Western University of Health Sciences alumnus and faculty member David Connett, DO ’84, was selected 2012 Physician of the Year by the Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California (OPSC) during OPSC’s 51st Annual Convention in San Diego February 11, 2012.

Connett is Associate Dean of Clinical Services for the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) in Pomona, Calif., and Medical Director of the Western University Clinic Systems, which includes WesternU’s Patient Care Center and the Rancho Cucamonga Patient Care Center. He also serves as a practicing family physician at both sites.

According to OPSC, the Awards Committee annually selects an individual who best represents the qualities and traits of an outstanding osteopathic physician and surgeon as the recipient of the Physician of the Year Award. Dedication and devotion to the profession, activity in the osteopathic community, and activity in the community in which the individual lives and works are all considered.

“”This is an incredible honor,”” Connett said. “”WesternU has given me opportunities to have a perfect job, in my eyes, allowing me to practice as a family physician, yet be able to develop residencies for postgraduate training.””

During the awards banquet, sitting next to COMP Dean Clinton Adams, DO, Connett said he was impressed with the background of the person – whose name had not been announced — being described as the award winner. He said he needed to fill some job openings, and that he thought this physician would work out nicely.

Seconds later, he was shocked when he realized they were talking about him, he said.

He says it’s a great recognition of the hard work put into developing residencies, and also because of the significant expansion of Ranch Cucamonga Patient Care Center.

Connett joined the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific clinic operations five years ago, when three physicians and two physician assistants saw about 400 patients per month. Today, more than 30 providers see more than 1,800 patients each month.

“”While many physicians express frustration about the dearth of available residency programs for graduating osteopathic medical students, Dr. Connett has aggressively taken action to address the problem,”” OPSC Executive Director Kathleen S. Creason, MBA, said in a press release. “”He utilized his extensive business skills with the creation of a robust residency development tool that he generously shares for the benefit of the entire osteopathic profession.””

Dr. Connett was also inducted as OPSC’s Vice President during the meeting.

Another graduate of COMP, William W. Henning, DO ’86, was inducted as President of OPSC during the meeting. Henning is currently the Chief Medical Officer for Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP).

As President of OPSC, Henning plans to further broaden advocacy efforts, involving the osteopathic profession in the changing health care environment.

About OPSC

OPSC is a professional society representing the more than 6,000 osteopathic physicians licensed by the State of California. Established in 1960, OPSC’s mission is to advance the practice of osteopathic medicine as an independent, scientific and complete system of medicine for the restoration and preservation of good health, and to present programs of education and information that contribute to the effective, professional practice of osteopathic health care. For further information on OPSC, please go to www.opsc.org.