Faculty, UW–Madison
Chair, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

David Rakel, MD

  • Family Medicine
David Rakel, MD


David Rakel, MD, is a family medicine doctor at UW Health. He is the chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, where he founded the Integrative Medicine Program (now known as the Integrative Health Program) and received the Gold Foundation’s Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, the school’s highest honor for excellence and compassion in care.

Dr. Rakel provides immediate and routine, day-to-day health care services including diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses for patients of all ages. He describes himself a “super generalist” who specializes in caring for each individual patient. Drawn to how the body systems work together, he has a special interest in integrative medicine, sports medicine, mind-body medicine and nutrition. His goal is to keep his patients as healthy as possible.

Dr. Rakel’s care philosophy is to explore each person’s unique path toward health based on their health history, genetics, mental health, environment, relationships, motivations and more. He also believes that the future of health care will be focused on empowering communities to be healthier.

In his free time, Dr. Rakel enjoys spending time with his wife and three grown kids. His hobbies include mountain and road biking, photography and spending time in nature.

Listening is our number one priority. Understanding why a person wants to be healthy and then finding their ideal path is my goal.

Languages spoken
  • English

Education & credentials

Board certifications
  • Family Medicine
Medical School
  • Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
  • University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, Tucson, AZ
  • North Colorado Medical Center, Greeley, CO