Meet Karen Leggett, D.O.
College: University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Medical School: University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
Geriatric Fellowship: Florida Hospital, Orlando, FL
- Why did you go into medicine?
I would say, medicine was a calling for me. I knew I was going to be a doctor when I was 7 or 8 years old. I loved to go to see my pediatrician, even though I only went when I was sick, which wasn’t very often. I felt secure and cared about in my most vulnerable state. Maybe that’s why I try to make my patients and their family feel secure around me.
- Was there any key person, milestone or pivotal moment that helped you become who you are?
There’s no doubt the key people who have helped me… my mom and dad first. And then my husband, David. They have been by my side every step of my life.
- Reflecting on your career, what has been the most rewarding part?
In general, on a day-to-day basis, the answer is helping people with the most valuable thing we have – our health – and helping them improve their health and wellbeing in any way possible. But specifically – THE most rewarding part of my career has been when I am honored with holding the hand of a patient transitioning from our Earthly life to their next new beginning.
- Why did you choose to work at Leggett Medical Group?
I’ve always had an entrepreneur spirit starting with a Puppet Business at the age of 18. As soon as I finished my Fellowship in Geriatrics, David and I wanted to create a Medical Group that took care of our employees as much as the patients. 20 years later we are delighted to say that our team is strong and committed to helping patients in Rehab and Skilled Nursing Facilities, while also caring about one another, and treating one another like a close family member.
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love too many things to list! But if I had to pick certain things out… I love to research about 2 topics - hormones and dementia, do different forms of art, sit with my husband with a glass of wine and chat, snuggle with my dogs, and just chat with my mom in her swing. And though it’s not as much fun as all that good stuff, I also love to exercise.
Karen Leggett, D.O.
Dr Karen Leggett graduated from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1999, followed by a Family Medicine Residency at her alma mater, a Geriatrics fellowship at Florida Hospital, Orlando, and a fellowship with the American Academy of Anti-Aging in Metabolic and Functional Medicine. She started Leggett Medical Group in 2003, practicing in multiple modalities including office, hospital, skilled nursing, assisted living, and home care for home-bound patients. She has provided hundreds of lectures to both physicians and the public, and taught clinical and didactic training to medical students at Florida State School of Medicine and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, FL.
Dr Leggett has also trained nurse practitioners in her yearlong Functional Medicine fellowships and mentorships. She was awarded a best-selling author award through co-authorship with Brian Tracy, one of Dr. Leggett’s personal mentors. In addition to caring for all primary care medical conditions, Dr. Leggett has expertise in managing the unique complications associated with aging. She has devoted herself to helping patients recover from acute medical illness, improve their current state of health, while slowing down the natural process of aging so that they can feel and BE younger and more vibrant. In addition to Dr. Leggett’s goal to educate and empower others to take good care of themselves, she has recognized that by bringing talented health professionals together, Leggett Medical Group can accomplish far more as a team than Dr. Leggett could accomplish alone.
Catherine O’Connell, M.D.
Meet the lovely Dr. Catherine O’Connell who has been a physician since 1979 after graduating from Exeter Devon in 1978 followed by a Family Medicine and OB/Gyn Residency in the United Kingdom. Following her move to Florida, Dr. O’Connell completed a second residency in Family Practice at St. Pete Bayfront Hospital in 1990. Dr. O’Connell is in the elite few who has also completed a fellowship in Nutrition with Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. She has been a valuable asset to the Sarasota community for nearly 30 years.
While Dr. O’Connell and Dr. Leggett’s relationship spans a decade, with similar philosophies in holistic and nutritional medicine, Drs. O’Connell and Leggett have maintained separate medical practices while also joining mutual forces to care for patients of Leggett Medical Group in extended care facilities. Dr. O’Connell shares Leggett Medical Group’s philosophy of providing unequivocal medical care based on listening, asking extensive questions, and spending the time necessary to understand patients as a whole.
Hiram Dickinson, APRN
Hiram is Leggett Medical Group’s Unique Sunshine mixed with superior medical skills. There isn’t a soul who doesn’t smile when Hiram is present. His ability to communicate with patients and reach patients at an intimate level is beyond compare. Though Hiram manages complications related to multiple medical conditions with ease, he also maintains a humble, joyful, and fun-loving nature that bonds patients and nursing staff alike.
While Hiram is assessing patients in a covert manner, patients feel his warmth, understanding, and connectiveness without feeling the typical fear associated with being assessed by a medical provider. Hiram graduated 12 years ago as an RN and cared for patients at Sarasota Medical Center until he graduated from the University of South Florida in 2013 as a Nurse Practitioner. It was Leggett Medical Group's great fortune to meet Hiram in 2015, when Dr. Leggett recognized his unique skills as a talented and committed practitioner. He has been a valuable part of our team since.
Leah Lange, APRN
Leah and Dr. Leggett have a unique beginning that may just win your heart. Dr. Leggett first met Leah when she was an Intensive Care Unit RN, where Dr. Leggett was always hopeful Leah would be the RN caring for her patients. Leah initially moved to Florida to care for her aging Grandparents in Florida, and following their passing she decided to go to nursing school. She graduated as an RN in 2004, and then in 2012 graduated from the University of South Florida as a Nurse Practitioner, after which Dr. Leggett immediately hired her to join Leggett Medical Group.
Leah then completed a year-long fellowship with Dr. Leggett in Functional Medicine and practices as a wholistic practitioner in Dr. Leggett’s Midlife Women’s practice, as well as working as a full-time provider to Leggett Medical Group's long term and rehabilitation patients. Leah’s “heart of gold” connects her with patients immediately. She has a unique desire to help patients in preventive, holistic medicine which stems from growing up on her family’s organic commercial farm in Kentucky. Leah also has a driving desire to empower patients with knowledge, and loves to teach. Our patients are truly blessed to have Leah on our team.
Mary Dufek, APRN
Mary is a special APRN who goes out of her way to care for patients. Her kindness and concern for patient care really brightens patient's hearts and helps them understand just how special they are.
Mary has been caring for complicated patients for over a decade. She deeply cares about each and every patient and is uniquely experienced to provide medical care inside the home.