Kurt Wilhelm, MD
Dec. 30, 2021, marked the end of an era at Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital and Clinics with the retirement of Kurt Wilhelm, MD.
A familiar name in Boscobel and surrounding communities, Dr. Wilhelm practiced Family Medicine at the Boscobel Clinic and provided emergency care at the Boscobel hospital. He also served as medical director for several local emergency service units and medical advisor for various school districts.
Dr. Wilhelm initially set out for a career in business with undergraduate and master’s degrees in Finance but found he didn’t enjoy the profession.
“I knew I could make a living, but not a life,” he said.
He returned to the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana to pursue a degree in Physiology.
“I wanted to keep learning,” he said. “I felt medicine would be a field where I would never get bored.”
Pursuing a career in medicine allowed Dr. Wilhelm to follow in the footsteps of his parents; his father served as a war medic and his mother was a nurse in an Intensive Care Unit.
After graduating and completing his medical residency in Eau Claire, Wis., Dr. Wilhelm and his wife Barb moved to Boscobel in 1991.
“I met great people and fell in love with the community,” he said. “Dr. Carol Mueller and his wife were the main personalities at the clinic. They were wonderful.”
For more than 20 years during Dr. Wilhelm’s tenure, the Boscobel Clinic was a separate entity, with a cordial relationship with Boscobel Hospital.
“William Fast, MD, and I were the anchors. We saw eye-to-eye on difficult issues, so it worked,” he said.
Dr. Wilhelm credits the doctors’ shared faith as the primary reason their work relationship was so strong.
About 10 years ago, the medical environment changed, and the duo felt their practice was not viable long term.
“We both wanted to stay in Boscobel, so we had a vested interest in making the changes necessary to keep our practice strong,” he said.
In 2014, the clinic and hospital affiliated with Gundersen Health System. The affiliation expanded the practice to seven providers and two behavioral health providers practicing in the clinics in Boscobel, Fennimore and Muscoda.
“The system was able to help us with recruiting, providing our community access to more specialists and also other administrative aspects of the practice,” Dr. Wilhelm said. “Gundersen has been very good to us. That decision was very important.”
In retirement, Dr. Wilhelm plans to stay involved with the free clinic in Boscobel. He also plans to pursue a welding certificate, study astronomy and spend time with his family at their cabin outside of Boscobel. The Wilhelms have four children and nine grandchildren.
“I have lived here. I have raised my family here. I am part of the community. That has made all the difference. It hasn’t just been job satisfaction; it’s been life satisfaction,” Dr. Wilhelm said.
“I truly cannot say enough about the care Dr. Wilhelm has provided over the years. Establishing long-term relationships with his patients and their families has brought him great joy,” said Gundersen Boscobel Administrator Theresa Braudt. “We are grateful for the personal touches and outstanding commitment that Dr. Wilhelm has brought to his patients and our organization.”
Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, a private celebration will be held for Dr. Wilhelm.
Patients and the public are welcome to send cards to “Thank you, Dr. Wilhelm,” 205 Parker St., Boscobel, WI 53805 by Feb. 28.
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