The LAFP Member of the Month is a forum to recognize and highlight our members. We hope you enjoy learning about fellow members both on a personal and professional level. LAFP is proud to recognize Lacey Cavanaugh, MD as our May Member of the Month.
Get to Know Dr. Cavanaugh
I would advise students to follow their passion and to get involved in advocacy. Attending the AAFP Student and Resident Conference in Kansas City was pivotal for me. It is also important to try and spend some time with someone out in the “real world” who is practicing that specialty. The academic side of a specialty that you are exposed to and the “real life” side are not always the same!
It would take a multi-faceted approach. I think exposure to the breadth and depth of family medicine (through networking, conferences, and leadership opportunities) is important. It was also very important to have a mentor. Payment reform to help even the gap between primary care physicians and specialty care physicians would help. Specialized loan repayment programs that help to incentivize primary care are also attractive to students.
I have fallen in love with public health. I also love advocacy and leadership work. If I was not a physician right now, I think I would still be involved health from a different perspective (possibly in an advocacy, administrative, or educational role). It’s always been my mission to help others become healthier, so even without my MD, I don’t think that passion would change.
I decided I wanted to be a physician after my childhood home caught fire and burned down. Although it was somewhat of a traumatic experience, the overwhelming support from my community made me realize how important it is to be invested in your community. I knew from that point forward that I had to find a career that I could give back to my community, and medicine was a good fit for that.
I love the LAFP, and my experience has changed as my career has changed. As a student and a resident, the LAFP provided me an opportunity to network and learn about family medicine. As a young new physician, LAFP helped me to navigate contract negotiations and provided resources for my practice. As my career has progressed, LAFP has been my voice to advocate for Family Medicine and has been an excellent way to stay connected and get CMEs!
I just took a new role as Regional Medical Director/Regional Administrator for Office of Public Health/Louisiana Department of Health in the Lake Charles Region. My primary goal is to make my community a healthier place to live. Louisiana has to get out of 50th place, and I think that starts on the local level! Primary care is of utmost importance to help us get there.
Success is not defined by money or power. For me, success is about happiness. It is about being happy with what you have and about seeing the glass as half-full instead of half-empty. It’s about being empathetic, kind, trustworthy, and impactful. Success looks different for each one of us.
I’ve loved swimming and triathlons since I was a kid. I actually completed an Ironman 70.3 during my 4th year of medical school. I now have 2 children (Lyla, age 6 and Jordyn, age 4) which have made it a little more difficult to train for events like this, but I have big dreams for the future to get back into it!