The LAFP Member of the Month is a forum to recognize and highlight our members. We hope you enjoy learning about fellow members both on a personal and professional level. LAFP is proud to recognize Mark Dawson, MD, MBA as our September 2018 Member of the Month.
Dr. Dawson is a Family Physician, Pediatrician who has practiced in Rayne, Louisiana since 1980. Dr. Dawson attended LSU Baton Rouge from 1970-1973 and was accepted to LSU Medical School, New Orleans after 3 years of college. He received his medical degree from LSU Medical School New Orleans in December, 1976. His first residency was in Family Medicine at W.O. Moss Regional Hospital where he was Chief Resident his senior year. He then practiced in Rayne for 8 years in the field of Family Medicine. His second residency was in pediatrics at Earl K. Long Hospital, which he completed in 1990. Dr. Dawson is board certified by both the American Board of Family Practice and the American Board of Pediatrics, having been re-certified by both recently. He is a member of the Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians, the Louisiana State Medical Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Louisiana Coroners Association.
Dr. Dawson continued his education by obtaining an MBA degree from LSU in 1995. His major interests are in the field of practice management. He lectures to residents and students on a regular basis on practice management topics. He holds faculty appointments and regularly teaches junior and senior students from three different medical schools: LSU School of Medicine, New Orleans, Tulane University School of Medicine, and Nova Southeastern School of Osteopathic Medicine. In 2003 he was named “Preceptor of the Year” for excellence and enthusiasm in teaching of Family Medicine by the Department of Family and Community Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine. He also is a faculty member at the Family Medicine Residency Program at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, an LSU program in the Department of Family Medicine.
On a personal note Dr. Dawson has been the Coroner of Acadia Parish since 1983. He and his wife, Linda, have 4 daughters. His major interests include the medical education in the field of rural family medicine and rural pediatrics. He remains a strong advocate for rural physicians and physicians in training from rural Louisiana.
- It is important for me to be a member of AAFP and LAFP because….
It is important to be a member of AAFP and LAFP in order to have a voice concerning your own destiny. Doctors need to be active in the political arena in order to express their thoughts about the lives of our patients and in the wellbeing of our practices. Being a member of those organizations gives us that voice we need.
- What is the most important quality a family physician should have?
The most important quality a family physician should have is empathy and a warm and friendly personality.
- What is the biggest opportunity or challenge you see in the specialty in the next five years?
The biggest opportunity that I see in FP is the movement towards primary care and care for the entire patient. The biggest challenge I see faces all specialties, that is, government intrusion into our practices.
- Why did you choose family medicine?
I chose family medicine because I am from a small town (Morganza) and my mentor was and still is a country doctor.
- How do you make a difference in family medicine and in your community?
I make a difference in family medicine and in my community by staying involved and active (former President of LAFP, active member for many years, and Acadia Parish Coroner for 35 years ).
- What advice would you offer to medical students selecting their specialty?
I advise medical students to go the Family practice route and avoid other primary care specialties such as pediatrics for mostly economic reasons- general pediatricians and internal medicine physicians have a harder time making a good living. FP has diversification and that adds income.
- What has your experience as a LAFP member been like?
Positive- I love mixing with my fellow FP doctors.
- Describe your most successful accomplishments?
My most successful accomplishments was being on the LSBME for 13.5 years throughout the administration of three different governors.
- What is the best experience you have had throughout your career?
The best experience I have had throughout my career is completion of my MBA at LSU.
- How would you define the mission of your practice?
The mission of my practice is community service while at the same time being financially stable.