William J. Walton, MD
125th President of the Society
1978 application photo
Dr Walton is a product of World War II. His mother Patricia, from Boston, dropped out of college to enter the US Navy. She was a gunnery instructor in Pensacola Florida when 18-year-old Wally Walton, just out of high school was sent by the Royal Navy (Canadian branch) down to Florida to learn how to identify and shoot down German aircraft. He was her student. He went off to Britain to fly Spitfires. After the war, he sought out Pat in Boston. They were married and had 5 children; the eldest is William Walton. Wally continued as a career Canadian Naval fighter pilot. The family lived in England, Nova Scotia, California, Northern Ireland, Ontario, Washington DC, and back to Nova Scotia. Dr Walton attended 8 different schools as a child and was exposed to numerous cultures. His father taught him the importance of character and service (and fishing). His mother taught him compassion, love of humanities and the arts, and service to others (and dishwashing).
At age 17, Dr Walton attended Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Pre-med was his academic subject. Subsequently, he attended Dalhousie Medical School where he also did his internship, graduating as was the track in those days for all graduates as a family physician.
Most importantly, in his first semester at college he met his future wife, Barbara. As soon as she graduated as a chemist, they were married. Dr Walton was in the Medical Officer’s Training Plan of the Canadian Armed Forces and entered full-time service as base medical officer in 1973. They were posted to Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Two sons soon followed, Chris and Dan. During his 3-year service in Ottawa, Dr Walton did a year of residency in surgery at the National Defense Medical Center.
In 1976, the young Waltons picked up and moved to New Brunswick where Dr Walton pursued his dream to practice family medicine. He set up shop in Shediac, a small fishing village primarily populated with Acadians, native French settlers. The terrible winters with 12 feet of snow, mosquitoes, economic gloom, and the difficulty of surviving with the provincial healthcare system soon took its toll. Barb and Bill Walton decided to seek their fortune in a land they had never seen, Texas. When Dr Walton tried to get immigration papers, he was told he could not because he was a US Citizen through his mother. The State Department, true to form, handed him IRS forms for the past 3 years before handing him his citizenship papers.
Dr Walton has been practicing family medicine in Dallas since 1978, almost entirely as a solo physician, as is his situation now. He continues to love medicine and his patients.
About 10 years ago he was recruited to the Membership Committee of DCMS with the usual promise that it would only take about 1 hour of his time, about every 3 months. Since then he has enjoyed service with the DCMS on the Membership Committee; Board of Censors, which he chaired; Board of Directors; co-chair of the DCMS Delegation to the TMA; and as president-elect on the Board of Directors. At the TMA level he has served on the Committee on Membership for 5 years, 2 as the chair, is now on the Council on Constitution and Bylaws and co-chairs the DCMS Delegation with Dr Lisa Swanson. This year he actively promoted and debated measures to help the plight of the uninsured in Texas and to provide universal health coverage for Texas children. This led to his being appointed to the Select Committee on Medicaid, CHIP, and the Uninsured.
Dr Walton spends most of his free time with his family. His wife Barbara works as a tax consultant with Price Waterhouse Coopers. His two sons are engineering graduates of Texas A&M University. Chris is a civil engineer and Dan works the night shift at Texas Instruments in the “FAB.” The most important additions to the family are Austin, age 7 and Celia (CiCi), age 5. Dr Walton has had many interests: gardening, reading, bird watching, mountain hiking, Boy Scouts (15 years), church activities, symphonic music, naturalist activities (Texas Master Naturalist) and playing with his grandkids.
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