Why Dr. Dunaway?

What Makes Dr. Dunaway Different? Dr. Dunaway is an expert consultant who speaks and motivates in the process to teach, inspire, and invite things to change. Unlike Gurus who "Preach but don't Practice," Tray is the REAL THING.

His teachings are grounded in simplicity and practical applications that have been validated as reliable and reproducible and offers front-line wisdom. His coding system was used and developed personally. His marketing, sales, and customer loyalty topics of his speaking programs are the very techniques he uses in his own successful consulting business. Dr. Dunaway has discovered and shares how to document smarter and easier with an innovative physician process. Tray's presentation style is 100% supercharged.

One of the most common comments from audiences is how genuine and "real" Dr. Dunaway's presentations are. His authenticity comes from first-person, physician experience. Tray delivers deep, compliance-correct based, practical wisdom with an entrepreneurial passion. He's been a natural showman for years, having entertained audiences since seventh-grade when he performed magic and later was active in theater and vocal performances. Dr. Dunaway's quick wit and wisdom are evidenced in presentations, tele-conferences, and training programs with a contrarian style peppered with irreverent humor. His creativity and customizing of keynotes always keeps his material fresh and stimulating. Did we mention his client personalized singing performances?

Dr. Dunaway has been speaking professionally since 1998 and started his consulting business in 2002. To date, he has spoken in 38 states for hundreds of clients and has way too many frequent flyer miles. He has given presentations to every imaginable healthcare audience. From Doctors to Direct Care, Hospice to Homecare, Hospital Management to Physician Office Management. Last year alone, he made over 80 presentations. From executive retreats to convention centers Dr. Dunaway delivers in a way that connects dot2dot with his clients.

Having been awarded the highest earned designation of the National Speaker's Association, the CSP, (Certified Speaking Professional), Dr. Dunaway's professionalism is certified and results in superior programs not only for audiences, (consistently garnering superlative evaluations from audiences) but for clients, the "buyers" of his programs as well. He provides skills development presentations, training, and facilitation programs as well as keynotes and value appreciation presentations. He has published and authored six books and a variety of coding aids and owns a publishing company. His extensive client list and monthly periodical and trade publication article listings can be found on this website.

Dr. Dunaway’s versatility corresponds with flexible content customized to meet his specific client needs. In other words, what he will deliver to your organization is what you specifically need. If he doesn't speak on the topic you request, he'll tell you and help you find the right speaker! Click here for a sampling of his most requested topics. Your individual program will be customized but this listing gives you an idea of the variety of topics Dr. Dunaway speaks on.


As if... there isn't enough text on this website.... here's some more. When asked by a client, "exactly what is it Dr. Dunaway does?", is difficult to answer. So we asked clients what it is he's done for them. From Dr. D's perpsective he says "I have a great time connecting the dots!" But from a client perspective, they said they'd like a bio, (read:ANOTHER Bio), of sorts to explain his background and how this doctor turned entrepreneur healthcare pioneer cane to be... and then actual bullet points of what clients have told him he's done for them. Reasoning if he did this for others, he could make simiilar things happen for your organization.... so here goes:

Who is Dr. Dunaway and What Does He Do?*


*Not to be used as an introduction… see footnote.

M. Tray Dunaway, MD, FACS, CSP, CHCO is the only person on the planet with this unique set of initials after his name. Dr. Dunaway graduated from Duke University, Summa Cum Laude, before receiving his MD from the University of Pennsylvania. He became a board certified surgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons after post-graduate residencies at the University of Virginia and the University of South Alabama. After starting a solo practice in surgery in Camden, SC he grew progressively frustrated by the rules and regulations governing medical practice and developed his sentinel book, Pocket Guide to Clinical Coding and founded a publishing company, Rebel Records, Inc. Shortly after creating the toll free number, 1-877-HCFA SUX for his business, HCFA changed their name to “CMS.” Coincidence? I think not.

Using his personally developed Risk Based Coding™ Algorithm, he has helped thousands of physicians, in all 50 states and three territories, streamline E&M, (Evaluation and Management), coding requirements by minimizing documentation, (and physician time), requirements, while maintaining a compliance correct methodology that generates every cent of legitimate reimbursement due physicians from third party payers. He received his Certified Healthcare Compliance Officer certification to ensure himself, and client physicians he really did understand the rules of the game. (So far, no collect calls from physicians in jail!) By finding points of commonality with physician E&M coding and hospital DRG coding, he developed a win-win opportunity for physicians and hospitals alike and developed a full documentation system and began making presentations nationally.

