Meet Your Physician Legislators: Rep. Bryan Terry

September 27, 2016

Name: Rep. Bryan Terry
District: 48, part of Rutherford County
Years in General Assembly: 2
Campaign Website: bryanterry4tn.com

Rep. Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro) said that in 2017 the General Assembly could consider issues including narrow healthcare insurance networks, Medicaid expansion and a bill to allow some to opt out of TennCare in favor of health savings accounts.

Rep. Terry is one of six TMA physician members serving in the state legislature. He is running for re-election in November.

Rep.Terry said much of what legislators are able to address in the sphere of healthcare will be driven by who is elected the next president of the United States.

If Republican Nominee Donald Trump is elected, there may be more opportunities to pass patient-friendly healthcare legislation, he said.

“If it’s Hillary Clinton I’m not sure that we will have that flexibility,” Rep. Terry said.

Rep. Terry said he is pleased that TMA is active in addressing maintenance of certification in the upcoming legislative session. MOC is one of TMA’s top legislative priorities for 2017.

He said it will be important for him to speak to voters about the issue, and he will testify on it in front of legislative committees if necessary.

“I have to go through it, and I see that there isn’t much value added to my practice, but the cost, the stress, and the time away from my practice and family are concerning to me,” he said.

Rep. Terry has been in the General Assembly for two years. He believes in self-governance, an approach to political engagement that involves building relationships with elected officials in order to effect change. When Rep. Joe Carr, who previously held the District 48 post, decided to run for U.S. Senate, Dr. Terry saw an opportunity.

“My state representative was vacating the seat and I saw it as an opportunity to be a positive force in government that I thought was needed,” he said.

Rep. Terry said IMPACT and TMA have assisted him with fundraising, making contact with those interested in the issues important to him and navigating political “landmines” on Capitol Hill.

“As a physician, being a member lets me know that there is a voice at the capitol advocating for the physician-patient relationship as well as advocating for the needs of our patient-centered practices,” he said.

During his time in the legislature, Rep. Terry said one of his proudest accomplishments has been passing a resolution to bring awareness to childhood apraxia of speech, a neurological speech disorder similar to dyslexia. His daughter has the condition.

“My children are my inspiration, and knowing that I did something that would directly impact her and others like her is a proud accomplishment,” he said.

Awareness of childhood apraxia of speech is important because the earlier it is caught, the better the chances that it can be treated sucessfuly, Rep. Terry said.