Aug. 14, 2006

New Dassel doctor experienced in small-town practice

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

Dr. Dan Schminke, the new physician who will be practicing medicine from the Meeker County Memorial Clinic of Dassel, grew up in a town very much like Dassel.

The town where he graduated from high school in northeast Iowa is called Strawberry Point. Strawberry Point has a town festival that included free strawberries and ice cream, just like Dassel’s June Dairy Berry Day. The Strawberry Point festival is larger, though, more in line with Dassel’s Red Rooster Days in size, he said.

Schminke currently is looking for a rental home in the Dassel area. His wife, Amy, and daughters, Brittany, 21; Brooke, 18; and Hailey, 12, will come to Dassel next year, after Brooke gets situated in her new school, Kirkwood College. Brittany is a senior at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, Schminke said.

Schminke, on the other hand, is an alumnus of the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

“I root for my Iowa Hawkeyes,” Schminke said.

Even when Schminke had a practice for nine years in Warroad, which is up north near the Canadian border, Schminke had season tickets for Hawkeye football games hundreds of miles away, he said.

Schminke also has a cabin in the Hibbing-Grand Rapids area. Before Schminke decided to go into medicine, he intended to be a forester. He enjoys the peace and tranquility of canoeing or kayaking on a lake in the woods, Schminke said.

Schminke is moving to Dassel from Cedar Falls, Iowa, where he has been for the past 11 years. His office is in Waterloo, where he both practices medicine and teaches resident doctors.

Schminke likes pediatrics, sports medicine, delivering babies and orthopedic medicine the most. His clinic in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area is associated with two main hospitals there.

One of his resident doctors, now in Litchfield, told Schminke about the new clinic in Dassel. He knew the Dassel clinic would need an experienced doctor instead of a new, recently graduated doctor, and that Schminke’s Warroad experience fit the Dassel area’s requirements, Schminke said.

Schminke, who was born in Van Horn, Iowa, and grew up on a hog farm, attended Wartburg College of Waverly and went to medical school at the University of Iowa. He served his residency in Saginaw, Mich., and from there went to Warroad in 1986.

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