Lacey Cavanaugh MDThe 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.

Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh is a native of Lutcher, Louisiana. She graduated from Lutcher High School and attended college at Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport, where she graduated in 2005 as a dual-major in both Biochemistry and Neuroscience. She attended Louisiana State University Medical School in New Orleans where she graduated in 2009 as part of the Rural Scholars Program. She completed her residency training in Family Medicine from 2009-2012 at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.
 
Dr. Cavanaugh has worked in private practice in Sulphur as well as in the Rural Health Clinic in Vinton. She has expertise in wound care and was part of the Wound Healing Center at West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital from 2012-2016.  She currently serves on the LAFP Legislative and Advocacy Committee.
 
Dr. Cavanaugh lives in Carlyss with her husband, Jake, and her 2 children, Lyla and Jordyn Cavanaugh. She is an active member of Henning Memorial United Methodist Church and is an athlete who loves to swim competitively as well as participate in triathlons.

Get to Know Dr. Cavanaugh

We know you were very active as a medical student and actually one of the driving forces for LAFP to start the Resident & Student Conference, what advice would you offer to medical students selecting their specialty?
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!
 
How can we attract more medical students to family medicine?
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.
 
If you weren’t a physician, what would you be doing with your career right now?
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.
 
How have your personal experiences influenced and inspired your work?
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.
 
What has your experience as a LAFP member been like?
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!
 
What goals have you set for your future?
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.
 
What do you believe makes someone a success?
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.
 
Tell me something fun (unrelated to medicine) about yourself.
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!
 
LAFP’s Member of the Month program highlights Louisiana family physicians in LAFP Weekly Family Medicine Update and on the LAFP website. We feature a biography and a Q&A with a different LAFP member each month and his or her unique approach to family medicine. If you know an outstanding family physician colleague who you think should be featured as a Member of the Month or if you’d like to tell your own story, nominate yourself or your colleague by contacting by contacting Ragan LeBlanc via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
 
 

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