Reed named first recipient of Watson Award for clinicians

By Rachel Skei Donihoo

Dr. W. Gary Reed, professor of internal medicine and surgery, has been named the first recipient of the Patricia and William L. Watson Jr., M.D., Award for Excellence in Clinical Medicine.

Dr. W. Gary Reed

Dr. Watson, an alumnus of 
UT Southwestern, and his wife, Patricia, made a substantial gift to create the award in order to recognize a UT Southwestern clinician whose work exemplifies a commitment to outstanding patient care and advancement of innovative medical therapy. Income from the endowment fund will be used by the winner to enhance clinical innovation.

The Watson Award will be announced each year in the fall, with the recipient to be recognized in a ceremony held in conjunction with an annual invited lecture by an eminent medical leader that focuses on an important topic of clinical care delivery.

Dr. Reed received his medical degree from UT Southwestern in 1977 and completed his internship and residency here prior to joining the faculty in 1980. He holds the S.T. Harris Family Distinguished Chair in Internal Medicine, the Eva A. Rosenthal Professorship in Internal Medicine and the Sinor/Pritchard Professorship in Medical Education Honoring Donald W. Seldin, M.D. Dr. Reed also serves as vice chairman for clinical affairs at Parkland Memorial Hospital.

“I’m humbled by such a wonderful award and am grateful to the Watsons and to my fellow clinicians for this great opportunity to further my clinical work,” he said. “This has been an incredible and totally unexpected honor.”

Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern, said, “Dr. Watson has the reputation of being a ‘physician’s physician,’ and we’re thrilled that he and Patricia have chosen to support our clinicians in such a meaningful way. This wonderful gift will be an important means to underscore UT Southwestern’s commitment to advancing excellence in patient care by recognizing the important work of our dedicated clinicians like Dr. Reed, who has served as a role model for legions of students, residents and junior faculty. He exemplifies the characteristics of an exemplary clinician — a commitment to patient care; a brilliant intellect; an inquiring mind; and a calm, reassuring manner.”

Dr. Watson, a native of Teague, earned his undergraduate degree in zoology, with honors, from UT Austin. After graduating from medical school in 1955, he completed his internship at Providence Hospital in Waco. From 1956 to 1961 he served as an Air Force flight surgeon at the School of Aviation Medicine at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, where he conducted indoctrination classes for incoming officers.

After completing his residency in otolaryngology at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Dr. Watson opened a private practice in Waco, which he ran until his retirement in 1992.

Mrs. Watson, also a native of Teague, was valedictorian of her high school class and earned a degree in music from Southern Methodist University.

The Watsons have been married for 50 years and have two grown children.