do a lot of thinking, which I still do. You have to use your knowledge and experience to solve a patient’s problem.”
Upon graduating, he spent a year in London conducting research with a cardiology professor but chose to return to his hometown of Odessa to practice internal medicine spending his entire 40-year career there. Active in the Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, Dr. Doran divided his time equally in the hospital and in the clinic. Today with changes in health care and hospital staffing, Dr. Doran’s practice is based solely in his office where he continues to practice medicine.
He challenges current students to learn as much as they can while taking classes and completing their clinical rotations and emphasizes the need for them to learn how to think.
“Learning to think critically is one of the most important facets of any health care education,” Dr. Doran said. “If you have the knowledge on which to base your decision, you then must weigh all the elements involved, in order to find the best solution.”
As an alumnus, Dr. Doran believes it is important to support health care institutions that require financial contributions to maintain research goals. He has been instrumental in giving back to the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine through financial support, establishing the John H. Doran, M.D., FACP, Endowed Chair in Peripheral Neuropathy in 2014, providing funding for a Neuropathy Study in 2015 and pledging support of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics’ Global Health Initiative in 2016.
Recently, he was named one of two founding members of the school’s Aesculapian Laureate Society. This is a new award honoring Long School of Medicine alumni who have given more than $1 million to the medical school. Dr. Doran’s desire to help others through his love of science remains his passion.
“You can change a life in a positive way, one patient at a time, and it is really quite rewarding,” he concludes. “There is nothing like it.”