As he reflects on the almost three years he has served as the leader of the medical school’s Family Medicine residency program in Kalamazoo, Dr. Glenn Dregansky said there is much he takes pride in.
“The culture change in our program is the biggest one,” Dr. Dregansky said. “Our residents actively promote our program and, to me, that’s a sign of overall good health.”
Dr. Dregansky took over as program director for the Family Medicine residency program in October 2016. Now, he is preparing to step away from those duties, effective June 30, 2019, to take on a new role teaching resident physicians in the medical school’s new Family Medicine residency program in Battle Creek.
“I’ve got the education bug now,” Dr. Dregansky said. “Medical education is fun and it’s incredibly rewarding to take someone who is a deer in the headlights when they walk into orientation and watch that development and maturation over time.”
Dr. Dregansky, 66, is a Michigan native who came to WMed in March 2014 after working for 17 years as a private practice family physician in Sylvania, Ohio. He also, prior to his arrival in Kalamazoo, served for six years as medical director of Special Tree Rehabilitation Systems in Romulus.
Dr. Dregansky’s dream of a career in medicine began when he was 14 years old and he aspired at that young age to be a country doctor just like his future wife’s uncle. Eventually, he became the first person in his family to ever go to college.
Dr. Dregansky is an alumnus of Central Michigan University and after completing his undergraduate studies, he earned his DO degree in 1981 from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is a military veteran and after medical school he completed a one-year Family Practice rotating internship at the D.D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Ft. Gordon, Georgia. The internship was followed by a three-year Family Practice residency at the military hospital.
As Dr. Dregansky prepares to transition to teaching in the new Family Medicine residency program in Battle Creek, Kristi VanDerKolk, MD, will take over as the new program director in Kalamazoo on July 1, 2019.
“With Kristi taking over, the program is in great shape,” Dr. Dregansky said of Dr. VanDerKolk, who created the Family Medicine clerkship for third- and fourth-year medical students at WMed and has served as clerkship director for the Department of Family and Community Medicine since 2015. “She’s an experienced educator.”
Dr. Dregansky said he knows he is leaving the Family Medicine residency program in Kalamazoo in good hands and he is proud of what he and other leaders in the Department of Family and Community Medicine have been able to accomplish during his tenure as program director.
“Our residents are promoters of our program,” Dr. Dregansky said. “Twenty-three percent of Family Medicine programs did not fill in this year’s Match. We filled and the new program in Battle Creek did too.
“What we’ve done is we’ve listened to our residents, we’ve taken their input and dramatically changed our academics with create, out-of-the-box innovations,” Dr. Dregansky added.