When you first talk to Katie Willcox, D.O., you quickly realize that caring really is her calling. The newest member of the RCH and Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic staff starts work on July 17, but her desire to help people and improve their health goes back to her middle school days. “My mother was a physical therapist,” said Dr. Willcox. “I spent a lot of time with her in nursing homes when I was growing up. I saw the difference between unhealthy 60-year olds and 90-year olds doing great. There are not a lot of careers where you can change an entire life for people. With good health, you can make a big difference for a long period of time. It made me decide to do what I’m doing.”
Dr. Willcox is an Iowa native, having grown up in LeClaire in the Quad City area. She went to the University of Iowa for undergrad, A.T. Still University – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine for medical school, and just finished her residency at Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville, MO. She’s a family practitioner and is excited to face the challenges and enjoy the variety that she’ll see every day. “I was torn between pediatrics, geriatrics, and women’s health,” admits Dr. Willcox. “I love family practice because I don’t have to choose. I can help people at all stages of life.” She’ll be providing pre-natal care up to 36 weeks as well.
Her training in Kirksville at Medical School and her Residency prepared her for rural medicine. “I interviewed for a position in Des Moines,” she said. “I realized I didn’t want to work in the city. It just wasn’t for me. In Des Moines, Each department was down the hall, or across the street. I felt more like I was referring patients, rather than treating them.” So, she’s trained to do it all, and is excited to get started at Ringgold County Hospital and the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic. “I spent time here in April with Dr. Ricker, and just loved it. The people on staff were so incredibly nice and welcoming, and the patients were wonderful. I can’t wait to get started!”
Dr. Willcox and her husband Jason are living in Winterset with their three girls aged fourteen, five, and two. Her parents and siblings are still living in LeClaire, and they visit often. “It’s an easy drive!”