A young Ronna D. Compton, DO, didn't spend much of her time on swings or riding bikes around the neighborhood like other children during summer breaks.
She was too busy visiting patients with her parents.
“My parents started their own business in my small hometown when I was five years old. It is a durable medical equipment company, and they provide home oxygen and other medical equipment to patients at home. A lot of what they do involves caring for the elderly. They visit the patients in their home and insure they understand how to use their medical equipment.”
And it was during these routine visits with her parents in Grundy, Virginia, that Dr. Compton began a lifelong mission to help the elderly.
“When I was small, I didn’t want to be at home with a babysitter,” she recalls. “I remember going in to see patients with my parents, and of course, most of them were elderly patients. Looking back, I didn’t realize at the time how much that was influencing me.”
This July, Dr. Compton accepted a position at the University of Louisville’s Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine as an Assistant Professor.
And it’s the same university where Dr. Compton learned she wanted to specialize in geriatrics.
“Dr. Belinda Setters, who is the program director of the geriatric fellowship, told me when I was an intern, ‘I don’t know if you recognize this yet, but you were born to be a geriatrician,’” Dr. Compton said. “I’ve always seen the elderly as a very special population. The thing that drew me to geriatrics the most is just the complexity of the practice, and how even small changes in care can make a huge difference in the overall health of the patient.”
Dr. Compton graduated with a BA from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 2003 and received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree in 2007 from the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg. She completed her family medicine residency and geriatric fellowship at the University of Louisville. She spent the last year in an academic position at the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Throughout it all, she has also found time to be very involved with the ACOFP, serving as both the student and resident member on the Board of Governors, the national student president, as well as the first president of the ACOFP Student Chapter of the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. Compton now serves as co-chair of the New Physicians and Residents Committee.
“I’ve really grown up in the ACOFP,” Dr. Compton said. “I’m so grateful for the opportunities the ACOFP has given me, and has shared with me. It’s nice to be in a position where I can pass that on to those who come after me.”
Awards and Accomplishments: Past student and resident member on the ACOFP Board of Governors, previous ACOFP National Student President, current mentor for ACOFP Future Leaders Program, current Co-Chair of the New Physicians and Residents Committee.