Dr. Detert is permanent full-time physician at OMC Wanamingo
By Alicia Hunt-Welch
WANAMINGO – It took a couple years to secure a permanent full-time physician at the Olmsted Medical Center clinic in Wanamingo, but patients can now get comfortable with a doctor who brings with him a great deal of experience in medicine. Dr. David Detert is the new face of OMC Wanamingo, and his goal is to bring consistency to patients so they can look forward to seeing the same physician every time. He said, “To me the key thing is to build a relationship with people we are seeing, get to know the people to do a better job…I’d also like to provide patients with effective health care that suits their needs.”
Detert is familiar with rural communities and their health care needs. He grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota, south of Fairmont. After high school he went to Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and earned a degree in chemistry. Detert then attended the University of Minnesota – Duluth, and he graduated with the first medical school class there, before transferring to the U of M campus in the Twin Cities. Detert’s internship was spent in San Diego, California, working at Naval Medical Center, and he spent 3-1/2 years in active duty in the Navy. When Detert started out his focus was internal medicine. But after his discharge from the Navy, he went to Fargo, North Dakota, to begin a family practice residency. He spent a few years in Redwood Falls and was then offered a position at a new clinic being organized in Litchfield, a small community west of the Twin Cities. He spent 25 years there.
While in Litchfield, Detert and his wife began considering the future and where they would like to retire. Their oldest son, his wife and two children live in Northfield and they began promoting that area. Detert and his wife decided to buy a house in Northfield. “It comes in handy having a grandma living close by,” he explained, since his wife often watches their grandchildren.
About this time Detert heard that OMC in Cannon Falls was searching for physicians and he applied with the company. He was hired by Olmsted Medical Center in 2013 and they were dividing his time between the OMC clinics in Wanamingo and Cannon Falls. It took about three months, but during that time Detert was able to convince them his time would be better spent in one location. He said, “I assume most people are like myself; you like some consistency, not all different types of providers rotating through. And from my standpoint it is a big deal, too, because with patients, a physician ends up having a lot of their information in their heads. It works a lot better if you have an ongoing relationship with people. So it works better for the patient and the provider.” Since January 1, Detert has been primarily at the Wanamingo clinic and he enjoys it.
His specialty is family medicine, but his clinical interests include primary care, geriatrics and rural medicine. He has been active in hospice programs, diabetes support groups, dementia treatment programs, and health care politics. Detert likes the variety that comes with family practice medicine. “For the last eight years I’ve been doing internal medicine,” he said, explaining that the Litchfield clinic hired a team of female OB/GYN doctors, and when you no longer provide obstetrics and gynecology, you become an internist. “So when I came here I did all kinds of continuing education to get up to speed on pediatrics,” he said. He has seen more children and women patients at the Wanamingo clinic then he did at Litchfield. He said smaller towns such as these also have a higher percentage of older patients than in large cities.
Detert sees patients at the Wanamingo clinic all day, Monday through Thursdays and a half-day on Fridays. He also works one Saturday a month at the Northwest OMC clinic in Rochester, in addition to helping out at the Cannon Falls clinic when another physician needs to be covered.
In his free time, Detert enjoys cross-country skiing, gardening, fishing, and hunting. He and his wife like to travel and, of course, spend time with their grandchildren and family. As for retirement, he said he’d rather be working for a while and joked that he is avoiding retirement so he doesn’t move into his wife’s kitchen and start directing her on how to arrange things, leading to marriage troubles.
To make an appointment with Dr. Detert and the OMC Wanamingo staff call 507-824-2217.