Dr. David Deci Tribute

Tributes to David M. Deci, MD 

The Family Medicine Midwest Foundation mourns the loss of one of its founding board members.  During his time at University of Wisconsin, he was one of the three central family physician leaders who established the Foundation and the first conference held in 2012.  By 2013 FMM was its own 501 (c) 3 organization and the second annual conference was held in Milwaukee.

Deci served as the foundation’s board chair in 2014 and remained a board member until he retired from the University of Wisconsin in 2020.  He remained connected to FMM as an emeritus member of the board of directors until 2022. 

During his time with Family Medicine Midwest, and his department administrative manager, the late Joyce Jeardeau enabled and energized UW medical students to explore family medicine at FMM conferences and through their own work.  As a result, the UW family and community medicine residency programs consistently attract UW and many other Midwest school graduates. 

He was also strongly dedicated to helping the underserved and people experiencing homelessness.  He helped found the International Street Medicine Institute which continues to this day.   

Tributes from other FM Midwest members

Dr. Deci used his passion for Family Medicine and expertise in advising medical students to help create Family Medicine Midwest. He provided years of service that included numerous roles for the organization - founding board member, chair of the board, and education committee chair for multiple FMM conferences. He will forever be remembered by those of us who were lucky enough to interact with him as a wise teacher, empathetic listener, and kind mentor.

Andrew Slattengren, D.O. (Minnesota AFP)

Dave and I first met when we randomly sat next to each other at a 2008 STFM presentation in Portland, OR.  The session was “Spinning Straw into Gold.”  Dave was faculty in West Virginia at the time and I was working as a college health physician, newly recruited as a medical educator at the University of Wisconsin.  To my great joy, Dave joined the UW faculty soon afterward and we had the privilege of working together in the Office of Medical Student Education for several years.  Dave provided inspiration, guidance, and support as a friend, colleague, and mentor.  

Dave embodied the initiative, enthusiasm, collaboration and commitment of family medicine excellence.  His contributions are many and cannot all be listed here.  Dave was a founding board member served as Vice Chair of the Street Medicine Institute and led a national symposium on street medicine that drew attendees from around the United States and 7 other countries.  His commitment to reducing disparities was also shown by his regular participation at the Grace MEDiC student-run clinic.

Dave was committed to Family Medicine education.  He directed the UW Family Medicine department’s Office of Medical Student Education and served as the director of the Primary Care Clerkship, and his teaching activities spanned the continuum of medical education.  He was also committed to excellence in patient care.  As a rural family physician, he was truly a patient’s doctor.  He was compassionate, kind, caring and fully engaged with his patients.  Dave was an outstanding mentor and made the lives and careers of people around him better.  Though humble and unassuming, Dave’s energy at times appeared limitless.  That energy has now moved on, infusing everything Dave has touched.  He leaves behind a remarkable legacy and will be missed.

Jacob Prunuske, MD, MSPH (Medical College of Wisconsin)

The Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians provided these three websites with more information about Dr. Deci.
University of Wisconsin - Dept. of Family & Community Medicine

Deci Family Tribute (Andrew Deci)

Street Medicine Institute

We are unable to accept blog post comments on this site.  Please link to this Google Document to add your own reflections and tributes to be shared with Dr. Deci's Family

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Ginnie Flynn - Thursday, September 07, 2023

Dr. Deci was always a delight and a voice of calm and wisdom since the day FMM started. He was such a father figure to us all. The 2018 conference at Univ of Wisconsin was one of our most successful and fun because of all the great work he put into it. He and Joyce Jeardeau made a tremendous team who lived the Joy of Family Medicine. I miss them both dearly.

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