Dr. David Scholl knew at an early age that he wanted to pursue a career in medicine. But his defining moment is not what you might expect.
“I was 14 and a high school sophomore at the time when I spent a week in the hospital for appendix surgery,” he says. “It was the most interesting experience had ever been through. I had two roommates and we played cards and teased the nurses. I had a blast.”
Dr. Scholl, a family practice physician at OSF HealthCare Saint Paul Medical Center, is retiring after a long career as a Mendota physician. His last day is December 30.
“Dr. Scholl has been a well-respected physician and member of the Mendota community for more than 30 years,” says Dr. Brian Rosborough, chief medical officer for OSF HealthCare Saint Elizabeth Medical Center. “The positive effect he has had on his patients and the staff at Saint Paul Medical Center will be missed.”
In college, Dr. Scholl took a part-time job as a radiology technician at AMITA Health Resurrection Medical Center, near his northwest Chicago home. After earning his medical degree at that same hospital, Dr. Scholl served three years for the Department of Defense at the Dyes Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas. That’s when he developed a passion for working at a smaller hospital where he could do everything from emergency care, assisting with surgery and delivering babies.
That experience ultimately drew Dr. Scholl to Mendota, where he joined a private practice in 1988 and embraced the small town feel of this rural community. “It was destiny,” he says. “Mendota was a place where I could get involved, not have to worry about travel time and I could attend most of my children’s sporting events.”
Dr. Scholl joined Mendota Community Hospital in 2002 and then OSF HealthCare when the two organizations merged in 2015. “It was a good move for the community,” he says. “It allowed health care in Mendota to move into the 21st century. Patient care and technology has improved greatly. I truly believe in the Mission of the Sisters. They are remarkable people.”
In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Scholl has been an active community volunteer. Over the years, he’s volunteered on the hospital board, served as medical director for Abigail Women’s Center, a pregnancy crisis center in Mendota, and taught health classes at Mendota High School.
Dr. Scholl says he will remain active in the Mendota area following his retirement. He and his wife, Joan, plan on spending more time with their five children and 16 grandchildren. He also enjoys playing golf, guitar and working around the house.
“I feel truly blessed to be part of the Mendota community,” he says. “I will miss the patients – many of whom have become like best friends. It’s hard to say goodbye.”