Tennessee native W. Mark Tucker, DDS, has been selected as the 2015 UTHSC Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Dentistry at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). Dr. Tucker will receive the award at the Alumni Awards Luncheon on Friday, March 6, at the Hilton Memphis (939 Ridge Lake Blvd). The luncheon, which starts at 12 p.m., is also the 20th anniversary of the William F. Slagle Dental Meeting, formerly known as the MidSouth Dental Congress.
“Alumni like Dr. Mark Tucker serve as standard-bearers for our college as well as for the entire dental profession,” said Tim Hottel, DDS, MS, MBA, dean of the UTHSC College of Dentistry. “Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a solid commitment to leadership, service and the highest quality patient care. His life’s work in private practice, caring for veterans, and pursuing research serve as examples for our students to both admire and follow. It is a distinct pleasure for us to acknowledge Mark as the 2015 College of Dentistry Outstanding Alumnus.”
Dr. Tucker knew the profession he wanted to pursue at an early age. He and his family visited his uncle, Alg Ramsey (DDS ʼ58) when Ramsey was a dental student at UTHSC.
“He had his skull box at home for study. He showed it to me, and I was enthralled,” Dr. Tucker said. He decided at that moment that he wanted to be a dentist.
Following in his uncle’s footsteps, Tucker attended UTHSC and obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in December 1966. Dr. Tucker went on to complete his oral and maxillofacial surgery residency at the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston and the Houston Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He also fulfilled a maxillofacial surgery fellowship in North Wales, United Kingdom.
Dr. Tucker began his practice as a general dentist at the Hampton VA Medical Center in Virginia in 1968. He was named chief of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Section at James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, Florida, in June 1972 and remained in the post until December 2009.
For more than 20 years, Dr. Tucker served as a consultant for six private and three federal hospitals located throughout Florida. He was a member of the charter faculty of the University of South Florida College of Medicine and has served for many years as Hillsborough County Associate Medical Examiner for forensic odontology. He has made more than 240 scientific presentations, written or contributed to more than 30 scientific journal articles, and participated in clinical research.
Dr. Tucker is no stranger to leadership. He is past president of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He also held leadership positions in the Florida Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the Hillsborough County Dental Research Clinic. Tucker holds fellowships in the American College of Dentistry and the International College of Dentists. In addition, he is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and the National Dental Board of Anesthesiology.
Since his retirement from James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Dr. Tucker has served as the oral and maxillofacial surgeon at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.