The Thompson Award, sponsored by Cherokee Nation Businesses, was presented to Dr. Doug Nolan for his instrumental role in Tahlequah’s healthcare history.
Born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, but raised in Tahlequah, Nolan did not start out in the medical profession; rather, as a teacher at an area high school. Often encouraging his students to consider a medical career, he decided to follow his own advice with encouragement from his wife and sister, who is also a doctor.
After graduating from Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, he completed his residency in family practice and begin practicing at Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Hospital.
It is the patient interaction that Nolan most enjoys. He believes the delivery of health care today is more team based, which allows everyone to use their skills, gifts, and talents to provide the best care possible for the patient. His philosophy for practicing medicine remains steadfast: “treat the patient as if they were your family because they are someone’s family: father, mother, son or daughter.”
Family is important to Nolan. He and his wife, Donnelle, have been married for 29 years and, together, they have raised four children: Ryan, Kyle, Ali, and Casey. They enjoy spending time together whether it be in Tahlequah or on the slopes enjoying their passion for snow skiing.
Nolan believes that we would not be in the positions we are today without the people who provided the education for us in the past, and we have an obligation to pay that debt forward. Whether it be teaching his son how to play baseball or giving back professionally, Nolan has stepped up to the plate by serving as Vice Chair of the board of directors for the Oklahoma Medical Education Consortium.
Nolan believes he has been extremely blessed in his life, both professionally and personally. He most recently received the 2017 Cherokee Nation Executive Director’s Outstanding Commitment to Service Award. He’s been named the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma Physician of the Year, and received the Indian Health Service National Director’s Award.