Dr. Glienke’s journey ends up at home

Friday, November 5, 2021

The phrase “You can never go home again,” has been immortalized in both poem and novel, and basically says that you can go back to the area in which you grew up, but things will never be the same. Dr. Kyle Glienke wasn’t actively looking to prove that wrong, per se, when he returned to the area in which he grew up in, rather, he wanted to come home to give his wife and children a little bit of the experience that he had growing up in the area.

Dr. Glienke, Aurelia Class of 2005, was a typical student growing up on the family farm South of Aurelia, but a career in medicine wasn’t in the cards for him, right away anyway. He was your typical student, albeit, one who liked Science, and was involved in nearly every activity that the school had to offer. The teachers and his parents imparted wisdom and how to treat people, skills that he uses in his career every day.

“I did kind of everything, band, choir, speech, almost every sport except for wrestling. I always enjoyed Science and wanted to be a veterinarian at one point, but I really wanted that close personal connection you get working with people,” Dr. Glienke said. “I really appreciated how honest and genuine my teachers were with me and along with the work ethic I got from working on the farm growing up I had every opportunity at Aurelia and actually took some classes at Harvard between my junior and senior years in high school and although that was a great opportunity, it made me appreciate more what I had back here in Northwest Iowa.”

After graduation, he didn’t venture far for college, as he attended and graduated from Buena Vista University. After his four years as a Beaver, where he knew that medicine would be his career, he went to one of the best schools in the nation for that, the University of Iowa. For his residency he continued his journey further east, as he was in Indianapolis before deciding to make the trek back home to settle down and officially start his career and family.

“I was pretty sure I wanted to come back home, at least to work in a rural area anyway. I wanted to do family medicine and practice broad spectrum. I knew I wanted to be out in the country and thought Northwest Iowa somewhere,” Dr. Glienke said. “When I was an undergrad, I worked at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center as a secretary and got some exposure to the staff, doctors and nurses, and I felt comfortable coming back home to work.”

The familiarity of the area was one draw for himself to make the move, but the people who work with his children and alongside of him, as another reason to come back home.

“Number one, I know a lot of the teachers and people who work in the school district and one example would be that Tom Hinkeldey, one of my second cousins, just got elected to the school board and I also work with another board member, Brad Rohwer,” Glienke said of working around the area he grew up in. “Just a lot of familiar faces and people that I trusted growing up with and appreciate working with now and I am appreciative that they are a part of my children’s education.”

At BVRMC, Dr. Glienke is fully licensed in Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, but literally does it all. His practice focuses a little bit more on hospital medicine, folks with chronic medical conditions like diabetes and things like that, but he does treat everything. He delivers babies and makes rounds in nursing homes, so he is always on the go, which is exactly the way he likes it. That and giving back to his community, that gave so much to him growing up, makes the move home feel all that much better.

“I like to be on the go and to be involved in anything and everything. Medicine gives me most of the things I wanted in life, work hard, be a part of the community, and I want to make an impact on people’s lives,” he said. “It’s been about four and a half years since we moved back to the area and it was a very good decision for me and my family. People are really evaluating what makes them happy, especially in regards to work, but what I can say is that I have never seen, from a medical standpoint, people working together so efficiently in caring for people. Our smaller, rural hospitals have really done a good job in these trying times, in getting the best equipment and providing the best care of our patients and that is something I am really proud of.”