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David J. Hagan, MD, CPE, FAAFP, FAAPL 
Candidate for AAFP Board of Directors, 2018

Real World Solutions from Rural Roots

My professional passions are patient care and family medicine.  Half of my career was full-scope family medicine, including maternity care with operative deliveries.  I continue to practice full-time in the office and attend my patients on the inpatient service, as well as in multiple nursing homes in my service area.  Whether in the board room of our local hospital Board of Directors or now as part of the administrative team, I have always tried to approach issues by asking "what is in the best interest of the patient?" I believe that this approach is one reason why our critical access hospital has continued to grow and thrive and has received national recognition for patient satisfaction and quality.  Gibson Area Hospital certainly remains a family medicine hospital.  From my constant engagement with the IL-AFP and the AAFP, I continue to find new ideas and approaches to improve our local system.   Recently I was featured by the American Medical Association for the contributions my practice has made to our local economy. 

 More about my experienceMore about my Academy priorities

 I was a track and cross-country runner in high school and college. I returned to my running routine in middle age. This photo shows me finishing the Grand Rapids, Michigan Marathon in 2015 in a  respectable time of 4:05. Burnout is an issue that plagues many family physicians, and I have found that running is one of those activities that enables me to avoid burnout, relieve stress, as well as boost my overall fitness and energy. The discipline and dedication that allows me to run endurance races serves me just as well in other arenas.


 Allow me to introduce myself..

Contact me at [email protected]

View my full CV here

 Advocacy at all levels

I love our state chapter’s “IAFP Spring into Action” which ensures I visit with my state senator and state representative every two years alongside my Illinois colleagues. I then continue those conversations back home and am always willing to contact them on specific issues as our Academy needs us.  


Meanwhile, my Illinois AFP leadership has enabled me to often attend the AAFP’s Family Medicine Advocacy Summit (formerly FMCC). Frequently meeting with my congressional representatives and many others in our Illinois delegation on issues cross cutting from public health funding, physician loan repayment, Medicare, Medicaid matching funds, access to care, and the hassles of electronic health records. Our chapter has always made FMAS a “team activity,” so we meet and build a presence with many Illinois members in Congress. Working alongside my fellow Illinois leaders on Capitol Hill, especially the residents and medical students, has broadened and strengthened my advocacy skills.

Patient care 
I’ve spent three decades providing full-scope family medicine to generations of local families. Often I say “I’ve known him/her since he/she was born” – some of them are now medical students rotating in my practice, or serving in local and state elected offices. At times, I've cared for five generations of a family in my practice. There are many young adults in this region for whom I am the only doctor they have ever known.  What joy to have a former patient, including some I have delivered, go to medical school and return to do their family medicine clerkship in my office.  Our team-based approach is the bedrock of the patient-physician relationship.  The relationships I have built with my physician colleagues ensures that my patients can get the care they need, where they need it and when they need it.  Whether with the local hospital or other agencies in the area, I am committed to continuing to build the health care community our patients need.

I have education experience at all levels - from being a local CME coordinator, to providing award-winning contributions to the University of Illinois Rural Medicine Education, to serving on IAFP’s CME committee and also as a CME presenter for our members.  Meanwhile I'm actively engaged with the University of Illinois at Rockford College of Medicine and continually host medical students at my practice. Attracting and preparing top-tier physicians and providers to my community has been a career-long priority.

About that Maintenance of Certification… I believe in board certification. Yes, it can be improved and will be. The Practice Improvement reporting needs to be easier. If you are a PCMH-recognized practice, then it should be automatically reported for you. Physicians need to be more widely aware of this and capitalize on it. I’m proud that AAFP is working with ABFM to convey our members’ concerns. Board certification is a flag that we fly and should be proud of it. Just as our members are diverse in their family medicine practices, their ABFM solutions need to be as flexible to accommodate the new family medicine physician.