Canadian doctor happy he moved southPublished 6:09pm Friday, April 1, 2011
By Kris Kallies
Dr. Robert Schuster, a family practice doctor with Lake Martin Family Medicine at the Lake Martin Community Hospital, enjoys practicing medicine in Dadeville not only because he enjoys the life he gets to live there, but because the center is doing some great things in the community.
A native of Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada, he received his degree in medicine from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon. He and his wife Janice moved to Newfoundland for his residency program at Memorial University Hospital.
But, his wife wasn’t a big fan of Newfoundland and the weather. So he decided to work with a recruiting agency to find a job in the US. That’s how they found Dadeville in January 1993.
“Newfoundland is way up in the northern latitudes in Canada, so the winters are very cold and very foggy. My wife didn’t like it there, so we were only going to stay down here a year or so and go back home,” Schuster said. “Then we fell in love with the lake and settled in Dadeville.”
Schuster said that he has a personal interest in pediatric, geriatric and sports medicines, but feels that working for LMFM is incredibly rewarding because he enjoys a varied practice and getting to know his patients.
“That’s really the best part of the job,” he said. “Sometimes I end up treating entire families, and you really get to know them as people.”
Shuster also works in the emergency room one day a week.
“We’re doing a lot of wonderful things here, especially to be in such a small town,” Shuster said. “We’re slowly building our staff and the group here is wonderful to work with.”
Part of the reason he and his partners at LMFM are working so diligently to expand their practice is so his patients won’t have to travel to other medical facilities.
He said he feels confident the practice will continue to grow and is pleased that Medicare is allowing preventative care.
“At one time, it was discouraged, but now they’re offering more incentive,” he said. “One of the things we like to do here is offer wellness care. It’s much more satisfying.”
Schuster was raised in rural Canada and he loves the outdoors.
“I love farming, and I even raise sheep and horses,” he said. “I also love to hunt and fish.”
Schuster even has a pet lizard, Bimini, an Australian Bearded Dragon, who spends time with him in his office at the medical center. The Canadian even fell in love with Auburn University and its football program.
“When I came down here, I noticed that Auburn, having veterinary medicine, engineering and farming as degree programs, it was a lot like being back at home at the University of Saskatchewan,” he said. “So it was only natural I became a fan.”
Schuster and his wife Janet have two children, Maddie, 13, and Eric, 11.
“We considered having a third child in 2005, but realized two was enough, so that’s when we applied to be U.S. citizens,” he said. “That way our children can have dual citizenship in both the U.S. and Canada.”
The Shusters have a cabin in the Sandy Creek area and enjoy it because it’s a quiet part of Lake Martin. Schuster loves his cabin because between life, work and busy children, he can go there and just relax.
Lake Martin Community Hospital
Lake Martin Community Hospital is a private medical center and is licensed through the state with CMS.
Lake Martin Community Hospital
201 Mariarden Road
Dadeville, AL 36853
Michael Bruce, CEO
Rooms: 28 staffed, both private and semi-private
Active staff: 200
Physician specialities: 26
Emergency Room staffed 24/7 with physicians and nurses
Professional building next door, which is home to staff physicians, retail pharmacy, Home Health Agency, Hospice, Wellness Center and out-patient physical therapy
Nuclear medicine, CT Scan, stress test, ultrasound, MRI, Echocardiograms, pain clinic