Edinburg Physician Elected as Texas Medical Association President-Elect

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Dr. Carlos Cardenas, Gastroenterologist named Texas Medical Association President-elect. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
Dr. Carlos Cardenas, Gastroenterologist named Texas Medical Association President-elect. Photo by Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

Mega Doctor News

DALLAS, TX–– The Texas Medical Association (TMA) voted Edinburg gastroenterologist Carlos J. Cardenas, MD, president-elect. He will serve in the office for one year before he assumes the TMA presidency. TMA’s policymaking body, the House of Delegates, elected Dr. Cardenas on April 30, 2016 during TexMed, its annual conference, in Dallas.

“I am pleased to have been elected president-elect of our TMA, and am humbled by the trust that the House of Delegates has placed in me,” said Dr. Cardenas, a 32-year member of the association. “I look forward to serving in the best interest of our patients and colleagues.”

Dr. Cardenas listed his two top priorities once he becomes TMA president: To serve as an advocate for the sanctity of the patient-physician relationship in all its guises, and “concomitantly raise the profile and public awareness of the collective work that is done by every member of the medical profession in our great state.

“Serving as president-elect and president is incredibly meaningful, as it provides many opportunities to advocate for our patients and our profession,” he said. “Being the face and voice of our more than 49,000 members will empower me to help drive the dialogue and influence the policies that affect our day-to-day lives as physicians, and maintain our fiduciary responsibility to our patients.”

Dr. Cardenas already has been a face and voice of TMA leadership, having chaired the association’s Board of Trustees, its governing body. He also starred in a series of informational TMA “Hey, Doc” videos, before the launch of the federal Affordable Care Act. TMA produced the videos and other material to inform patients – and physicians whose patients consult for answers – about how to adapt to the new health law. He also helped lead TMA’s fight for medical liability reform, which became Texas law in 2003.

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“Simply put, I wanted to be TMA president so that I could be ‘advocate in chief’ for my colleagues, our profession and our patients,” he said.

The Lone Star Caucus, comprising physicians from counties across Texas, nominated Dr. Cardenas for office, saying, “He is a clinician, a steadfast patient and physician advocate, a pragmatic and successful business leader, and a local community activist. Legislators from Austin and Washington, from both ends of the spectrum and both sides of the aisle, call upon Dr. Cardenas for his policy insights.”

Indeed, Dr. Cardenas regularly advocates on behalf of medicine and patient care. He attends TMA’s “First Tuesdays at the Capitol” legislative lobby days each session, has testified numerous times before the Texas Legislature, and has advised elected officials and policymakers on health matters.

Prior to joining the Board of Trustees in 2005, he served five years as a member of the TMA Council on Legislation, and was legislative chair of the Border Health Caucus, to which he still belongs. He is a delegate in TMA’s House of Delegates; is a member of the TMA Foundation, the association’s philanthropic arm; a TMA liaison to the Coalition of State Medical Societies; and is a founding and Patron Club member of TEXPAC, TMA’s political action committee (for which he also served as a district chair). Dr. Cardenas also was a member of the TMA Physician Services Organization (PSO) steering committee, which led to the formation of TMA PracticeEdge, TMA’s PSO. Dr. Cardenas also served as president of the Hidalgo-Starr County Medical Society.

In his 26th year of practicing gastroenterology, he also serves as Chairman of the Board for the Rio Grande Valley’s Doctors Hospital at Renaissance Health System.

Dr. Cardenas received his medical degree at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and completed his residency training in internal medicine and gastroenterology at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple.

Dr. Cardenas and his wife of 27 years, Mrs. Chris Cardenas, have three sons, Adam R. Cardenas, Simon C. Cardenas, and Daniel O. Cardenas. His parents are Mr. Ruben R. Cardenas and Mrs. Dardanella G. Cardenas.

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 49,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.