To accommodate the travel requirements of speaking across the country, he switched his every-other-night-on-call schedule to an every-other-week-on-call schedule with his partner in practice. Frankly, that sucked. When you’re not on call for your practice and the ER where you’re the ONLY Surgeon available for a week at a time, you’re out of town. After burning the candle at both ends for three years, he left his surgical practice and created a physician education business, Healthcare Value, Inc. during perhaps the darkest days of professional speakers, immediately after 9/11. At a time when consultant/speakers were having to find “real jobs” his business flourished. (There is something to be said about passion fueled drive… or blind faith.)

By accident, an article written for a coding publication about how coders can make the most of 60 seconds was shared, with a few modifications, with a sister publication to homecare and hospice professionals. To compound this happy mishap, Dr. Dunaway was then asked to speak to a national marketing and sales meeting of homecare agency administrators and nurses, because, of course, he must know what he’s talking about since he wrote the article for that homecare publication. Well, happily, two wrongs did make a right. Using his own unique perspective of a clinician turned businessman this became the first program of many to be delivered to the homecare industry where today he is nationally recognized as a sales and marketing expert when selling/marketing to and through physicians and as a monthly columnist for Caring, the official publication of the National Association of Home Care and Hospice.  

In the process of teaching new documentation tricks to old (and new) docs, Dr. Dunaway discovered the real secret to success wasn’t simply the transference of new skill sets, but rather improving relationships between what he now describes as “the dots of healthcare.” This led to his description of Mutual Value Integration, a process focusing on:  improving communication skills, promoting and pursuing better chemistry, and honoring the contribution of all the “dots of healthcare.” That a physician, let alone a surgeon, could communicate effectively to physicians and other “dots of healthcare”, and understand perspectives of others in healthcare including CEO’s, CFO’s, and management, as well as nursing and other affiliated healthcare professionals, is beyond the pale of imagination for some.

Dr. Dunaway transitioned from primarily a workshop educator to a keynote speaker, (oh the temptation to place “an in demand keynote speaker” is always strong, but we’ll save that for the shameless self-promotional material and editorials), and was awarded the highest earned designation of the National Speakers Association, the CSP, (Certified Speaking Professional), in 2005. Worldwide, there are only 500 CSP’s and he is the only current MD to hold this designation and the first ever surgeon to be a CSP.

Today Dr. Tray consults to and speaks to a wide variety of healthcare organizations, association and corporate clients. He addresses issues ranging from the business of healthcare to the heart and soul of all healthcare workers, both direct and indirect caregivers. His presentations are hallmarked by messages from a powerful and compelling physician speaker and communicator, innovative and creative thinking to express client messages, masterful use of humor, customizable parody lyrics of performed songs, honesty from a unique physician perspective, and insights most audiences might not have encountered or expected. He excels at run-on sentences. There is a reason Dr. Dunaway is asked back to speak. He wins the hearts and minds of his audiences.

A highlight client list is available on this website on the "testamonial link but includes Hospital, Medical, Healthcare Finance and Management, Medical Group Management, Health Information Management, Medical Billing and/or Coding, Homecare/Hospice, and Allied Healthcare Associations. His work with hospitals is extensive and range from major university hospitals to small community hospitals, from individual hospitals to their larger hospital systems. Dr. Dunaway’s hospital presentation experience includes corporate retreats, trustee/administrator/physician conferences, physician education programs, and specific organization focus groups such as quality improvement/customer service/nursing magnet audiences to entire hospital staff programs. He also regularly addresses corporate healthcare organizations on marketing and selling to, and through, physicians and is on the faculty of the South Carolina Hospital Association’s Management Academy for Physician/Hospital Relations. His audiences have ranged from huge convention centers in major metropolitan for thousands, to3, count ‘em THREE, healthcare execs in a board room. Somewhere in between was the program in a cold storage room, in a pizza restaurant, (only room big enough to hold the crowd from a small hospital), 25 miles south of the Canadian Border, In FEBRUARY, wearing only scrubs and a white coat. He’s pretty much been there done that with almost every conceivable healthcare audience as a smooth and polished ,audience centered, client focused, professional speaker. Frostbite not withstanding.

