EU Alumni Perspective: Luke Van Kirk
Name: Luke Van Kirk
Graduation Year: 2007
Current Position: Owner/Family physician at Command Family Medicine
City and State: Springfield, MO
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
I am a family physician and I have my own practice Command Family Medicine where we do direct primary care (DPC). We do not bill our patient’s insurance, but instead charge a monthly membership that provides virtually unlimited office visits (with no co-pay), 24/7 access via phone calls, email and texting, wholesale labs/medications (80-90% off) and include most procedures in the cost of the membership. Adults >26 y/o are $75, couples are $120/per month ($60/month each) and kids <20 y/o are $15/month with at least one parent enrolled. This allows patients to only have to carry a catastrophic insurance plan and use health insurance as TRUE insurance. The current health insurance model of covering primary care and other things you can expect to happen is exactly what makes it so expensive. If we used car insurance to pay for oil changes and new tires it would be unaffordable as well.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
My favorite memory would have to be when Cody Henderson and I got to play at Harvest Fest. We did a cover of Flight of the Conchords “You’re so beautiful.” I’m sure students still talk about it 🙂
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
All of the professors in the Sci-Tech department played a role in guiding me down the path I took. I can remember a time Dr. Tenneson though was talking to our class and what he said made me change my mind and instead of going to a physician assistant program, I decided I would go to medical school instead. I wish I can remember exactly what he said, but it was key in my decision to become a doctor.
How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
Evangel gave me the base knowledge and study skills I needed to be able to handle the fire hose of information I received in medical school.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
I would tell them to not only follow your strengths when trying to determine a career choice but to find a cause or issue that they are passionate about fixing. For me, it took until I was in the beginning of my residency training to find something I was truly passionate about within medicine and it completely transformed how pursued my education from that moment forward. I wish I had discovered it much sooner because my drive to learn went through the roof. Instead of just wanting to make good grades, complete my education and become a good family physician. It transformed to, what skills can I add that will help me transform healthcare.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
I would look for students that value autonomy above benefits. I don’t want to hire someone who is looking for a stable salary with health insurance and a 401k plan. Sure those are great, but I want someone who wants a space where they can be on the ground floor of creating something and have the freedom to implement changes when they see an area or service that could be improved.