About Dr. Loethen
Dr. Loethen joined Lincoln Surgical Associates in 2019 as an emergency surgeon and general surgeon. Dr. Loethen works at Memorial Hospital Belleville, Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh, and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon. As an emergency surgeon at the hospitals, Dr. Loethen provides acute care surgical services for the emergency rooms and inpatient floors. In addition, Dr. Loethen accepts elective surgical referrals for general surgery.
Dr. Loethen received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria, where he also completed a general surgery residency. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Prior to joining Lincoln Surgical, he was a general surgeon at St. Anthony Hospital in Alton and has nearly 10 years experience with a multi-specialty group.
Dr. Loethen also attended Triad High School in Troy, Illinois, and is excited to return to the community where he grew up.
In His Own Words
When did you decide you wanted to become a doctor?
It was pretty close to my last year in college, and I just randomly took an EMT course because of the availability of it. I thought that it sounded like fun, and I had some extra hours to do. Before I was a engineering student, and I took that course and loved it. I found I had a passion for it. It was something that really came naturally, so that's when I really kind of gravitated toward becoming a doctor. After that, I took a bunch of courses to try to get into medical school, and that's how that started.
What is your role as a general surgeon?
A general surgeon is a name for a specialist who takes care of a wide variety of patient needs. I've heard it described as someone who takes care of the skin and the associated contents within. Anything from skin cancers to GI cancer, stomach cancer, colon cancer, breast cancers, we take care of all that. But also hernias, gallbladders, appendectomies, hiatal hernia surgeries, access for chemotherapy dialysis access. A lot of different things.
What do you enjoy most about being a surgeon?
What I enjoy most about being a surgeon is helping people. It can be frustrating for patients because it takes just a second to get sick. You walk out on the sidewalk, you fall on ice, and you break your leg and it takes you six months to recover. It takes just a second to get sick, but rehab and getting better takes a while. There's a few things that are quick to get better like if you have appendicitis and you have a laparoscopic appendectomy. Boom! You have that done; you're better. You're home the same day or the next day. You're back to your activities within a week, but most diseases after surgery it just takes time to get better. But I love helping people, that's my biggest joy. I love it.