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March 8, 2013

Helping Others Led to Career in Health Care

Scott Schuldes, a certified family nurse practitioner and associate medical director at ThedaCare Physicians-Hilbert, discusses how he got started in medicine.

When I meet new patients for the first time, they sometimes ask what drew me to medicine and, specifically, to Hilbert. The truth is that while I grew up in that big city of Appleton, I’m a small town guy at heart and love being in this community.

The pace of life – and the medical office – in Hilbert and other smaller communities is very different from what it’s like in bigger cities. I get to know my patients and families – something providers with practices in larger areas may not always have the opportunity to do. Developing these close relationships allow me to do a better job when it comes to delivering high-quality care since I know a lot more about them than just what’s on their medical chart. Being part of a small town community is a lot of fun – I enjoy hearing about what’s happening, such as the recent sturgeon spearing season.

I also enjoy watching families as they grow. It’s fun seeing how a patient grows from a toddler to elementary school students to a teenager and watching how they and their families change.

With today’s technology, I have access to all of the same information and resources as my colleagues do in larger areas. I don’t feel like being here is a disadvantage at all. I’ve always enjoyed helping people and a career in medicine lets me do just that. I use my medical skills – along with solid listening skills – to work with patients on their unique health needs and concerns.

As for why I chose family medicine instead of a specialty like orthopedics, I simply like the variety. In family medicine, you get to take care of patients of all ages from infants on up and no day is ever the same. You may see patients about a chronic health problem, such as diabetes; visit with a family for their baby’s well check; or tend to someone battling a virus or an injury.

Before I started in family medicine, I worked in hospice care and that really opened my eyes to the importance of compassion – something I carry on to my practice here in Hilbert. Whether someone has high blood pressure or battling the flu, I do my best to understand where they’re coming from and work with them to come up with a treatment plan that will fit their needs. It’s a collaborative relationship. I know if patients aren’t involved with coming up with a solution to their problem, they are less likely to be on board with the plan of care.

I really enjoy my job and I hope that comes through when meeting with patients and providing them with the care they need.

Scott Schuldes is a certified family nurse practitioner and associate medical director at ThedaCare Physicians-Hilbert. He can be reached at