Diana Fite - TCEP Past President


Diana Fite, MD FACEP




UT Houston 1978





President 1995-1996
President Elect 1994-1995
Treasurer 1993-1994
Secretary 1992-1993
Past President 1996-1997
Board of Directors 1990-1997


Councillor 1991-present
Alternate Councilor 1989-1990
EMPACT Board of Directors 1990-present
    Chair 1991-present
EMphasis Editor 1992
Membership Committee 1987-1992
    Chair 1989-1990
Legislation Committee 1990-2003
    Chair 1991-2003
Government Relations Committee 2004-present
    Chair 2004-present
Nominating Committee 1995
    Chair 1995
Trauma Task Force 1992
    Chair 1992
Manpower Task Force 1992
    Chair 1992
Leadership Development Advisory Group 2012-present
Tort Reform Task Force 1992



Membership Committee 1989-1995
    Chair 1993-1995
Section Grant Task Force 1994-1995
    Chair 1994-1995
Fellowship Task Force 1994
Finance Committee 1995-2000
Emergency Medicine Practice Committee 2000-present
    Chair 2006-2008
Democratic ED Group subcommittee 2001-2002
    Chair 2001-2002
ED Overcrowding subcommittee 2002-2005
Free Standing Emergency Departments subcommittee 2012-present
    Chair 2012-present
Nominating Committee, Board 2001, 2014
Nominating Committee, Council 2001, 2014
Emergency Department Categorization Task Force 2008-2009
Medic Alert Task Force 2009-2010
Steering Committee 1992-1994
Designated ACEP Spokesperson 1997-present


TCEP President's Award 1993
TCEP James E. Hayes Award 2004
TCEP Outstanding Committee Award 2009
ACEP James D. Mills Award 2013
ACEP Council Meritorious Service Award 2007
ACEP "911" Award 1996
ACEP "Heroes of Emergency Medicine designation 2008


I I was honored to be the first female president of TCEP. That does not sound unusual these days at all but was still a bit unusual in 1995! When I began my year as president, the United States House of Representatives had just undergone a takeover by the Republicans under the leadership of Speaker Newt Gingrich, who had campaigned with his "Contract with America". He had a list of ten things that the House would pass immediately if the Republicans were elected to the majority, and he carried around that list on a laminated card that he kept in his front pocket. So I made a list of ten items that I called my "Contract with TCEP", and I laminated it and carried it in my white coat front pocket. I referred to at least one item on the list for every one my President articles in EMphasis. My Contract with TCEP was: 1) Unite emergency physicians; 2) Tort reform; 3) Expert witness reality check; 4) Domestic violence and child abuse recognition; 5) Unfunded mandates (COBRA medical screening exam); 6) Advise ways to prevent unwanted ED contract acquisitions; 7) Encourage emergency physicians to run for elective offices; 8) Increase TCEP/ACEP meeting attendance; 9) Reverse the "just say no" attitude; 10) Escalate realization that emergency medicine is the most essential medical specialty. I will elaborate briefly on a few of the items I worked on during my presidency which was 1995-1996. Under item 1, the AAEM organization had just been created and there was growing contention about emergency physicians being board certified or not, with Texas having a very large number of nonboard certified and/or non-residency trained EP's since our area of the country was so far behind in getting residency programs approved. Texas was one of the few states that did not vote unanimously in favor of changing the ACEP rules that as of the year 2000, all new members (other than students or residents) would have to complete a residency in EM. Under item 2, regarding tort reform, we were in an awful mess in Texas with many malpractice suits being filed. We did achieve a small degree of tort reform in 1995 but nothing compared to what was accomplished in 2003! Many of us had more than one malpractice suit back then. Item 3 was related, regarding expert witnesses, because the rules were loose and it was very easy to find someone who was not an emergency physician and who had not been practicing whatever their specialty was for years to say negative false things about the emergency physician on behalf of the plaintiff side, and that was allowed! One of my personal favorite items was #9, which was about reversing the "just say no" attitude. "Just say no" seemed to be the buzz phrase at that time, trying to get people to not be so involved and busy in their everyday lives. However, I think emergency physicians can handle a lot of things going on at the same time. That is what we do!! So I stated that 99% of emergency physicians can make the time to be on a committee or attend a meeting or call a legislator or all of the above. I fully understand that family time and personal time are important, so combine all that by being on a committee call while on vacation, or teaching your partner to also make that call to the legislator, and bring the kids along to the meetings and add an extra day or two for fun time together. It's NOT "get a life". This IS our life!