What Dr. Dunaway does for individual “dots of healthcare” and their respective healthcare organizations:

  • Improve both DRG and E&M physician coding for a physician motivated and driven win-win opportunity for both physician and hospital.
  • Soften the resentment of “compliance” and other hospital business aspects of healthcare by interpreting and selling the value of “physician hospital business interfaces” to physicians in a hospital environment.
  • Help hospitals work with physicians and staff to better serve each other’s needs and work together to meet the challenges of changes in consumer demand, rising healthcare expenditures and workforce changes.
  • Change narrow perspectives of clinicians, or non-clinicians, by giving a more global perspective of the changing ecosystem of healthcare and the integration of unique skill sets from all individuals in an organization.
  • Help hospitals work together with their physicians, independent or employed, to make a positive impact on the health of individuals and communities they serve by strengthening clinical leadership and improving physician relations.
  • Transform employee beliefs and change behavior to yield better results by breaking down barriers of communication, improving cooperation and collegiality, and by honoring and recognizing the value every “dot of healthcare” provides everyday.
  • Celebration of healthcare heroes, a people who provides a safe haven for patients and co-workers and create medical miracles as an everyday occurrence.
  • Rekindle the passion of spirit that lead individuals to healthcare careers and restoring hope and the drive to not just survive, but to thrive in today’s increasing complex healthcare industry.
  • Enable the use of cooperation as an economic necessity to create profit for sustainable growth for healthcare organizations.
  • Depending on specific needs of clients, Dr. Dunaway discusses specific areas of interest to healthcare organizations:
    1. Clinical Excellence/Safety/ Ethics

    2. Compassionate Customer Service

    3. Quality Measurements

    4. Operational Efficiencies

    5. Care and Coordination of Care

    6. Regulatory Compliance

    7. Staff and Physician Satisfaction**

    8. Patient Satisfaction**

    9. Value interpretation to internal and external customers/employees to drive profit to enable continued sustainable growth and patient centered healthcare excellence.

WOW! You mean in a hour or two presentation, he can do all this for our group???!!!!

Are you out of your mind?


Miracles are accomplished in mere seconds but getting substantive, meaningful, transformational results from a change in beliefs affecting behavior is a long term proposition. A speech is a speech. If a speaker can make everyone in the audience, think, ONCE, in a program, that is pretty miraculous. Long term change can be assisted by Dr. Dunaway as a consultant, (or as he prefers to be called… a “dotsultant.”), to help your organization use the concept of Mutual Value Integration to connect in more meaningful, and profitable, ways with other “dots of healthcare.”

*Do not use this bio as an introduction. It’s boring. And the audience doesn’t care about who the speaker is, they are interested in “what this guy can do for me…” and, like most healthcare audiences, they think they’ve seen/heard it all and “nothing this guy is going to talk about will do anything for me.” Use the customized intro we supply, (it’s like the stock one on the meeting planner page, only better because it is, customized to YOUR organization). The intro we supply is short, easy to read, funny, (even if you’re not), sets the right tone for the program, and engages the audience even before I speak. And just read it. And don’t say “this is the introduction Dr. Dunaway gave to me to read,” or, “They just told me to read this to you,” or even, “This is a really funny introduction I’m going to read to you.” Just read it out-loud, skip the stage instructions, and we’ll let you take full credit for the humor and witty remarks. The introduction is critical to settle the audience down, give ‘em a teaser, set the tone, and start the speaker on a high note. Changing words around, adlibbing, skipping portions, or reading it out of sequence will force a speaker work extra hard to get out of the hole the introducer has dug with a lousy introduction and destroy the set-ups that have been introduced into the opening remarks that will return later in the program. Just read it. Trust us… it works best this way.

**(prefer Loyalty rather than merely “satisfaction)



>> About Dr. Dunaway

>> Book Dr. Dunaway

>> Mission

>> Topics


What they are saying:

“We used Dr. Tray Dunaway as both our morning keynoter and the closing speaker at the end of the day – and he blew everyone away….it produced the greatest rave reviews of any Annual Meeting in my experience…this guy was the best I ever remember hearing.”

Carol Kientz, Exec. Director, Homecare Assoc. of NJ


“This was the best program I’ve been to. I laughed until my ribs hurt.”

Rita Smith, Tucson, AZ


 “Wow! What a wonderful program! It was very uplifting, like an awesome fireworks display!”

Jennifer Naumen, Cornwall, PA

“Dr. Dunaway has a wonderful ability to captivate his audience and wonderful insight to the “physician mind-set.” I enjoy every aspect of Dr. Dunaway’s talks and always take away tons of valuable information.”

Sherry McCullough, Tifton, CA


"Dr. Dunaway was excellent and dynamic. This was the best coding seminar I've ever attended."

-Jay DeMarco, MD, Charleston, South Carolina


“I laughed, I cried, it became part of me. Excellent, excellent, excellent! I loved every second!”

Lyn Holstein, Syracuse, NY