From Mechanical Engineering to Medicine

Dr. Jacob McKeegan
Family Medicine Physician

In Tiltonsville, Ohio, a town of 1,300 people, Dr. Jacob McKeegan grew up with a strong sense of community. He was drawn to the idea of caring for people and also loved restoring cars with his dad. His automotive aspirations won out, and he employed his mechanical engineering degree for more than two years, but something was missing.

“I found that it wasn’t wholly fulfilling. I enjoyed the problem-solving and critical thinking aspects of engineering, but I wanted to have more personal interaction with people,” says Dr. McKeegan, who decided to test drive a new career path by volunteering at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

“Before I committed to medicine, I wanted to get more experience and see what medicine was actually like in the emergency room and ICU. I was able to interact with patients, console their families and help set up appointments with the care team, and that satisfied my desire to find human connection in my work.”

Dr. McKeegan then attended Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health and earned a Master of Health Science. The institution attracted distinguished speakers from the medical field and allowed Dr. McKeegan to study medicine from a population health standpoint.

“It was while I was earning my master’s degree that I was first introduced to the Kaiser Permanente model of health care. I found it to be one of the more shining notes in the U.S.’s health care system, and that stayed with me.” 

Dr. McKeegan went on to earn his medical degree from Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. He made his way west for a residency in family medicine.

In his final year of residency, Dr. McKeegan did a one-month rotation with family medicine doctors from Colorado Permanente Medical Group (CPMG), and then joined the team at the Kaiser Permanente Arapahoe Medical Offices in 2015. CPMG physicians provide care to more than 680,000 Kaiser Permanente Colorado members.

“When I interviewed, I immediately noticed a strong sense of pride in the exceptional care that is delivered. Kaiser Permanente may seem like a big company, but the team at the Arapahoe Medical Offices makes patients feel comfortable and cared for on a personal level,” shares Dr. McKeegan.

“I see my medical office not only as a great place to receive care, but also as an amazing place to work. The people are the reason I truly am inspired to come in every day – from the Primary Care physicians who have been here for decades, to the rest of the care team and everyone who keeps the office running. And of course, being a doctor wouldn’t be meaningful without the patients I serve and get to know.”   

So, does Dr. McKeegan miss mechanical engineering? Not one bit.

“The human body is really the ultimate machine, and the nuances of individuals’ personalities keep it interesting.”

Learn more about Dr. McKeegan’s practice at the Arapahoe Medical Offices by reading part two of his story, or by watching this short video.

To learn more about working at CPMG, click here