One of Hillsboro’s own has gone on to establish his own cardiology practice in Wichita, but he still finds time to come home and lend a helping hand.
Cardiology physician Layne Reusser makes the trek once a month to consult with patients in the Hillsboro and Marion area.
“It’s fun to give something back to the community,” Reusser said. “These outreach clinics have been an integral part of our group’s practice.
“Almost everybody in our group does outreach clinics.”
The monthly trips have also given him the chance to visit his family in the area.
“In the early years, it wasn’t quite so busy, so I could spend some time out on the farm,” he said. “Now it’s gotten busier, and Mom has moved into town, but I still get to come by and see her.”
Reusser, who has been in practice 19 years, practices with Cardiovascular Consultants Inc. in Wichita.
He received his education from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, Kan., as well as undergoing additional training at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
After completing his training, Reusser returned to Kansas to set up his practice.
“It’s a very ideal place to come back to, to practice, because the people are just wonderful,” he said. “The people are good, solid-to-the-earth people and they’re hard workers.
“They take a lot of personal responsibility.”
Reusser said that solid, hard-working mindset helped him get to where his is now.
“People in the Midwest—and Hillsboro’s certainly part of that—have a strong work ethic and that was certainly beneficial to the schoolwork, going through med school and all the work involved,” he said.
He also said the Midwest mindset often leads to better health.
“By and large, people live a long time in the Midwest, because they live pretty healthy lifestyles,” he said. “They’re active, they tend not to have as high a number of smokers, they have people who are willing to go to the doctor and take care of themselves.
“So it’s fortunate to see patients who want to get better and who want to take care of themselves.”
Reusser said he has had some patients for his entire time in practice.
“It’s nice to follow them and get to know them over a period of years,” he said.
There’s also a difficult side to that coin, however.
“Not everybody does well all the time with heart problems,” he said. “There are individual patient situations that come up that are very hard to deal with.”
Those situations may become increasingly common, he said, because as the population ages, people are getting more and more sick.
“Somebody who’s had three or four bypasses in the past and has done great until they’re 85 years old, and now they’re starting to have problems,” Reusser said. “You didn’t used to see that years ago.”
But Reusser said his biggest challenge is balancing the time he spends at work with time spent with his family. He and wife Nancy have four children.
“As I get older, that family time, bonding time away from work becomes much more precious,” he said. “That’s probably the hardest thing, because I could be busy at work, 24-seven, every day.”
If Reusser wants some tips on maintaining balance, he doesn’t have to look farther than home.
“I’ve known that I wanted to go to med school and become a doctor since I was in fifth grade,” Reusser said. “I think it’s since Mom used to work for Dr. Ratzlaff, the old general practitioner at Goessel. And she was a nurse, so after school I’d be over there, hanging out until I could get a ride home.
“I was just always very impressed by him.”
Reusser did not choose to focus on cardiology, though,until he began going through medical school and doing clinicals.
“The last year I did a cardiology rotation and thought that fit my personality better because I got to spend more time with patients, but you still do procedures and have hospital-based time,” he said. “It’s kind of the best of both worlds.”
Reusser said it has been a rewarding career, and technology and training allows cardiologists to make a significant impact on heart disease.
Reusser has worked hard and made his career dreams a reality, but he said he wanted to be sure and thank those in his home communities for their support.
“You’ve made the trip down here every month very enjoyable,” he said. “I hope we can continue doing this for a long time, God willing.”