New Dean of Osteopathic Medicine at Des Moines University

Accomplished physician, educator and visionary in osteopathic medicine to spearhead college's future

WEST DES MOINES, IA (04/25/2024) After an extensive national search, David Connett, D.O., has been appointed dean of the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, effective July 1, 2024.
"An accomplished physician, educator and visionary in osteopathic medicine, Dr. Connett brings exceptional experience and qualifications to his new role. He is a recognized leader in osteopathic medicine education. He is exactly the right person to continue the standard of excellence DMU is known for and propel the university to the next level to help address national health care workforce shortages and more," says Angela L. Walker Franklin, Ph.D., president and CEO.
Connett has a distinguished career spanning decades. A 1984 graduate of the Western University of Health Sciences - College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, he completed his postgraduate training at the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. His professional journey includes distinguished service in the United States Air Force as a board-certified family physician and flight surgeon, where he notably served as chief of aerospace medicine.
Connett has also served as the chief medical officer of an osteopathic teaching hospital and has been an integral part of the faculty at Western University of Health Sciences since 2007, progressively assuming roles as the dean of postdoctoral training, vice dean and currently acting dean. He is a national consultant in residency development. In 2018, he was inducted into the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians Board of Governors.
"This is an exciting time to join the DMU community and the College of Osteopathic Medicine," Connett says. "DMU is a highly respected osteopathic medical school. It's number one in the nation for board scores. The faculty are harmonious. It's an amazing place and the campus that has been built under Dr. Franklin's leadership is impressive."
In his leisure time, Connett enjoys various outdoor pursuits, including biking, fishing and sporting activities. In addition to his career, Connett's family is also a priority. His daughter serves as a D.O. surgeon in South Dakota, and his son is a cybersecurity expert in Michigan. Relocating to Iowa from California brings him closer to his family, including one grandchild, with two more expected to join the family by the end of 2024.
"DMU's College of Osteopathic Medicine holds a distinguished reputation as one of the nation's premier medical institutions, renowned for producing top-tier primary care physicians," Franklin says. "Students of the college also have achieved exceptional performance on national exams and, among its osteopathic medical students, high residency rates. Dr. Connett is poised to further enhance and expand on this legacy of excellence."
The College of Osteopathic Medicine offers four graduate degrees: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Master of Science in Anatomy and master's and doctoral degrees in biomedical sciences.
Dave Kapaska, D.O., M.B.A., a 1986 graduate of DMU, has served as interim dean of the college since February 2024. He will return to his service as a member of the DMU board of trustees.
Located in West Des Moines, part of Iowa's capital metro, Des Moines University offers 10 graduate-level professional degree programs in anatomy, biomedical sciences, health care administration, occupational therapy, osteopathic medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, podiatric medicine and public health. Founded in 1898, the institution offers superior academics in a collaborative environment. DMU students' scores on national examinations, pass rates on board certifications and match rates for medical residency programs are consistently higher than national averages and rates at peer institutions.

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