Barring any unforeseen circumstances before April, Aberdeen native Dr. Marty Tucker will be named president-elect of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), beginning a three-year term of leadership including president and past-president titles.
In the professional organization focused on the improvement of women’s health’s 68-year history, he will be one of the few Mississippians to serve as president. Even more rare than that, he will be the second OB-GYN with Monroe County ties to serve as president of the international organization.
Dr. Richard Hollis of Amory, who is retired, served as ACOG president in the early ‘90s.
“With two tied to Monroe County, that’s quite and accomplishment. With a small rural county of a little more than 30,000, I’m sure that’s never been done,” Tucker said of previous ACOG presidents being from neighboring small towns.
ACOG serves much of the western hemisphere, including the United States, Mexico, Canada, Caribbean islands, Central American and South American countries. Its primary focus is the advancement of women’s health care. The organization is comprised of more than 57,000 members in the medical profession.
During sessions and meetings, physicians have opportunities for leadership, education and networking to improve their practices.
“You need to be well-versed about the topic and spend some time researching it. I think one of the biggest things was to get fellows in the district areas and small towns involved. Once you get someone involved, you’ve got to introduce them to what the college does. It’s not just a thing on the wall,” Hollis said.
Hollis was ACOG’s 44th president and during his tenure, membership increased. It follows the same model as when he served in a similar professional society for North Mississippi providers.
“Once you realize there’s more to life than the meat and potatoes, you can add to the medical meal and contribute to individuals and the society than you’ve had in the past, and it’s very meaningful I could do it,” he said.
He also said during his time as president, females transitioned into playing more vital roles of providing input to ACOG.
In the early ‘90s, the membership from north and south of the U.S. border wasn’t as strong as it is now.
“We were in the phase of working with these countries when I was president. You can’t just stand still. We realized these doctors were doing things we weren’t so for the purpose of education, we got involved,” Hollis said. “When we had meetings, there would be a percentage from South America and a percent from Central America. People didn’t realize there were common problems throughout the world.”
Hollis recognized Tucker as being an intelligent person who worked his way up through ACOG for his upcoming title. Hollis, himself, was involved in several levels of the professional organization, which helped lead to his tenure as president.
Tucker, who practices at Jackson Healthcare for Women, has known of Hollis for most of his life, beginning with the fact he delivered his sister, Susan, in 1964. He said Hollis was one of the first OB-GYNs to practice in Monroe County.
“Once I decided to go to medical school in OB-GYN, I sought his counsel. In 1985, I did three months of OB-GYN residency at his practice in Amory,” Tucker said. “The biggest learning lesson I’ve had from him is his care of his patients, looking back to see how fine of a surgeon and a doctor he was. He’s traveled far and wide and met presidents and kings and queens, as far as I know. What has struck me with him is his patients’ well-being and her care has always come first.”
Previously serving as ACOG secretary, Tucker will begin his one-year term as president in April 2021 and his one-year term as past-president in April 2022, followed by a one-year term beginning in April 2022 as past-president.
He will be ACOG’s 72nd president, and responsibilities include representing the organization nationally and internationally, depending on needs. He will also lead projects through his presidential initiative.
He was chosen by the organization’s nomination committee in June over candidates from California, Massachusetts and Washington. He will be the only candidate on the ballot for president.
“My main vision is to lead a successful organization and to continue the good work ACOG does for its membership and for our patients, pregnant moms and their babies,” Tucker said.
Other previous ACOG presidents from Mississippi have included Dr. James N. Martin of the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the late Dr. Woodward Beacham, who served as the first ACOG president.
Tucker said small-town values had helped lead to his professional success.
“This goes back to my upbringing in Aberdeen and in Monroe County. I had great parents and great peers. No matter where you come from, you can aspire to be what you want in life,” Tucker said.
Tucker now practices with Hollis’ granddaughter, Dr. Kathryn Hollis Mallette.
“It closes the circle,” he said of the family connection.