Bruce Skiles has been a fixture in Marion for 21 years, but on March 29, he will see his last chiropractic patients and retire from his practice.
Skiles will continue to do anesthesia work for St. Luke Hospital and other area hospitals. He said by “50 percent” retiring he will have more time to enjoy his hobbies.
“Most surgeries are scheduled in the morning because doctors and patients want to get them over with,” he said. “So this will really free up my afternoons.”
He plans to work more on his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda and other projects he might acquire and ride motorcycles.
Skiles began his practice on Jan. 15, 1993. At the time, St. Luke was looking for an anesthesiologist.
“A friend told me of the job and it worked out great,” he said.
He said since coming to Marion he has felt at home.
“I’ve never regretted coming here, not even once,” he said. “I’ve met some wonderful people throughout my 21 years here.”
Throughout the years, Skiles’ practice has seen many changes, both local and legislative. He said the coming changes from the Affordable Care Act have pushed him into retirement.
“There is going to be a lot of changes beginning April 1 and me and my wife just decided that we didn’t want to make those adjustments,” he said. “I didn’t want to get halfway through making the changes, because there are a lot of big changes, and go through that effort to just call it quits in a few years.”
He said his patients have been very understanding about him deciding to close.
“It’s probably what a lot of doctors my age are doing,” he said. “I didn’t feel like I could afford to make the changes and to be frank, didn’t want to mess with them.”
However, Skiles will keep his chiropractic license so he can consult with patients for St. Luke.
“I’ve probably got five or six good years left in me,” he said.
While he is hesitant about leaving his patients, he is certain they will be in good hands with local chiropractor Lane Smith.
“I want to thank the hospital for allowing me to have an office and provide my services,” he said. “I also need to thank my wife, Belinda, and bookkeeper, Sharon Kelsey.”