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Good medicine on and off the track

By Jack Copeland

NCAA.org

While a swimming and track student-athlete at Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Sarah Schettle developed a reputation for encouraging not only teammates but also opponents to give their best effort and to enjoy the experience.

As a physician’s assistant at the Mayo Clinic, she continues to provide encouragement, working with patients with severe heart failure, preparing them for implantation of left ventricular assist devices and then helping them through recovery and learning to manage the LVAD.

Schettle, who graduated with a degree in biochemistry and in Spanish at UWO, is remembered for making hugs and handshakes a post-competition priority – and for helping set up hurdles before track meets and clear away starting blocks after swimming meets. In fact, that reputation earned Schettle the NCAA Sportsmanship Award in 2006 and an AT&T National Sportsmanship Award the following year.

One more trait – the impulse to serve others that led her to co-found an online mentoring program that linked fellow students with UWO alumni based on majors and career interests – remains with her today.

“The patients are what make my job so rewarding and fulfilling,” she recently told a Wisconsin-Oshkosh alumni publication about her work at the Mayo Clinic. “They truly make me happy to come to work each day.”