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Doctor's 900-mile commute
STROGER HOSPITAL | Volunteer flies in from South Dakota once a month

Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Chicago Sun-Times
by Monifa Thomas

Most days, Dr. Marc Boddicker has a 10-minute commute to his dermatology practice in western South Dakota. But once a month he flies more than 900 miles to Chicago to volunteer at the dermatology clinic at Stroger Hospital.

Boddicker, who specializes in medical and surgical dermatology, has been volunteering at the hospital two days a month for the past two years.

He's one of about 200 doctors and nurses a year who come to Stroger to volunteer. Boddicker stands out because he comes from so far away.

The Iowa native owns a Citation jet that he flies to the Gary/Chicago International Airport for his visits.

"I get in Wednesday night, I work 10 to 12 hours on Thursday and 10 to 12 hours on Friday, and then I go and get to the airport and go home," Boddicker said of his routine.

Boddicker has known the chairman of Stroger's dermatology department, Dr. Warren Piette, since meeting him while a resident at the University of Iowa 27 years ago.

During a trip to Chicago to see his youngest son, who is a student at Northwestern University, Boddicker approached Piette about volunteering at Stroger.

In addition to seeing patients, Boddicker also gives lectures to the clinic's dermatology residents.

He said the types of infectious diseases he encounters at Stroger are significantly different from what he sees at his practice in Rapid City, S.D.

"Tuberculosis and leprosy: I can say in 26 years in western South Dakota, I have not seen either," Boddicker said. "Whereas at an institution like this in a bigger, urban area, those are more common. It's a good experience for me in that it gives me a wider exposure clinically."

At the same time, Boddicker is able to expose the residents at Stroger to different treatment approaches.

"The coolest thing is that he offers a different point of view from a private-practice perspective," said Dr. Hal Weitzbuch, one of the dermatology residents Boddicker sees during his visits. "I wish he was here more often."

Boddicker said he rarely does any sightseeing in Chicago.

"I come here to teach and see patients, and I'm happiest doing that," he said.

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