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MED

Hot Springs physician looks toward new career

Apr 02, 2019 09:10AM ● By Alyssa McGinnis
Growing up in Montana, David Steele thought for a time about becoming a minister. "I contemplated it, but I didn't feel the call," he said. Instead, he became a doctor.

He graduated from the University of South Dakota School of Medicine in 1997, and completed his family practice residency in Marquette, Mich. He practiced medicine in the Black Hills, purchasing his Hot Springs medical clinic in 2007. Ten years later, the clinic became part of Regional Health.

However, a few years ago the calling to the ministry returned, and this time he answered. "I certainly pray about things, and I listen to what God might have in mind for me," he said. About that time, he was talking with his wife about what his life would be like if he had not become a doctor. "She told me I would make a good pastor. She didn't know I had been thinking about it," he recalled.

Dr. Steele, 58, is now in his third year at Lutheran Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He's been taking classes online, with intense, one-week onsite sessions twice a year in St. Paul. He said the seminary builds programs around the work schedules of its seminarians. The parishioners and clergy at his home church, Faith Lutheran Church in Rapid City, have been supportive of his new direction in life.

At the end of July, Dr. Steele will leave his Hot Springs medical practice to devote his time to completing his seminary work. He will remain as Medical Director of Grace of the Pines Hospice and the State Veterans Home, both of which are located in Hot Springs. Dr. Steele doesn't want to leave medicine completely; he's thinking about being a hospital chaplain or finding a role that combines his medical experience with his ministry.

Part of his future seminary training will involve clinical pastoral education, or CPE, which is akin to an internship. He will be completing his CPE training working within Veterans Affairs system at Hot Springs and Fort Meade. After that, he will have a better idea of where he wants to go with his new calling, but he knows there is a distinct connection between medicine and ministry. “Even before going to seminary, patients would talk to me about where they are physically, emotionally and spiritually,” he said. “It’s all important.”

Dr. Steele wants to assure his patients that their medical care will continue without interruption. Please contact the clinic 745-8050 to schedule time with one of his partners, Dr. Heather Preuss or Sarah Schryvers.