April 01, 2015

Scott M. Schuetze, MD, PhD: Physician, researcher, horseman

Scott M. Schuetze, MD, PhD
What do you do at UMHS?

I’m a faculty member in the Hematology/Oncology Division of the Department of Internal Medicine. My clinical focus is caring for patients with sarcomas (cancers of connective tissue). I’m also leading clinical research designed to identify better tolerated and more effective treatments for sarcoma. Right now we’re working on Phase II trials (focused on the safety and activity of new treatments) and Phase III trials (focused on comparing small-group results to current treatment standards).

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy collaborating with my physician colleagues and our clinic staff. Together, our primary concern is curing our patients, alleviating their suffering and enhancing their experience at the U-M Health System. I also appreciate the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of clinical research that can improve treatment options.

What’s the most thrilling thing you’ve ever done?

In my third year of medical residency, I took public transportation from Nairobi to the base of Mt. Kenya and spent four days climbing to the top of the 17,000-foot mountain. Mt. Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa (after Kilimanjaro). I had been volunteering at a hospital in Kenya’s “tea country,” home to tea plantations that make Kenya the world’s third largest tea producer. More recently, my wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with a five-day horseback ride on Western Ireland’s incredibly beautiful Connemara Trail, winding along the coast through forests, bogs, and ancient ruins.

What are you currently reading?

I enjoy reading adventure travel books where I can learn about different cultures and gain new perspectives on the world around me. I’m currently reading Paul Theroux’s “Riding the Iron Rooster,” about his travels through China and his conversations with Chinese citizens just as the country was opening its doors to Western ways. Theroux really gives the reader a sense of the people he’s interacting with and shares their experiences rather than simply describing his itinerary.

What’s your favorite spot in Ann Arbor?

The best thing about Michigan is being able to live on a small farm outside Chelsea surrounded by the Waterloo State Recreation Area. The farm is home to me and my wife, Kenine, along with two horses (Ike and Wiltshire), two Pygmy goats (Pan and Bacchus), a rescue pony (Sporty) and donkey (Little Man), and a dog (Shelby) and cat (Socks) who wandered in one day. I ride my horse as often as I can but not as much as I’d like.

Who or what can’t you live without?

I can’t live without my wife, Kenine, at home and my physician assistant, Laura Zyczynski, at work. And my days wouldn’t be the same without my horse, Ike, and my Jura coffee machine.