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Suspended Plano Ophthalmologist Launches Scholarship Following Domestic Violence Arrest

Dr. David Stager’s $1,000 scholarship for medical students was launched six months after he was arrested for felony assault and the Texas Medical Board suspended his license.
Courtesy: iStock

Suspended Plano ophthalmologist Dr. David Stager Jr. launched a scholarship for medical students just months after having his medical license suspended and being arrested for alleged domestic abuse.

The “Dr. David Stager Scholarship for Medical Students” is a one-time award of $1,000 “available to aspiring medical students across the United States, reflects Dr. Stager’s lifelong commitment to medical excellence, compassionate patient care, and his dedication to advancing the field of medicine,” according to a release. Students are evaluated based on an essay contest where students write an essay not to exceed 1,000 words about a way to address the most significant problem facing healthcare today.

The scholarship comes six months after University Park police arrested Stager for domestic violence and later charged him with a third-degree felony assault for impeding his wife’s breathing. Late one night in May, police arrived at an address that he owns, according to the Dallas County Appraisal District. According to a University Park police report, a woman’s voice was heard in a 911 call, yelling, “Get off me.” Stager’s wife met the UP officers at the door, in a “frantic state, crying and heavy breathing, her neck also appeared red in color,” the report says.

The arrest report says that Stager told the officers the two were in an argument about a cell phone and that he pushed his wife to get away from her. The report says his wife told the officers Stager applied pressure to her neck with his hands so much that it impeded her breathing. Stager was placed in the UP jail for felony assault, and his wife filed an emergency order of protection against him, according to Texas Medical Board documents.

In June, the Texas Medical Board suspended his license. A TMB spokesman confirmed that his license remains suspended today. A statement from the board read, “The Board panel found that Dr. Stager’s recent conduct, including an arrest for domestic violence, while impaired, indicates he is still suffering from an active substance use disorder that was previously the basis for disciplinary action under his 2018 order.”

When he was arrested, Stager was less than a year out from a Texas Medical Board ruling that the Plano ophthalmologist had complied with a previous disciplinary order that began in 2018. However, two unnamed individuals affirmed to the TMB that Stager started drinking immediately after his last disciplinary order was terminated in October 2022 and that he had been intoxicated while practicing medicine. One witness said she took her daughter in for a consultation with Stager but canceled the surgery after Stager appeared “visibly irritable with a flat affect” and provided confusing information.

The individuals’ remarks conflict with the TMB’s report from Stager. Upon the termination of the order in 2022, TMB documents said that Stager “maintains that he is more well established in his sobriety and has fine-tuned his recovery path for better success” and that he “does specialized therapy and meditation has a great family support system, leans on his faith, and sees a recovery coach three to five times per week.”

Texas Medical Board documents note that Stager was involved in another domestic conflict in 2018, where officers said he was impaired. D CEO Healthcare contacted Stager through the scholarship contact email but did not receive a response.

The scholarship announcement says he graduated from St. Mark’s, SMU, UT Southwestern, and completed a pediatric fellowship at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He has been on the board of directors of the Retina Foundation of the Southwest and a past president and board member of the Lighthouse for Christ Mission, a missional ophthalmology hospital in Mombasa, Kenya. Stager had been named to D Magazine’s Best Doctors list several times.

The deadline for the scholarship application is February 15, and the $1,000 winner will be announced on March 15. Learn more about the scholarship here.


Will Maddox

Will Maddox

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Will is the senior writer for D CEO magazine and the editor of D CEO Healthcare. He's written about healthcare…

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