Dr. Amy Seehusen joins family business

Partners with Dr. Jim Knight in dental practice launched by her grandfather

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson Dr. Jim Knight, front, and his daughter, Dr. Amy Seehusen, review X-rays at the office recently.

As a third-generation dentist, Dr. Amy Seehusen visits patients that not only her father, Dr. Jim Knight has seen, but also patients that her grandfather, the late Dr. Bob Knight, saw when he practiced in Fort Dodge.

“I still see patients who saw my grandpa and had dental work done by him,” Seehusen said. “They remember grandpa putting fillings in for them. It’s really neat to have patients who have stuck with us as long as we have been here.”

Seehusen, a 2008 Fort Dodge Senior High graduate, joined her father, Jim Knight, in the family practice in July 2016.

She said working in Fort Dodge has been a pleasure.

“It’s nice to come back to my hometown,” she said. “I loved growing up here. It’s nice to serve the people that live here and get to know more of the patients and build relationships with dad’s patients.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson Dr. Amy Seehusen, left, poses with her father Dr. Jim Knight at their office, 1800 Floral Ave. recently. Seehusen joined her father's practice in July 2016.

Jim Knight has practiced dentistry in Fort Dodge for 32 years.

“Fort Dodge has been a great place to practice,” he said. “Fort Dodge has provided everything we could ask for. I feel like my kids thrived here growing up.”

Following World War II, Bob Knight moved from Humboldt to Fort Dodge in 1953 to begin his career in dentistry.

“When he (Bob Knight) got out of World War II, he was looking for something to do,” Jim Knight said. “He shadowed a veterinarian, but the veterinarian said ‘don’t do this.’ He told him to work on people, not animals.”

Bob Knight practiced from 1953 to 1984 before Jim Knight took over for him.

At that time the office was located at 138 N. Ninth St.

“My dad loved it,” Jim Knight said. “I think he was a good dentist and he loved his work.”

In 1994, Jim Knight moved the practice to 1800 Floral Ave., where it is located today.

Seehusen said it was her father who inspired her to enter the field.

“At family gatherings they were always talking about dentistry and talking about what I might do with my life,” she said. “For a little while I tossed around the idea of being a medical doctor, but that didn’t go very far. I was quickly swayed back to dentistry.”

Seehusen said two women, Lana McDermott and Meg Miller, encouraged her at the University of Iowa, when she took a tour of the school.

“They told me it’s a great profession for women to go into now,” she said.

Seehusen went on to graduate from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in June 2016, following in the footsteps of both her father and grandfather, who both attended the University of Iowa.

Seehusen is part of a trend that has more women dentists moving to the area.

“The recent dentists have been mostly women in this area,” Jim Knight said. “That’s something different from this generation.”

According to Jim Knight, about 20 percent of students in his class at the University of Iowa were women.

Seehusen said that about 40 percent of her class was made up of women.

Seehusen has been a welcome addition for Jim Knight.

“I really have enjoyed it,” he said. “I knew I would enjoy working with her, but didn’t know I would like it this much.”

Jim Knight said he is encouraged by what he sees and hears from her in the office.

“I like listening to her in the next room over,” he said. “I like listening to her talk to her patients. I think she really does well. I listen to her and I think ‘oh, you’re doing such a good job.'”

It’s also a benefit for Seehusen to have her father around.

“It’s nice because I can ask any question I need to,” she said. “They are all his patients. He has seen a lot of his patients for 30 years. He can tell me about them, both their personal life and how their dental visits have been. It helps, so they can get to know me better. It’s nice that he is still here and can help with the transition.”

Jim Knight said he is there to help with any decision Seehusen makes, personally or professionally.

“Working in this office, I am in favor of her having a family,” he said. “So she’s going to work whatever she wants to work. If and when she has a family, I am going to be fine. It’s an advantage of working for your father. I am going to let her do what she wants.”

Jim Knight said he’s not planning on retiring anytime soon.

“I always wanted to be a dentist, I love doing it now and I want to keep doing it as long as I am healthy,” he said. “There are quite a few dentists that work until they’re 70 or a little older.”

“It’s just an enjoyable job to have,” Jim Knight said. “We get to see these nice people all day. These patients that we have seen for years. They are pleasant people to be around.”

His advice for his daughter is to enjoy her work and provide for her patients.

“I would say the main emphasis should be providing the best care for your patient,” he said. “Giving them technically the best care and emotionally the best care. Always seek to do that. And then always seek to enjoy your work. You should enjoy every day. If you get to the end of the day and say ‘I didn’t have a good day.’ Well then you should figure out why and change it. You need to enjoy your work each day. If you are going to take good care of people you need to enjoy what you are doing.”

Meet the doctors

Dr. Jim Knight — Knight attended Iowa Central Community College in the 1970s before finishing his bachelor’s degree in general science at the University of Iowa. Knight graduated from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry in 1984. Knight took over his father Bob Knight’s practice in Fort Dodge in 1984.

Knight is married to Jeanne Knight. Together they have raised four grown children: David Knight, Jennifer Anderson, Emily Knight and Amy Seehusen.

Dr. Amy Seehusen — Seehusen grew up in Fort Dodge and graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High in 2008. She then attended college at the University of Northwestern — St. Paul, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in biology. She graduated from dental school at the University of Iowa in June 2016.

Seehusen is married to Peter Seehusen. Together they live in Pocahontas.