The LAFP Member of the Month is a forum to recognize and highlight our members. We hope you enjoy learning about fellow members both on a personal and professional level.
The LAFP is proud to recognize Harlan “Mark” Guidry, MD as our February 2017 Member of the Month.
Dr. Guidry is currently serving in an executive role as Chief of Staff of the Alexandria VA Health Care System based in Pineville and serving veterans in 19 parishes through 5 community-based outpatient clinics in Lafayette, Jennings, Lake Charles, Natchitoches, & Fort Polk.
Read more to see Dr. Guidry’s strong family heritage played role in leading him to becoming a family physician.
1. Where did you go to medical school and residency?
After obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, I obtained my Doctor of Medicine from the UT Medical Branch at Galveston. I completed my internship at the Family Practice Residency at LSU Moss Regional Hospital in Lake Charles and at the UT San Jacinto Hospital in Baytown where I served as Chief Resident. I have maintained board certification from 1990 to 2016 with the American Board of Family Practice and hold a Master of Public Health degree from the UT School of Public Health in Houston.
2. Why did you choose family medicine, what’s your favorite aspect of it, and were you inspired by anyone?
Although I was first in my family to pursue a medical degree, my heritage includes a long-line of faith and herbal healers (traiteurs) who served their community’s need for anything from talk therapy to cold remedies, snake bites and midwifery. We always had people of all ages in our home – families – seeking advice and home remedies for various ailments. So, serving “the family” of all ages was familiar and important to me. In medical school, I enjoyed every rotation and couldn’t pick just one and exclude the others, so family medicine was right for me. And even though now, my duties are administrative, I still see every issue through the eyes of a family physician with a focus on wellness, prevention, and public/community health.
3. It is important for me to be a member of AAFP and LAFP because ….
Frankly, this is my “professional family” – a place for holistic support, understanding, and continuous professional growth.
4. What is the best experience you have had throughout your career?
Too many to have just best, but I can say that what’s most satisfying to me is to see families overcome the impact of serious illnesses in their lives, successfully changing behaviors to engage mental, physical, and spiritual wellness.
5. How do you balance the demands of career, leadership, family and your own well-being?
Being a busy-professional-single parent with full custody of my daughter, this is a real challenge! What make it work, is family and community support and a strong sense of Faith. We “Docs” are usually last to ask for help, so looking out for each other is key. Besides family, church, and community, LAFP is an avenue for professional support.
6. Tell me something fun (unrelated to medicine) about yourself.
I enjoy being a father most of all… A special hobby is preserving French Creole history and heritage. After retiring from a 22-year career in Texas, I moved to the home of my heritage in 2016 where I have served as President of the St. Augustine Historical Society since 2013. The non-profit tax-exempt group preserves the history and heritage of Isle Brevelle along Cane River – a rural Creole community south of Natchitoches. Back in 2001, I co–author of “Natchitoches and Louisiana’s Timeless Cane River” with Phillip Gould, the late Bobby DeBlieux and Rick Seal.
Dr. Guidry was also awarded the Public Health Award by the Texas Academy of Family Physicians in 2016. He was recognized for his contributions to public health in Texas. Dr. Guidry relocated his membership to LAFP from TAFP in 2016.
LAFP’s Member of the Month program highlights Louisiana family physicians in LAFP Weekly Family Medicine Update and on the LAFP website. We feature a biography and a Q&A with a different LAFP member each month and his or her unique approach to family medicine. If you know an outstanding family physician colleague who you think should be featured as a Member of the Month or if you’d like to tell your own story, nominate yourself or your colleague by contacting by contacting Lee Ann Albert via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.