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  • Alumni,

Daniel Butz , '08

  • Biology,
"In smaller classes, you have to interact, and I think that was helpful for me.”

It’s been quite a journey so far, but Daniel Butz ’08 says it finally feels like he’s home. Dr. Daniel R. Butz, M.D. – as he’s known now – is one of the newest plastic surgeons at Quintessa Aesthetic Centers,  a Wisconsin-based collective of plastic surgeons and aesthetic providers.

Now married and the father of three, he and his wife make their home in suburban Milwaukee. Graduating with a BS in Biology, he went on to medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“I realized pretty quickly in medical school that I wanted to do something surgical,” Butz said. “You do rotations to get a sense of the fields.”Dan on soccer field 2004

As he progressed, there was something about plastic surgery that especially intrigued him, and it has nothing to do with what might be a popular notion about his area of specialty.

“Plastic surgery is a very broad field,” Butz said. “There is the aesthetic component of it that gets the majority of the attention, but that’s really only about twenty-five percent of the work.”

“I worked in a burn unit and interacted with plastic surgeons who were doing burn reconstruction, hand surgery, and other types of surgery, and I just appreciated their problem-solving approach and the finesse they showed when dealing with the human body,” Butz said.

After completing medical school, Butz moved on to a six-year residency at the University of Chicago. There he worked mostly with cancer patients, and patients who were victims of trauma and violence.

The photo above is from a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic where Butz and the medical team he served with repaired cleft lips and palates – often routine in the U.S. but especially life changing in developing countries.

Butz, one of only a handful of Eagle student-athletes honored with the Academic All-American award, says being on the Eagles soccer team during his undergraduate years “was great.”

“It gave me a core group,” he said. “It helped make me more efficient with my work, because you had to be.”

But is wasn’t just the time-management skills that got him to where he is today. Butz says the “college town” atmosphere played a big role as well – with a catch.

“Growing up, I had a tendency to sit in the back of the class,” he said. “If I had been at a larger school, it might have been easy to disappear. But in smaller classes, you have to interact, and I think that was helpful for me.”

That, and certain faculty in Biological Sciences, and in Chemistry, Geoscience and Physics, helped shape a future of “helping patients restore their sense of self.”

 “Francie Rowe, Jim Goll, Louise Stracener – they all stand out,” he said. “I was able to interact with them a lot through the years. I felt like they were really invested in my education, and in my future.”