J. Douglas Hudson, MD
TNS 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
J. Douglas Hudson came to Austin in 1967 following is neurology residency at the University of Iowa. Being only the second neurologist in Austin, Dr. Hudson dedicated himself to growing and improving the community’s neurological services. He began this by staffing the Brackenridge Hospital Outpatient Neurological Clinic. In 1970, joined by Dr. Peter Werner, Dr. Hudson founded the Austin Neurological Clinic and opened Austin’s first EEG lab with 24-hour monitoring services. With local hospitals reluctant to purchase CT scanners in 1975, Dr. Hudson decided to take matters into his own hands. He, along with some of his colleagues, purchased Austin’s first CT brain scanner and eliminated the need to transfer patients to San Antonio or Temple for imaging. They, also, went on to form, Austin Neuro Diagnostics; the first neurochemistry lab and one of Austin’s first neurovascular ultrasound labs. Later, the group purchased Austin’s first MRI scanner.
To support Austin’s growing need for specialized neurological services, Dr. Hudson recruited several neurologists and Austin’s first physiatrist, pediatric neurologist and neuropsychologist—all joining Austin Neurological Clinic. He, also, recruited Austin’s first neuroradiologist and co-founded one of the nation’s first sleep labs in 1980.
Reputed, locally, as the “father of neurology” or the “senior neurologist in Austin”, Dr. Hudson played an integral part in the formation of the Austin Neurological Society in 1972. He served as president of the Capital Area Heart Association, board member to several charitable organizations including the local MS Society, Caritas, United Fund and Seton Hospital League House. He, also, served as a neurological consultant to the University of Texas football team and the Women’s Athletic Program. While an investigator for L-DOPA trials, shortly before it was approved by the FDA in 1970, Dr. Hudson acquired a sizeable number of Parkinson’s patients and went on to establish the Capital Area Parkinson’s Society; a society still active today.
In 1975, Dr. Hudson became a charter member of the Texas Neurological Society and joined the board in 1997. He was asked to organize TNS’ first winter conference and spent many hours convincing pharmaceutical companies to support the meeting and urging speakers to present. Because of his efforts, the winter conference continues today. Dr. Hudson served as president of the society in 2000.
In recent years, Dr. Hudson has focused his attention on sleep medicine. His passion to explore sleep and its effect on serious health conditions led him to become the first board certified sleep medicine doctor in central Texas and founder of Sleep Medicine Consultants in 2001. In addition to his private practice, hospital and community work, Dr. Hudson is an international speaker, a principal investigator in sleep and neurology-related drug research and a well-respected practitioner in neurology. Dr. Hudson continues to treat patients and educate health care professionals and the public on sleep and other neurological disorders.