Featured Osteopathic Family Physician:
Jeremy Jie Casey, DO

Dr. Jeremy Jie Casey attended Metropolitan State University in Denver where he received a bachelor’s of science in integrative therapeutic practices.
While there, he received a number of honors and awards – MSU Denver President’s Award, Outstanding Student Award, Health Professions, Channel 7 Everyday Hero Award, MSU Denver Alumni Scholar, Kaiser Permanente Diversity Scholar and Presidential Academic Achievement Award.

He received his DO from Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2015. Again, he received many commendations, including RVU Dean’s Award, Rural & Wilderness Medicine Honors, RVU Summit Award and RVU Student Service Award. He’s currently the ACOFP Future Leaders Committee Vice-Chair, ACOFP Council on Men’s Issues Committee member, ACOFP Resident’s Committee member, ACOFP Recruiting Student to FM Residencies Committee member and MSU Denver Integrative Healthcare Advisory Board member. 

At this time, Dr. Casey is a resident physician at Community Health of Central Washington.

What kind of person makes the best osteopathic family physician? 
I think the best way to answer that is to explain what I think an osteopathic family physician does and you’ll know whether you identify or are interested. An osteopathic family physician is a unique character and one of great conviction. We have committed ourselves not just to the practice of medicine but also to being an integral part of our communities.

We believe that by working toward and maintaining health, we have a greater positive impact on our patients’ lives and the nation as a whole. We put the care of our patients’ before our paychecks and most of us have gone into medicine almost solely for the purpose of helping others and making difference.

By practicing a full-spectrum of care across a lifetime for every member of a family, we ourselves become a member of the families we serve.

What is your best advice for students who are undecided? 
If you haven’t decided on your specialty yet, that’s great! You happen to be in a unique position to really appreciate and evaluate what you are experiencing along your journey. When you wake up each day during your current rotation, can you say, “I am excited to get back to work today!”?

Take a moment during each day to ask yourself, “Would I be happy doing what I am doing today, if I did it every day for the rest of my life?”

At the end of each day ask yourself, “Do I feel fulfilled by the way I practiced medicine today?”

When you find those answers all to be yes, you’ve found your calling! If you find those answers to be “yes” on most all of your rotations, you may want to consider the only specialty that allows you to do everything. (Hint: It’s family medicine!)

What is your favorite aspect of osteopathic family medicine? 
That personal connection and the relationship we maintain with our patients, sometimes for a lifetime. When I started in family medicine, I always believed that I loved the clinic and hated hospital medicine for that very reason.

I saw inpatient medicine as impersonal and academic. I cherished getting to know patients and their story and taking more factors into account when caring for them just lab values and vitals. I soon learned that even in the hospital we family physicians approach our patients differently than other specialties. We concern ourselves with their history as well as their future.

We take time to get to know them and what makes them tick. We often take them in as new patients after they leave the hospital if they didn’t have primary care previously established. We make a long lasting impact on their health beyond the walls of the hospital because we approach medicine a little bit differently.

Why did you go into osteopathic family medicine? 
Why osteopathic? Because it is the most patient-centered, holistic approach to the care of our patients and it is the best way to offer our patients and alternative to their care that our allopathic counterparts don’t offer. Why family medicine? For all the reasons stated previously.

Full-spectrum, womb-to-tomb care that allows me to be a part of my patient’s life, their family, and my community as a whole while making a difference in the health of the nation in a meaningful and cost effective way that lets me do a little bit of everything on any given day. Osteopathic and family medicine? I’m sold!

What do you know now in regard to selecting a specialty that you wish you knew when you were an osteopathic medical student?
I knew from the moment I discovered family medicine through ACOFP that was all I wanted to do so my decision was easy and it was made very early on. That said, I did go into each rotation of third-year with an open mind secretly wondering if any one specialty would change my mind. That’s when I discovered that I was interested in everything, which only served to solidify my decision. So, I refer back to my answers for questions 1-4.

What qualities should students look for in a mentor and what are some red flags for them to avoid? 
First, look for someone who embodies the type of physician you want to be. For me, about six different people fit that bill thus far in my career. Some are very involved in advocacy, some in teaching, some in rural medicine, some in service, and some are all of those things. You will find many incredible osteopathic physicians along your journey.

Some individuals will stand out to you as not only an example of what you strive to be, but someone who is willing to take on the task of being a mentor. That means answering your questions, offering you guidance, responding to your text when you need advice on the fly, supporting you in your endeavors, taking the time to get to know you, talking to you one-on-one about things that you want to understand better.

What have your mentors taught you? 
Most of all, a good mentor sees potential in you that even you may not recognize in yourself and encouraging you to live up to that potential.

What specific questions should students ask their mentors? 
Well, first, ask them to be your mentor. That lets them know you admire them and it establishes the nature and expectations of your relationship as more than casual. Then, assuming they say “yes”, ask them anything you want, they’re your mentor!

Seriously though, I’ve asked my mentors questions ranging from professional to personal and everything in-between and they’ve always been there for me.

Published October, 2015