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Talk Local: Dr. Terre Denise Quinn

Dr. Quinn is a general surgeon and Ms. Texas Senior America
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Photo: McGlothin

Being a member of growing communities in North Texas has its challenges. But being a local leader, trying to manage balance in your life, is even harder. Local Profile reached out to nine leaders in the Collin County community that have learned through trial and failure how they create balance in their daily lives, and just maybe, you can learn from their advice and experiences to find balance in yours.

Dr. Quinn is from Allen and is a practicing general surgeon specializing in diseases of the breast. She hosts the Medical Minute, a 30-second social media clip that discusses health topics. She has two children and is involved in a nonprofit organization called Sister's Network Inc., an organization that supports African American women affected by breast cancer. She recently won the Ms. Texas Senior America Pageant.

What does community mean to you? 
My community is not defined by my physical location; it consists of my people who love, support and encourage each other in times of need. They may be down the street from me, but they may be in other countries as well.

How do you stay productive?  
I determine what I really need to get done in the allotted time frame — sometimes I really just throw everything out there at once, and then go full steam to knock those items off my to-do list.

Do you struggle with productivity? If so, how? 
Not much — sometimes your body and mind say "slow down a little" — I listen because I intend to be productive for many years and I can only do that if I allow some time to recuperate mentally and physically. Burnout is real. 

What everyday thing do you excel at?  
Not sure if this is an everyday thing, but I am really good at knowing the lyrics of songs — mostly of the older music that is.

How do you decompress or relax? 
Tennis, ping pong, NY Times Spelling Bee (got to get to genius each day), dancing, brisk walking, tea or coffee with a friend and working at making my violin playing sound better!

When was a time you had to step out of your comfort zone? 
Ok, this is clear, participating in the Ms. Texas Senior America Pageant was otherworldly for me. When I was 10 or 11, my older cousin suggested my mother enter me into the Ms. Black Teenage America pageant as we watched; she glibly responded, "she doesn't have any talent!”  I never considered pageantry again until 50 years later!

How do you hope to improve your community?
I hope God uses me in a special way — to serve my community with the combination of surgical knowledge and empathy; medicine is big business, and I'd like to keep it feeling personal as long as I'm practicing. I would also like to partner with some of the local school districts to educate young women, especially about warning signs of unhealthy/controlling relationships so we can reduce the number of victims of intimate partner abuse.

When are you happiest? 
When I'm with my extended family, fellowshipping, sharing old stories and hearing new ones and dancing like no one's watching.

What do you think your community is in need of? 
Love, more love — ways to connect; then we will see that we all are pretty much the same inside.

What motivates you? 
Retirement is coming — I need to focus on strategies for staying mentally and physically fit. I'm also planning for a second career — not sure in what.

How do you consider yourself a local leader?  
I have put more than 27 years of medical service in the Plano/Dallas/Richardson area — championing women's health, educating and hopefully leading by example — I believe that qualifies me as a leader.

What do you wish you were better at? 

What kind of goals do you set for yourself?  
Spiritual — empty myself to be used by Christ,  financial — enough to be ok and travel/share if needed; reading nonfiction, there is so much to know; flexibility — tends to wane with age, I want to resist this fact of nature as long as possible.

To find out more about how to be the best at work, at home and in the community visit Local Profile’s previous issue.