Dr. Donald Franklin Honored with 2021 Outstanding Physician Award

May 29, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Retired physician Dr. Donald Franklin, Jr. was recognized on Saturday, May 22 at the annual House of Delegates meeting as the 2021 recipient of the Outstanding Physician Award. This is TMA’s equivalent to a lifetime achievement award to honor his commitment and exemplary service to medicine.

"I appreciate that I've been recognized for the things that I've tried to contribute that have brought me to this podium today. This appreciated moment is a monumental moment, but I have to admit that I'm a little concerned that this morning I learned I'm getting the award for The Year of the Weird as presented by Russ Miller," he joked. "I don't know if there is a correlation there or not."

An engaged and active member of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society since 1992, Dr. Franklin served as the secretary/treasurer for the society for six years and he has been an active part of the Governmental Affairs Committee. During his long career, he worked primarily in the fields of Nephrology and Internal Medicine until retirement in 2020.

In his acceptance speech, Dr. Franklin discussed the evolution of the practice of medicine and how, despite the many changes, the patient-physician relationship is crucial. He stated that organized medicine is important in preserving this aspect of medicine.

“Physician organizations remain the backbone overtaking the patient relationships and the autonomy of medicine,” Dr. Franklin said. “Each of you has appreciated the importance of organized medicine… dedicated a significant amount of your free time, and in many circumstances your own financial cost to contribute to the practice of medicine and the sustainment of medicine. Thanks to each of you for your contribution of service and the sacrifices that you and your families make to be here and do this work.”

“I’ve had the joy and honor of serving you since the late 1990s,” he continued. “And in the House of Delegates, I have cultivated a significant number of relationships and friendship in that body that hopefully have been a favor to the greater house of medicine.”

Dr. Franklin continued by saying he hopes the current delegation serves the community well going forward. He also gave a heartfelt thank you to his wife and children for their support during his career.

The TMA’s House of Delegates presents this award annually to a member physician who has made his or her mark on the profession of medicine, on their colleagues and on the association.