Physician Nicholas Bechtold is getting settled into his new life at Family Health of Siouxland Morningside Clinic. Photo by Dawn Sagert, Sioux City Journal
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Two nights before his first day of work at Family Health Care of Siouxland Morningside Clinic, Dr. Nicholas Bechtold had a terrible nightmare.
He dreamt he left the clinic without completing all of his work.
Bechtold, who recently finished a residency with the Siouxland Medical Education Foundation, has held the title of "Dr." for a couple of years, but he admits the stresses of joining a practice got to him.
“I think for everybody who starts, the beginning is kind of the unknown period.”
— Nicholas Bechtold ('05), Family Health Care of Siouxland physician
"Then I talked to one of the senior partners, who says he still has those nightmares," Bechtold said as he sat in his office at the back of the clinic. A decorative letter "B" sat on newly hung dark wooden shelves. "I think for everybody who starts, the beginning is kind of the unknown period."
Bechtold, who grew up in Sioux City, saw his first patients at the clinic on July 7. He tended to fractures, sore throats and stuffy noses and complaints of dizziness. Several of his patients, whom Bechtold treated during his residency, followed him to the clinic. He also picked up new patients from companies seeking employee wellness checkups and urgent care referrals.
"How many people am I going to get through the door? I think by the time you're still worrying about that all of sudden you're too busy and you can't even remember if you combed your hair or not that day," he said. "Before you know it your schedule is full."
Bechtold earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Briar Cliff and his medical degree from Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center. He said he didn't envision himself wearing a white lab coat and stethoscope around his neck at age 8 like some of his peers.
"It was probably the best fit," he said of family medicine. "I really didn't know what I wanted to do probably until I went to graduate school."