UTHSCT infectious disease specialist ranks in top 1 percent of physicians, according to U.S. News & World Report

Friday, July 27, 2012

Richard Wallace, MD, an infectious disease specialist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, has been ranked in the top 1 percent of physicians in his field by U.S. News and World Report magazine.

Dr. Wallace is a board-certified infectious disease physician who specializes in treating Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), a rare and non-contagious bacterial infection affecting only one in 100,000 people in the United States.

MAC is thought to be environmentally acquired, meaning that the germs get into the lungs or body via air, water, or soil. Risk factors for the disease include having lung tissue that has been damaged by tuberculosis, heavy smoking, or bronchiectasis – a condition that causes destruction of the tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs.

“I’ve been studying MAC for 35 years,” Dr. Wallace said. “We are fortunate to have the premiere laboratory in the world at UTHSCT for identifying these bacteria and determining which antibiotics work best against them.”

Because Dr. Wallace is one of a very few specialists who treat MAC, patients routinely travel from throughout the United States, Mexico, South America, and Canada to see him.

To determine who qualifies as a Top Doctor, U.S. News teams up with Castle Connolly, a New York City-based firm that has spent almost 20 years identifying the nation’s top doctors. The firm bases its selections on nominations submitted by other doctors and reviewed by its physician-led research team.

Any doctor may nominate one or more physicians, but doctors cannot nominate themselves. Neither physicians nor their employers – such as hospitals or group practices – can pay to have a physician selected as a Top Doctor.

For more than 60 years, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has provided excellent patient care and cutting-edge treatment, specializing in pulmonary disease, cancer, heart disease, primary care, and the disciplines that support them. UTHSCT’s annual operating budget of $125 million represents a major economic impact of over $287 million for the Northeast Texas region. Since 2002, scientists in the Center for Biomedical Research have been awarded more than $120 million in research dollars. As the academic health science center for Northeast Texas, its graduate medical education programs – with residencies in family medicine and occupational medicine – provide doctors for many communities throughout the region and beyond. UTHSCT is also the program sponsor of the residency program in internal medicine at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview.

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