“I get up every morning and think ‘Gee, I get to go to the hospital, that’s cool!” said Dr. Steven Reeves.
Reeves is currently a decorated physician at Greater Regional Medical Center, but the journey has been a long one.
Reeves grew up in Creston and had worked his way through high school and his first year of college at Little Duffer, a restaurant formerly located where Taco Johns currently is. In 1979, after years of service with the restaurant, Reeves took a position as an ambulance driver for Greater Regional Medical Center, where he would work until 1987.
“I absolutely loved medicine, I loved what I was doing,” said Reeves. “I spent the time from ‘79 to ‘87 getting my LPN nursing license through Southwestern while working in ambulance and E.R.”
In 1987, Reeves moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, where he worked as a nurse. In 1993, Reeves was accepted into the physician’s assistant program at what is now known as Des Moines University.
“We moved back to Creston in 1993, and I commuted back and forth to Des Moines University and started PA school,” said Reeves.
He went on to medical school at the University of Iowa, graduating in 1999.
“I had applied to medical school in 1984,” said Reeves. “I was not accepted, and rightfully so, I wasn’t ready for medical school. Fast forward to ‘93, I applied to medical school again while I was in PA school, and I got accepted. So I graduated from PA school in May and started medical school in August.”
Reeves would spend his residency at the Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, once again commuting daily from Creston. In 2002, Reeves completed his residency and became board certified in internal medicine before starting a private practice.
In 2007, Reeves would once again become an employee at Greater Regional Medical Center, this time as a physician. Since that time, Reeves has spent time as chief of staff at the hospital and became a fellow in the American College of Physicians in 2014.
“I’ve tried to contribute back to the organization, to medicine and my patients, and to be the best physician that I possibly can,” said Reeves.
The accomplishment Reeves said he takes the most pride in is his role as an educator to students who train under him, something he began ‘ramping up’ in 2010.
“I have medical students with me almost all the time,” said Reeves. “I am active in whatever capacity I need to be.”
Recently it was announced that the Iowa Chapter of the American College of Physicians have selected Reeves to be the recipient of the chapter’s annual laureate award this October.
“It caught me entirely, totally by surprise,” said Reeves. “I was a mix of surprised, honored and humbled.”
Since 1987, the Laureate Awards have been given annually as a mark of honor and recognition for achievement of excellence in Internal Medicine in the State of Iowa. Categories of accomplishment include scholarship and contributions to the medical literature, excellence as a teacher, significant innovation in or contributions to health care services, and advancement of the goals of the American College of Physicians and of other medical societies and organizations.
Reeves said the surprising aspect was the prestige of the award and the former recipients, with everyone from published authors to educators at state universities. In the 33 years of this award’s existence only 11 cities have had the honor with a physician recipient: Iowa City, Des Moines, Sioux City, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Davenport, Ames, Mason City, Ottumwa, Muscatine, and Bettendorf.
“These awards have gone to physicians who are the dean of the University of Iowa Medical School and like the medical director of their program,” said Reeves. “I am an internist in southwest Iowa, and I in no way, shape or form thought I was in that running for this kind of an award.”
Recipients are nominated by members of the Iowa ACP, and all the information is kept private. Reeves said one of the most interesting aspects of the news was who broke it to him.
“My residency director from when I was a resident at Iowa Methodist is the one that contacted me to say I got the award,” said Reeves. “Great physician, fine man, wonderful person, and it was a neat thing for him to contact me.”
As for the future, Reeves is continuing his education at John Hopkins University, where he is pursuing his master’s degree in population health management.
“I’m a year in right now, I probably have two more years to finish,” said Reeves. “Ambulance driver, to EMT, to nurse to PA, to physician. I just keep on going. All I want to do honestly is be the best that I can be. I love what I do and the people I work with.”