Bellin physician earns Degree of Fellow


IRON MOUNTAIN — Dr. Douglas Villa of Bellin Health U.P. Primary Care-Iron Mountain, received the Degree of Fellow from the American Academy of Family Physicians, the national medical association representing more than 94,000 family physicians, residents and medical students.
Villa, who has practiced family medicine for 22 years, earned his degree during a ceremony last fall in Chicago, held in conjunction with the academy’s annual meeting. He was among 250 family physicians awarded the degree.
“The degree is an honor recognizing us for the contributions we’ve made to the medical field,” Villa said. “It’s a big deal for us because it takes a long time to earn this. It’s not something that everyone achieves. It involves extra work outside of our immediate responsibilities.”
The American Academy of Family Physicians Degree of Fellow, established in 1971, recognizes family physicians who have distinguished themselves through service to family medicine and ongoing professional development. To earn the degree, candidates must maintain a membership of at least six years with the academy, pursue extensive continuing medical education, participate in public service programs outside of their medical practice, conduct original research and serve as a teacher in family medicine.
“The requirements are pretty extensive,” Villa said. “That’s why this is so significant. It’s not something that’s given out lightly. It’s truly an honor and something my patients can also take pride in.”