James Russell Couch, Jr., MD, PhD, FAAN, FANA, FAHS

James Couch

Title: Professor and Chair of Neurology
Company:  The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Location:  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

James Russell Couch, Jr., Professor and Chair of Neurology at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Doctors for dedication, achievements, and leadership in neurology.

An award-winning neurologist, Dr. Couch is highly respected in the medical field for his impactful work over the last 50 years. Notably in his career, he was one of the first physicians to record the embryonic heart rate at 10 days and the first to record neurons in raphe nuclei. In addition, he performed extensive research on amitriptyline and headaches. His impact on academia is noted by prominent industry experts. Dr. Couch helped to develop the neurology department at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine through his former work as its Chief of Neurology. Driven by his desire to care for others, Dr. Couch has conducted tremendous work for the American Academy of Neurology. In fact, it is due to Dr. Couch’s influence that the organization rose to national recognition.

Today, Dr. Couch finds success as a professor of neurology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. He has been in this role since 2006 after having previously served as the chairman of the department of neurology for the university. Prior positions in his tenure that have afforded Dr. Couch the opportunity to share his expertise include his former work as acting chairman of the department of medicine at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, director of the EEG laboratory at the Memorial Health System, director of the Muscular Dystrophy Clinic for the Memorial Health System, chief of the division of neurology at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, professor of neurology for the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, and staff member for the Oklahoma Medical Center. In addition, Dr. Couch has impacted his field through professional endeavors as an examiner for the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, committee member for the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, visiting professor of neurology for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, committee member of the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, committee member for the University of Utah School of Medicine and visiting professor the University of South Florida. Dr. Couch has also contributed over 100 scientific articles to professional journals and performed presentations at national and international meetings. He is also known for his work as a section editor for “Headache Current Treatment Options Neurology” and editorial board member for the “Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Disease.”

Dr. Couch was inspired to enter the field of medicine as the ultimate way to serve others. To prepare for his career, he dedicated himself to his education. He earned a Bachelor of Science in zoology from Texas A&M University in 1961 followed by an MD and PhD in physiology from Baylor University in 1965 and 1966, respectively. From there, Dr. Couch completed an internship at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, a fellowship at the Laboratory of Neuropharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health, and a residency in neurology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Dr. Couch also completed postgraduate coursework with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and became certified in headache medicine by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties. Throughout the years, Dr. Couch has remained at the top of his field by becoming re-certified as a diplomate in clinical neurophysiology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He has also committed to his continued professional development and national impact through his memberships with the American Headache Society, the American Academy of Neurology, the American Society of Neurorehabilitation, the Lincoln Land Epilepsy Association, the Society for Neuroscience, the American Heart Association, the Oklahoma State Medical Association, and the Oklahoma County Medical Society, among many others. Dr. Couch was recognized for his professional excellence with an Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. In the years to come, Dr. Couch intends to work with patients who have traumatic brain injuries and with veterans with post-traumatic headaches.

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