Alumnus named ACOFP’s 2019 Physician of the Year

Kevin de Regnier, D.O.’85, FACOFP, dist., may practice in a small town, but he’s been a big name in osteopathic family medicine. President of Madison County Medical Associates in Winterset, IA, he has served numerous osteopathic associations and medical organizations as well as his community during his 30-plus years of practice. In March, the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) named him its 2019 Osteopathic Family Physician of the Year.

It was one of several awards presented at the ACOFP’s 56th annual convention and scientific seminars March 21-24 in Chicago.

Dr. de Regnier epitomizes the concept of physician as leader, servant and educator. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the ACOFP, which he served as president in 2015-2016 and as a member and chair of numerous ACOFP committees throughout his career. In 2017, he was elected speaker of the house of the Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association (IOMA), which named him its Physician of the Year in 2000.

Certified by the National Board of Examiners for Osteopathic Physicians, Dr. de Regnier has stayed involved with DMU over the years as an adjunct faculty member in family medicine and as a preceptor for students in his practice. He also has been appointed to state entities on health policy and related areas, including the Iowa Medical Home Advisory Council, Iowa Health Systems and Plans Committee of the Iowa Health Regulation Task Force and the Data Committee of the Community Health Management Information System.

In addition to his practice and professional leadership, Dr. de Regnier supports his community by helping with causes such as suicide prevention, hospice care, first responders support, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program and more.

Here, he shares his motivations for serving patients and his profession.

DMU: What has motivated you to serve in member and leadership roles for professional organizations on top of your very busy practice? 

Dr. de Regnier: I actually fell into my first leadership role when I was invited to fill an unexpired term on the IOMA board. I quickly found that I really enjoyed having the opportunity to support my fellow physicians in their practices, having a hand in directing the future of the profession and ensuring that patients were able to access osteopathic medical care.

DMU: Why is such physician engagement important? 

Dr. de Regnier: Whether it’s advocating for our patients or for our profession, nobody knows the issues better than the one who is doing the work. Physicians are in a unique position to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves to ensure patients receive high-quality, cost-effective care. There are many voices out there advocating their own agenda. If we fail to speak up, it is our patients and our profession that suffer.

DMU: What benefits do you glean from activities outside your practice?

Dr. de Regnier: The biggest reward I have received from my involvement in osteopathic medical organizations, in my community and in working with students is that these activities have made me a better physician. Knowing the latest payment trends, influencing the direction of medical practice or answering the “Why did you treat that patient the way you did?” all help me to provide the most up-to-date care to my patients. The personal reward is hard to overstate. Meeting so many great people from all over the country in all different specialties has been a true blessing.

DMU: What would you say to other physicians and medical students to encourage them to get involved in professional organizations?

Dr. de Regnier: I remember my very first day at DMU. Norm Rose, D.O.’63, FACOS, a member of the board and a well-known osteopathic surgeon, stood at the podium and surveyed the 220 fresh-faced students of my class. Slowly, he leaned into the microphone and said, “Relax, you made it. You’re here, and we’re going to make sure you succeed.” Then he pointed to the parking lot and said, “I’ve got a very nice Lincoln out there. If you take care of this profession, it will take care of you.” That has stuck with me. I have always felt an obligation to “take care of the profession”; it has certainly taken care of me.

DMU: Is there any one (or two) professional activities that have been most meaningful and/or enjoyable to you? If so, which one/s and why?  

Dr. de Regnier: Without question, having the honor of being ACOFP president will stand out as the highlight of my career. It gave me the opportunity to travel across the country and visit many of our colleges and visit with the students. I met so many wonderful docs as I traveled and learned about all the things different physicians and organizations are doing to advance patient care and our profession. I also enjoy being involved in my community. I have been a member of our county board of health for 30 years. Being able to improve the health of a whole community is very rewarding.