Seven Azalea Physicians Selected to Texas Super Doctors Rising Stars List

Calendar June 25, 2019

Seven Azalea Orthopedics physicians have been named by Texas Super Doctors© Rising Stars℠  2019 as some of the top doctors in Texas for 2019. This Year, Dr. Scott Burlison, Dr. Rebel Huffman, Dr. Michael Johnson, Dr. David Kummerfeld, Dr. Kevin Luttrell, Dr. Michael Merrick and Dr. Ryan Patterson are all included on the Rising Stars list.

The Rising Stars edition looks to the future of medicine by recognizing outstanding physicians who have been fully licensed to practice medicine in their respective specialty for approximately 10 years or less. These doctors have made noteworthy achievements early in their careers and are rising through the ranks of their field. Each year, the selection phase includes a rigorous multi-phase process comprised of a survey of doctors, independent evaluation of candidates by the research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check. As a part of this evaluation, physicians are asked to consider the following question: ‘‘If you needed medical care in one of the following practice areas, which doctor would you choose?’’ Only doctors who acquired the highest total points from the surveys, research, and blue-ribbon panel review were selected to the Texas 2019 Rising Stars list.

Meet the Azalea Orthopedics physicians chosen for the Rising Stars list:

Dr. Scott Burlison is fellowship-trained in Anesthesiology and Interventional Pain Management. Dr. Burlison completed his Interventional Pain Management Fellowship at The University of Texas Medical Branch. “Chronic and acute pain have no boundaries,” Burlison explains. “I work diligently with my patients to establish individualized treatment plans that include the most advanced approaches in interventional pain management, to maximize function and overall quality of life.” Prior to his fellowship, he practiced as a board-certified anesthesiologist in Tyler.

Dr. Rebel Huffman appears on the Rising Stars list for the second time. She is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in hand and upper extremity surgery. Dr. Huffman earned her medical doctorate from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She furthered her training in hand surgery at Baptist Integris in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. “I believe that each person is unique and that any hand or upper extremity problem should be treated with that in mind. My goal is to work with each individual so that together we can tailor a specific treatment to meet their needs, relieve pain and improve function,” Huffman said.

Dr. Michael Johnson practices of our Mt. Pleasant clinic. He is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon who specializes in sports medicine injuries, adult joint reconstruction, arthroscopy, and both operative and non-operative care for adults and children. Dr. Johnson graduated Medical School and completed his internship and residency at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Dr. Johnson enjoys providing sports medicine coverage for local rodeos and sports. “I’m committed to serving Mt. Pleasant and the surrounding areas,” Dr. Johnson said.

Dr. David Kummerfeld, board-certified orthopedic surgeon, specializes in shoulder and elbow arthroscopy/replacement and upper extremity injuries. Dr. Kummerfeld completed extensive training in shoulder and elbow surgeries from the world-renowned Kerlan Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles, California. Prior to that advanced training, he graduated medical school from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Texas A&M/ Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple. Dr. Kummerfeld decided to return home to practice. “I am privileged to serve my hometown and the people of East Texas who suffer from shoulder and elbow ailments,” Dr. Kummerfeld said. “Orthopedic surgery has made many advancements; it’s rewarding to provide options for people who are suffering.”

Dr. Kevin Luttrell specializes in orthopedic trauma surgery and post-traumatic reconstruction at Azalea Orthopedics. He completed the Harvard Orthopedic Trauma Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital / Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. After graduating at the top of his class from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, he completed a residency in orthopedic surgery at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. He is a member of the Orthopedic Trauma Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Dr. Luttrell’s clinical interests also include the treatment of hip replacements, fractures of the pelvis and acetabulum and management of fracture nonunions and malunions.

Dr. Michael Merrick is a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, trained in both adult and pediatric spine surgery. He completed his fellowship in spine surgery at the world-renowned Norton Leatherman Spine Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Merrick attended medical school at The University of Texas in Houston. He then completed his five-year orthopedic surgery residency in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “My hope is to help patients with disabling back and neck problems get back to living life on their own terms,” Merrick said. Dr. Merrick’s interests include minimally invasive surgery, degenerative conditions in the neck and back and deformity surgery.

Dr. Ryan Patterson specializes in hand and upper extremities at Azalea Orthopedics. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the renowned Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio and a hand, upper extremity and microsurgical fellowship at Wake Forest University / North Carolina Baptist Hospital. “My goal is to improve the quality of life of my patients and include them in the decision-making process of both non-operative and operative treatments of hand and upper extremity problems by incorporating evidence-based medicine in an easy to understand manner,” Dr. Patterson said. He is focused on improving the quality of life for his patients with hand, forearm, elbow, upper arm and shoulder conditions and/or injuries with minimally invasive technique, such as endoscopic carpal tunnel when possible.

The Super Doctors lists, which these seven Azalea physicians are now included in for 2019, have been published across the country since 2005. Honorees are also found online at, where selected doctors can be searched by name, medical specialty and location.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of these Azalea Orthopedics physicians or any of our accomplished specialists, call 903.939.7500 or click here to request an appointment.

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