Dr. Warren McPherson Honored with 2020 Outstanding Physician Award

May 29, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Retired physician Dr. Warren McPherson from Stones River Academy of Medicine was recognized on Saturday, May 22 at the annual House of Delegates meeting as the 2020 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. Dr. McPherson was not presented with this award last year due to COVID-related cancelations.

Dr. McPherson founded the group Midstate Neurosurgery located in Murfreesboro, TN. He was instrumental in the founding of State Volunteer Mutual Insurance Company and the Stones River Regional IPA, both of which he served as chairman of the board. He has also served as the chairman to the Physicians Insurance Association of America, as well as board chair of Alive Hospice.

During his acceptance speech, Dr. McPherson reminisced about the early days of his career and some of the medical milestones he witnessed, such as the first open heart surgery at Vanderbilt during his internship and the invention of the operating microscope. 

“The magic of the microscope was that the light came in front of your eyes and showed you the area you were looking at. We could see small blood vessels that we never saw before,” Dr. McPherson said. “The risk, the mortality and the morbidity of neurosurgery dropped tremendously because for the first time we could really see what we were doing. It was a spectacular time.”

He remembered when microscopes were delivered to Vanderbilt and assembling them with fellow physicians, calling it “the most intricate tinker toy set I’ve ever seen anybody do” that allowed surgeons to flourish. “I only have one regret. It’s that I won’t be around for the next 60 years to see what y’all come up with,” he said.

 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.