REGAN DULIN TILLEY, D.O.
"If you know me, you know I’m pretty much an open book. Ask me a question, and I am likely to tell you an answer. In brief, I am a mother, wife and doctor. My path has been circuitous but always with a goal. Sometimes the goal changed, sometimes it got farther away, and sometimes, I was planted exactly where God wanted me when I least expected it. That is how I feel about how I arrived in Manhattan, Kansas. After eight years as a nurse, annoying the doctors with questions of ‘why?’ when I did not quite understand the reasons behind the orders I was given, and a lifetime of wanting to be a doctor, I took the plunge in 2004. I signed up for the MCAT on a day that changed my life forever. I took the test, cold, without studying, to see what I knew from being a nurse. Not the brightest thing as that is not a cheap test, but I did not fail it. So I had room to go up! I studied and took pre-requisite classes (like genetics, physics and organic chemistry I had not had in nursing school) and then took it again and improved by an unlikely 8 points. This was good enough to go to medical school...and I got in on my first rounds of applying, to only 3 schools. Granted, it was a provisional program for non-traditional students, but I rocked the Master’s Degree and matriculated into medical school at KCUMB in 2008.
That summer preceding entry into medical school nearly broke me. I ended up with emergency back surgery for a herniated disc that paralyzed my left leg, followed 2 weeks later by surgery to drain an abscess that had made me septic. The school advised I take a year off. Uh...NO! I started the year with a walker, a PIC line and a kind friend who drove me to school with her. I ended up with two more surgeries that first semester, but I was not going to let that get in my way. I finished medical school, but with an inside knowledge of what it was to be a patient, and nearly die. My outlook changed. I did not ever think “poor me”. Instead, I accepted each hurdle as a gift from God. It was another experience that would allow me to be real to my patients, to allow me to not only sympathize, but empathize as well. I also learned traditional Western Medicine’s limits. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for and recommend using every bit of the knowledge and understanding we have to treat illness when it comes to surgery, treating sepsis and all. But I also learned first hand that it does not hold all the answers. I was introduced to holistic healing all the way back in my nursing school days. I kept a skeptical eye on the alternative practices I was exposed to in training. I began to seek out more training as patients told me of their experiences with different treatments and was fortunate enough to be able to participate in rotations in medical school in Integrative Medicine.
The world opened up before me after spending time at KU Integrative Medicine and meeting many different types of practitioners from ND, to Nutritionist, acupuncturists, and even energy healers. I had my first true catharsis of healing during this month. Then I met dr. Murray and Toni Lamb at Sastun Center for Integrative Health. They remain mentors. Then once more, a “God thing” occurred and the residency I was accepted into offered an Integrative Medicine track, so I got to learn more!!! More time with Toni and Dr. Murray, as well as several new faculty.
Since leaving residency, I have continued seeking a different path, while continuing with my Family Medicine background, and am actively involved in training with the Institute for Functional Medicine. Please let me know if you have questions about how this can impact your care and your health, as I believe it is the wave of the future of personalized medicine."