Class of '04 elects Lloyd winner of Iatros Award

By Rachel Horton
Office of News and Publications

It was deep in the outlying rural areas of the Philippine province of Rizal that Dr. Michael Lloyd, class of '04, discovered his passion for medicine.

Dr. Lloyd traveled to the Philippines at age 19 to complete a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While he was there, a group of American surgeons taking part in a humanitarian aid project performed cleft palate operations on several Filipino children.

"The children who had this surgery done - it changed their lives. It was then that I decided I wanted to be a doctor," said Dr. Lloyd, who received the 2004 Iatros Award sponsored by Southwestern Medical School Alumni Association.

Dr. Lloyd's classmates voted him winner of the Iatros Award, the only student-chosen award. Winners are judged not only on their ability to get along with others and to be a team player but on their clinical knowledge and patient care.

Fellow classmate Dr. Allison Young, who nominated him for the award, said he is "a great friend, an excellent leader, a dedicated student, a superb clinician, a devoted husband and father, and a selfless contributor to the world around him."

"His humble confidence and solid work ethic combined to produce a thoughtful, thorough and clinically competent physician-to-be," Dr. Young said in her nomination letter. "While all of these qualities are certainly admirable -- it is the life that Mike leads outside of medical school, in addition to the achievements he attained in medical school, that make him a worthy candidate for the Iatros Award.

"Despite Mike's tremendous commitment to his education, his family has always remained his top priority. In addition, despite long hours on call and endless piles of books to be read, his faithful dedication to his church never failed."

Dr. Young was a member of a study group with Dr. Lloyd during their first two years as medical students.

Dr. Lloyd and his wife, Kim, have two children - Ashley, 3, and Brayden, 19 months. He began a preliminary medicine internship at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas on July 1. The family will move to Portland, Ore., after one year so Dr. Lloyd may complete a residency in ophthalmology at the Casey Eye Institute.

Dr. Lloyd, the third of six siblings, grew up in Salt Lake City. He met his wife during the summer before his senior year in high school and ran against her for student council.

"She beat me," he recalled. "I figured, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!"

Before his trip to the Philippines, Dr. Lloyd said he was directionless in life.

"I really didn't have any idea what I wanted to do," he said. "It was just kind of this nebulous thing that I was going to figure out later in life."

Both he and his wife attended Brigham Young University. They married in October 1997 after his freshman year in college. Dr. Lloyd majored in microbiology and his wife in finance. She now works as a financial analyst. They live in Garland.

Ophthalmology is particularly ideal for Dr. Lloyd, he said, because it fits well with his plans to travel with humanitarian aid projects much like the one that came to the Philippines in the mid-1990s when he was there.

"As an ophthalmologist, it's feasible to operate on 100 people in a week and take them from blindness to 20/20 vision," he said.

Dr. Lloyd said he was "absolutely surprised" to be chosen as the Iatros winner.

"I really didn't think it would come down to me," he said. "But it's nice when it comes from people I've worked so closely with these last four years."

Though he has enjoyed his time at UT Southwestern, Dr. Lloyd said he looks forward to getting back to a part of the country that is less "vertically challenged."

Despite the flat terrain in Dallas, Dr. Lloyd said he wouldn't trade the experience he has had here.

"I've loved every day at UT Southwestern," he said. "I had a couple of options of where to go to school, but I chose to come here because of what I saw at Parkland Hospital. The sheer amount of work that needed to be done meant that I would get firsthand experience. I didn't want to be the 14th member of a team waiting in line and not being able to do any thing for anybody."