Foundation founded by Texas DO establishes TCOM scholarship

By Alex Branch

Earl Christian Kinzie, DO
Dr. Kinzie is on the left, receiving the Founder’s Medal.

In the late 1930s, in a small Kansas town during the thick of the Dust Bowl, a young doctor of osteopathic medicine struggled to make his family medicine practice successful.

With a wife and two young children to support, Earl Christian Kinzie, DO, looked around at the desolate conditions and knew his family needed somewhere to make a fresh start.

He chose Texas.

After hearing that the town’s physician died, Dr. Kinzie relocated his family to Lindale, Texas, a small town outside Tyler. There, he opened a medical practice and cared for generations of families for 49 years — and became known as a pioneer of osteopathic medicine in Texas.

Although he died in 2005, Dr. Kinzie’s legacy continues through a new scholarship for medical students at UNT Health Science Center. The gift was made through the Kinzie Foundation, an organization founded by Dr. Kinzie and his wife, Margaret, in 1970 to support education.

“My parents started the foundation for the simple purpose of helping students get through school,” said Bill Kinzie, MD. “My father would be very pleased to know that his foundation is helping a student learn osteopathic medicine, because the field meant so much to him.”

Dr. Kinzie earned his osteopathic medical degree in Kansas but was deeply involved with the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine at UNTHSC. For years, he served as a preceptor to TCOM students on training rotations at his Lindale practice. In 1989, he was awarded the school’s Founder’s Medal, the highest honor given in recognition of significant contributions to osteopathic medical education.

“My father really enjoyed working with the students,” Dr. Bill Kinzie said. “He believed in the school and the high quality of education and training it provides.”

Dr. Kinzie shared memories of his career in an oral history created in 1984 for the UNTHSC library. Among the stories he recalled was delivering a baby boy inside the home of Bert and Ann Campbell in Tyler in March 1955.  After the delivery, the boy’s parents wondered aloud what to name him, and Dr. Kinzie joked they should name the boy “Earl Christian” after him.

Earl Christian Campbell grew up to win the Heisman Trophy at the University of Texas.

The new scholarship is not the only way Dr. Kinzie’s legacy continues at UNTHSC. This year, a first-year medical student named Shelby Spaniel started school at the university. She is the great-granddaughter of Dr. Kinzie and a member of the TCOM class of 2020.

“My father would be very proud,” Dr. Bill Kinzie said.

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