Insights From Wapiti

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EMS Week Salute: Dr. Darwin Schossow

EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Week is a chance to reflect on the incredible impact these professionals make on the communities they serve. Wapiti is privileged to work with EMS Director Dr. Darwin Schossow, whose long career has been filled with purpose, dedication, and a profound commitment to care. We recently visited with Dr. Schossow about his passion for emergency medicine and the gift of being able to practice in his hometown. 

Dr Schossow with paramedics Jodi Claasen, Stephanie Burdic and longtime driver Lanny Paul.

An Early Decision

Dr. Schossow’s interest in EMS was sparked early in his healthcare journey. “Prior to medical school, I was a respiratory therapist in the ER and the director of the Cardiac Cath Lab at Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha. Going into my graduate and residency training, I knew that Emergency Medicine would be a big part of my life.” 

Dr. Schossow has been immersed in the fast-paced environment of emergency rooms since 1989. Before joining Wapiti Medical Staffing full-time in 2008, he served as the Medical Director for EMS in Colfax, Iowa. In 2021, Dr. Schossow stepped into the role of EMS Medical Director for Pocahontas.


The Joy of Serving His Hometown

Dr Schossow with members of the nursing staff training for trauma during the Covid pandemic.

Dr. Schossow’s work in his hometown of Pocahontas is a source of great pride and fulfillment. The opportunity to provide care to familiar faces, people he has known for many years, is a unique and special aspect of his job. He strives to deliver “big city” level care in a rural critical access setting.

Dr Schossow with his crew at the Redbull Soapbox Derby in Des Moines.

“I work with some of the finest people in healthcare anywhere,” Dr. Schossow explains. “And in small-town critical access hospitals, the paramedics and EMT’s also work in the ER.  The surgical nurses are also obstetrical nurses.  The floor nurses work in the ER.  The aides are also ward clerks and help with administrative work.” Even the Director of Nursing once assisted Dr. Schossow in placing a chest tube. He even gets the chance to return the favor when the snow flies. “On really lucky days, the maintenance guys let me drive the snowplow or the skid steer.  I call it Value Added Medical Directing.”

Dr. Schossow is filled with gratitude for his colleagues and the incredible teamwork that defines their mission. To all EMS professionals, Wapiti thanks you for your unwavering commitment and passion. Your work is invaluable, and this week, we celebrate you.

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