TTUHSC El Paso Professor Named Laureate by American College of Physicians

Richard McCallum, M.D., professor and founding chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso (TTUHSC El Paso), was recently named a 2017 Laureate by the Texas Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP).

The Laureate Award is given to Texas physicians “who have demonstrated by their example and conduct an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education or research, and in service to their community, their chapter and the American College of Physicians,” said George Crawford, M.D., the Texas Southern ACP governor.

Dr. McCallum, who has been a member of different state chapters of the ACP since 1975, has made major advances in the diagnosis and treatment of the digestive disorder gastroparesis. In patients with gastroparesis, food moves through the stomach much slower than normal.

Dr. McCallum has researched the interactions between the brain and stomach to understand the causes of associated nausea and vomiting, and more effectively treat the disease.

Dr. McCallum holds three patents and is the inventor of a gastric pacemaker to help patients who cannot digest food properly. His findings have appeared in more than 450 peer-reviewed scientific articles and 120 textbook chapters. He has also edited 14 scientific textbooks on gastroenterology.

“As a leader in the Texas medical community; teacher of students, residents and gastroenterology fellows; prodigious investigator; nationally and internationally recognized contributor to the field of gastroenterology; clinician; researcher and chair of departments and societies, Dr. McCallum exemplifies the best aspects of our profession and was unanimously selected by the Texas ACP nomination committee for the Laureate Award,” Dr. Crawford said.

In his acceptance speech, Dr. McCallum noted that he was the second TTUHSC El Paso faculty member to receive the Laureate Award from the ACP, which has been awarded annually since 1985. Harry Davis II, M.D., associate professor and vice chair for education in the Department of Internal Medicine, received the award in 2011.

“The list of prior recipients of this honor includes some of the most well-known and productive physicians from the state of Texas,” Dr. Davis said. “I was deeply honored to be included among those who had received this lifetime pinnacle award.”

Dr. McCallum said he was proud of TTUHSC El Paso’s evolution since his arrival in 2009. He said he has had great mentors in his career, and is dedicated to mentoring medical students, residents, fellows and junior faculty.

“This award is indeed an honor for my career, as well as for the school,” Dr. McCallum said. “It is a recognition of my body of work focused on diagnosing and treating patients, while at the same time incorporating a teaching environment and a research culture to help produce the future leaders in clinical and academic gastroenterology.”

Dr. McCallum joined TTUHSC El Paso in 2009 as professor and founding chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. In 2014, he established the RotaCare Clinic in El Paso in partnership with the Rotary Club. This clinic is a resource for individuals with no other access to health care services, and provides first- and second-year medical students with one of their initial clinical experiences, under the supervision of licensed physicians.

In addition to his appointment at TTUHSC El Paso, Dr. McCallum is the director of gastroenterology research and the Center for Neurogastroenterology and GI Motility, and an honorary professor in the Departments of Medicine and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Queensland Australia. He has also served on the gastroenterology faculty at the Yale University School of Medicine, and as chief of gastroenterology and the GI fellowship program at the University of Virginia and the University of Kansas Medical Center.