From the moment he arrived on our campus, everyone knew Andy. He had a boyish, infectious smile and an energy that you couldn’t help but feed off of. It was tough not to smile when he was around.
As a resident, he simply wanted to take care of patients, do it well, and brighten up the day for the patients and the staff. He would bop around the department, make some jokes, and usually make a friend or two. When he went into a patients room he’d smile when he introduced himself to the patient, then his serious “doctor face” would get put on while he focused on their concerns. When the docs and nurses came in and saw him working, we knew that the day would be a good one. That’s one of the best compliments an EM doc can get. He just made the place better.
My favorite Schippel story is actually from his graduation. There was a break in the awards presentation and Pat Godwin got up, announced the first ever Andy Schippel award (which they had not warned us was coming), and described it as being for the person who most embodies the character of Andy. Then he presented the award to Andy who laughed, hugged Pat (and maybe shoved him jokingly), and sat down. After graduation I congratulated him on having an award named for him, and he jokingly shot back, “I’m totally deserving of this. There will be other Schippel awards created when I get back to Minnesota.”
Andy was also a dedicated father. His love for his kids was absolute. He knew every detail of their lives. The only time I ever saw Andy’s confidence falter is when one of his kids was ill. He wore his emotions on his sleeve and when we talked, he was open about his fears and his feeling of helplessness. It takes inner strength to show vulnerability and it wouldn’t have occurred to him to be anything other than authentic.
His character, love for his family and friends, and energy were unique. He is already missed.
– Dr. Eric Katz, Dr. Schippel’s Program Director and previous Copa EM Department Chair