Dr. Seiler, HAMC family physician, retires
Heart of America Medical Center’s Dr. Hubert Seiler will be retiring at the end of this month. His last day seeing patients will be this upcoming Wednesday, October 19.
Seiler will be celebrating 70 years of life within the next few days and decided that now is the time for him to retire.
“I just figured it was time,” he said. “I’m already having second thoughts about it, though.”
Seiler, a family and geriatric physician, has been practicing at HAMC since August of 1973. After earning an undergraduate degree at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., Seiler completed his medical training at the University of North Dakota and at the University of Iowa.
In 1994, Seiler became a Bush Foundation Medical Fellow, where he studied Geriatrics. In 2014, Seiler was named the National Rural Health Association’s Practitioner of the Year Award, as well as the UND Center for Rural Health’s Outstanding Rural Health Provider.
In the 43 years that Seiler has practiced at HAMC, he has seen quite a few medical changes, provided for more than a few patients, and has evolved his career.
“I have seen massive changes in medicine over the years that I have been here,” Seiler said. “When I came, there were no physical therapists. I think we have five now, maybe. We had no pharmacists, now we have three pharmacists in the facility.”
He also explained how x-rays were still being done the old fashioned way, and that there were no ultrasounds, cat scans or MRIs. Seiler has worked with over 45 physicians at HAMC during the past 43 years.
“When I first came here, I was assisting in surgery, delivering babies, and just doing everything,” Seiler said about his vast career. “After about 15 years, I stopped doing deliveries and switched over to doing general medicine. Then I became interested in sports medicine, and I did that. My practice was evolving into geriatric and chronic care medicine and management. So, my career has evolved over time.”
With such a great history of physician care and practice, it is Seiler’s patients and staff that he remembers most. With patients that he has cared for through the past 40-plus years, he reflects on seeing them during their pregnancies, deliveries, children and grandchildren.
“[I’m going to miss] the people, first of all, the staff that I work with. I have seen a lot of people come through here. And then, secondly, my patients,” he said.
One thing Seiler is looking forward to about retirement is that he will not have to deal with the winter weather in the mornings in order to get to work. “I don’t want to have to worry about blowing snow away at 8 in the morning so I can get here,” he said.
Seiler plans to continue to help with the Prairie Village Museum, spend time with his daughters and granddaughters, and finish projects around his home.
Anyone who knows Dr. Seiler also knows about his many trips to help those in less-fortunate areas, in both the United States and around the country. After Hurricane Katrina, Seiler visited Mississippi four times and New Orleans three times. He has also volunteered in Haiti, Costa Rica, Guatemala, the Philippines and Africa. After his retirement, he will be taking a trip to Peru.
On these trips, he mostly helps to build houses for those who do not have them and visits the underdeveloped and destroyed areas. “Every country has different needs,” he said.
Of all the things he has accomplished in both his life and his career, Seiler says that he is most proud of his two daughters, one of whom is now in medical school.
Seiler wants to thank the community for its support of both him and the clinic and asks that community members will continue to support the facility and ensure its survival.
Seiler plans to address the community at his retirement party, being held on Thursday, November 3, at the Rugby Eagles Club.
“I do have a couple thoughts rolling around in my head,” he said. “I have 10 Commandments of Life that were shared with me by a guy that I only knew briefly. He was a friendly, amazing man that I met three years ago, and he died. At his funeral, the family handed out his 10 things, Al’s rules for life, and I plan to share that. I think it’s an attitude that we should all live by.”
Seiler wants the community to know that he plans to remain within the Rugby community, as it is his home base now. “Rugby is a good community,” he said. “I’m going to be here more than I’m gone.”
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