Meet Dr. F. David Schneider
Family Medicine Specialist in Dallas

Holder of the:
Perry E. Gross, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Family Medicine

F. David Schneider, M.D., a family physician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, is nationally recognized for his nearly 30 years of work in the field of family medicine.

Dr. Schneider says family medicine allows him to form deep, long-term relationships with patients. 

“I enjoy working with all kinds of people and investigating all types of medical problems,” he says. “Helping people is important to me, and I truly enjoy talking to patients, listening to them, and developing those relationships.”

Advancing Education and Research

Dr. Schneider’s commitment to patient-centered care extends beyond his clinical practice. In joining UT Southwestern as Professor and Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine, he will lead new initiatives in population health, working with Texas Health Resources to improve the health of the entire North Texas community, as well as initiatives to strengthen the primary care workforce in North Texas and develop a strong family medicine research core at UT Southwestern.

Dr. Schneider has focused much of his academic career on improving medical education. Part of that effort involves fostering a better physician understanding of the factors that can impact a patient’s health, such as violence and victimization, drug and alcohol use, and other sources of toxic stress.

Working with a group of other dedicated physicians, Dr. Schneider helped start the Academy on Violence and Abuse (AVA), an organization that focuses on violence and toxic stress and its effects on people's health. The AVA is helping to advance education and research into the health effects of violence and victimization on both children and adults.

Greater awareness of the impacts of toxic stress will help to improve the quality of health care, Dr. Schneider explains, because physicians will be working from a more patient-centered perspective.

“Some physicians don’t really want to deal with these issues,” he says. “Sometimes it's easier to just not go there. But when you don't go there, the underlying cause of the problem is never dealt with and the patient doesn’t get better.”

A Community Effort

Combating the effects of toxic stress goes beyond educating physicians; it also requires involvement from the community, as Dr. Schneider discovered during his work with patients in St. Louis.

“I was previously the Chair of Family and Community Medicine at Saint Louis University, where we created an initiative to make St. Louis a trauma-informed community,” he explains. “What that means is educating the community at large about violence and toxic stress and its effects on health, and how we can help people cope with it better, understand it, and not let it affect them in such a negative way.”

The initiative, called Alive and Well St. Louis, included public service announcements to educate St. Louis area residents about toxic stress, along with trainings in health care facilities and schools. Several school districts used it as part of their efforts to recognize and help their students who came from very stressful homes. The program was launched just two months before 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed in nearby Ferguson, Missouri, an event that sparked nationwide protests and reignited conversations about race and what it means to be young and black in America. In March, Dr. Schneider and the AVA convened community-wide summit to teach health care providers in St. Louis how to work with patients to combat the adverse effects of toxic stress.

It’s the type of much-needed work that Dr. Schneider looks forward to doing in the North Texas area as he moves toward his goal of cementing UT Southwestern as one of the top family medicine departments in the country.