Featured Osteopathic Family Physician:
Stacy Chase, DO, FACOFP

Stacy Chase, DO, FACOFP, is currently the Director of Medical Education at St. Petersburg General Hospital Family Medicine and Traditional Rotating Internship in St. Petersburg, Florida and the Family Medicine Residency Program Director at St. Petersburg General Hospital.

She is the Clinic Director of the Residency Continuity of Care Clinic, St. Pete Family Care of HCA of West Florida in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

She is on the Physicians Advisory Council at St. Petersburg General Hospital in St. Petersburg. 

She is the St. Petersburg General Hospital Family Medicine Chair. 

This year she attended the ACOFP Future Leaders Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, where she mentored and assisted in facilitating the leadership discussion in small groups of residents, sharing knowledge and experience.

She is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor for Lake Erie College of Medicine in Bradenton, Florida.

She is an AOBFP Board of Director in Training, the AOBFP representative for Correctional Medicine CAQ, and on the AOBFP’s OMT Practical Testing Committee.

In 2016, she received the ACOFP Fellowship Award.

She is on the Pinellas County Osteopathic Medical Society Board as the Treasurer and Director of Membership for the Young Physicians Organization. 

She is a current member of American Osteopathic Association, Humane Society of the United States, and the Oakhurst Elementary PTA. 

She is an active supporter of Save Our Strays of Indian Rocks, All Bout Cats, SPCA of Tampa Bay, Human Society of the United States, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, National Kidney Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Malignant Melanoma Skin Cancer Foundation, and the Lupus Foundation.

She is a devoted wife, mother of two sets of pre-teen twin boys, four cats, and a dog!

What kind of person makes the best osteopathic family physician?
I believe the type of person that makes the best osteopathic physician is someone that attains professional and personal fulfillment by improving the lifestyle and well-being of his or her patients through a ‘whole body’ approach in care. The desire to influence patients in a positive manner through an osteopathic approach, where all aspects of the patient are equally important, is key.

What is your best advice for students who are undecided?
I would advise that the decision to become an osteopathic physician should come from wanting to have not only a solid foundation of medicine, but also the added tool of hands on manipulative medicine and the mindset OPP. Being taught osteopathic medicine allows all avenues of medicine to be utilized for total patient care.

What is your favorite aspect of osteopathic family medicine?
My favorite aspect of osteopathic medicine is having more ‘tools’ in my tool belt than just modern medicine, prescriptions, imaging, etc. I like having the skill set of seeing and treating patients as a whole with a variety of modalities.

Why did you go into osteopathic family medicine?
I went in to osteopathic medicine because I have MDs in my family that advised me to look in to osteopathic medicine to have all options available to you from the start. I later shadowed a private practice Family Medicine DO in rural Iowa and experienced OMT and OPP. Through this exposure and understanding of what my potential could be as a DO, I fell in love with the profession’s possibilities.

What do you know now in regards to selecting a specialty that you wish you knew when you were an osteopathic medical student?
I wish I knew how connected I would be to so many patients, thus completely fulfilling my hopes to ‘love my job’. I had always hoped for this, but did not have a tangible way of knowing how much I would become invested, and happily so, in my patients’ care and families.

What qualities should students look for in a mentor and what are some red flags for them to avoid?
Please look for a mentor that is happy with their personal choices and is willing to give back to the profession with an altruistic attitude. There are areas of medicine that are difficult for all of us. Finding positive pockets of our profession, and embracing such, is paramount for a healthy career. I would recommend keeping close relationships with individuals that understand you goals, but also your frustrations, and can help you navigate both. Unilateral thinking and inability to be flexible in an ever-changing medical field are, in my opinion, pitfalls in a mentor.

What have your mentors taught you?
My mentors have taught me patience with not only others, but myself, to trust my abilities in light of difficult times, and to stay focused on what is most important…my family; all to keep me grounded and able to embrace the victories and shake off the defeats while staying focused on good patient care and a healthy home life.

What specific questions should students ask their mentors?
I think a student should ask how the mentor narrowed down the area of medicine they are in currently. Are they happy with their choice or not? Would they choose this path again and why? What helps them avoid feeling overwhelmed? How should they get involved with the osteopathic profession beyond the medicine?

Published February, 2017