May 19, 2005

Dr. Schneider Honored For 10 Years at SCMH

Plenty has changed since Dr. Robert Schneider first came to Memphis 10 years ago, but one thing has remained constant, his love of medicine and serving those in need.

Im very happy right where I am, doing exactly what Im doing as a family doctor, Schneider said. The hospital is getting better and better with so many improvements and our staff is great to work with.

Memphis may have seemed out of the way for the St. Louis native who came to the region back in 1995 in a joint role with the hospital and the Northeast Missouri Rural Health Council, whose clinic he manned with Dr. Michael Duzan.

Two years later he joined the SCMH staff full time. Over those eight years he has filled a number of roles, including chief of staff on a number of occasions. He currently heads the SCMH emergency medical department and keeps extremely busy through the Memphis Medical Clinic.

After completing school at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Dr. Schneider initially worked as a physician assistant and spent several years in South Dakota before heading to medical school at the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. After finishing school he worked in Des Moines before completing a family residency in Quincy and taking his position in Memphis in 1995.

In addition to the continuing improvements at the hospital, he pointed at a number of reasons for remaining in the rural community. The family practice has been a main reason for his tenure at SCMH.

If I went back to St. Louis, I would be so limited in what medicine I would practice as everything is so specialized, he said. As a family doc, you see so many different things and your treatments are so varied, bringing into play all of the different things we are trained to do as doctors.

The country is home for the doctor, who loves to hunt and fish. But hes not the best outdoorsman in the family, He says that honor goes to his eighth grade son, Daniel.

Of course thats another thing that has changed in a decade. Daniel is now in eighth grade. At 14 hes the last of the Schneiders four children still in the local school system. Sara, the eldest, is married and calls Wyaconda home. She works for the Division of Family Services. Steven is in the Navy and currently is in Japan. Katie is a freshman in college.

While the kids have grown up, so has the hospital that Dr. Schneider also calls home. In 1997 he moved over to SCMH fulltime, leaving behind the old clinic in what is now shared by the business office and the health department. Hes now stationed in a modern medical clinic attached to the hospital.

But thats just one of many improvements Dr. Schneider has witnessed.

Weve added lots of quality people and plenty of great technology to make this a great facility, Dr. Schneider said.

Whats in store for Dr. Schneider in the next 10 years. Much of the same, as he plans to continue in medicine.

In 10 years I see myself still working, because I love it, he said. Im sure Ill be getting ready for retirement, but I see myself always practicing medicine.

One such practice likely will include missionary work. Dr. Schneider spent a week in Nicaragua last year and he expects to continue helping the needy across the world.

We saw 3,000 patients in one week, Dr. Schneider said. The need is unbelievable and it will never go away, he said.

His patients say, hopefully neither will Dr. Schneider.

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