Inspired by his father who always liked biology, Dr. James Russell Couch, Jr. entered his profession with the full support of his family. In 1961, he received a Bachelor of Science in zoology from Texas A&M University. He then attended medical school at Baylor University, where he received a Doctor of Medicine in 1965 and a Doctor of Philosophy in physiology in 1966. The following year, he became a fellow of the Laboratory of Neuropharmacology at the National Institute of Mental Health. From 1969 to 1972, he served as a resident in neurology at Washington University in St. Louis while also studying postgraduate coursework at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
After completing his education and training, Dr. Couch became an assistant professor in the division of neurology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where he was later promoted to associate professor. In 1979, he became a full professor of neurology at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, where he was also appointed chief of the division of neurology. During this time, he served as the director of the Muscular Dystrophy Clinic and the EEG Laboratory and as a consultant of the speech and hearing laboratory at Memorial Healthcare System. In 1992, he joined the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and was appointed chairman of the department of neurology. Today, Dr. Couch is a professor of neurology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
As a qualified professional, Dr. Couch is a licensed physician in Texas, Missouri, Maryland, Kansas, Illinois, and Oklahoma. He is also a diplomate in clinical neurophysiology through the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Inc. and he is certified in headache medicine through the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties. He has also extended his expertise to his field through his work with professional and medical journals. Previously, Dr. Couch was an editorial board member of the “Headache” journal and of the “Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Disease.” He is currently a section editor for “Headache Current Treatment Options Neurology.” In his career, he has been credited with developing multiple neurology programs at universities from scratch. While serving at the Southern Illinois University School Medicine, he helped to rebuild the residency program.
In his spare time outside of work, Dr. Couch enjoys tennis, racquetball, bicycling, and collecting old medicine bottles. Looking toward the future, he plans to work with war veterans who suffer from traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic headaches.
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