It was a medical career that was “meant to be,” in a way. Dr. Timothy Schoonover knew he would be helping patients as a doctor before he was even in kindergarten!
“My mother tells people when I was 4 years old, I said I either wanted to be a baseball player for the Detroit Tigers or a doctor and it never changed,” he said.
Dr. Schoonover grew up in Michigan. He graduated from Northern Michigan University on the path to becoming a family practice physician but soon found out choosing a specific specialty would more align with his personality.
“I wanted to know a lot about one thing and not a little about a lot of things,” said Dr. Schoonover.
Cardiology was the new goal. He was so set in this direction that he even had a practice lined up to work at after residency, but then a twist of fate occurred during his 4th year of medical school.
“I did a neurology rotation and knew I was in trouble. I loved it! The problem was that all the residents had already been set. I didn’t know what to do, so I talked to the neurologist I did the rotation with, and he said, let me see what I can do.”
That neurologist went to their hospital, known as Botsford at the time, and asked them to create a new slot for him. Dr. Schoonover calls it “last minute craziness!”
That craziness also helped connect him with his wife, Rebecca, who happened to work at that neurology practice.
After residency, he and Rebecca moved to Wisconsin for a few years, never quite feeling like they found their home. It wasn’t until reconnecting with a neurologist who also completed residency at Botsford, DCND Founder, Dr. Ken Pugar, that he found his new place in Dayton, Ohio.
Dr. Schoonover helped Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders take on stroke management as the clot busting drug TPA was just coming out.
“Stroke was important. There is a lot about neurology that leaves us telling patients, “there’s not much we can do,” so, the fact that there is something we COULD do was exciting! Someone must be the champion, and so I took it on. I’m very organized and love that kind of stuff.”
With Dr. Schoonover’s leadership, the stroke centers at Kettering Health Hospitals earned national recognition. In fact, Kettering Health Main Campus was the first hospital in the country to earn accreditation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP).
Dr. Schoonover was also integral in bringing another breakthrough in neurology care to DCND, botulinum toxin for the treatment of headaches and dystonia.
“I like procedures and it works so well. The word “miracle” has been used thousands of times by my patients,” he said.
He is currently the COO and Senior vice-president of Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders and is a distinguished fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Neurologists and Psychiatristshis. His passion for helping patients has not changed since he was young.
“What an opportunity. Everyday I go to work I am so thankful that I get to help people. I’ve been very blessed from that standpoint.”
Dr. Schoonover has two daughters and one grandson.
“Family is my favorite thing. I love being a doc, but family is my favorite thing,” he said.
When he is not working or spending time with his family, he loves to eat! He considers himself quite a foodie, trying out different restaurants especially while traveling. He has also hiked the Grand Canyon several times and plans to do it again soon!