Long active in the association, Dr. Lawrence is the past president of the C. A. Whittier Society, the San Antonio component of the NMA.
Dr. Lawrence, also professor of psychiatry, pediatrics and family practice, was installed in August as the association's 92nd president.
Dr. Lawrence received his doctor of medicine degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. He is board certified in psychiatry and child psychiatry.
Dr. Lawrence has served a four-year term on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and he currently serves on the Texas Youth Commission Board. He serves on the executive committee of United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County and is the current treasurer of that organization. He has chaired the management board of San Antonio Fighting Back, a major substance abuse intervention project funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and is immediate past chairman of the Alamo Public Telecommunications Council for KLRN-TV, Channel 9.
In addition to the NMA, Dr. Lawrence is a member of many professional organizations including the Lone Star State Medical Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the National Association of Medical Minority Educators, Black Psychiatrists of America, Texas Psychiatric Association, Bexar County Psychiatric Association, American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Association for Social Psychiatry.
The NMA includes about 13,500 members and its mission is to promote the science and art of medicine. The organization also strives "to influence society and its institutions, to encourage, to protect and to promote the betterment of the public health, and the quality of life for individuals and families."
While throughout its history the NMA has focused primarily on health issues related to African-Americans and medically underserved populations, its principles, goals, initiatives and philosophy encompass all sectors of the population.