Dr. Rebecca Schoettle has announced plans to close her pediatric medical practice by the end of January at Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) and retire.
Schoettle said due to increased regulations and equipment upgrades associated with Obamacare, it was no longer financially feasible to keep her practice open.
Schoettle said she’s been practicing in the Portsmouth area for 25 years.
“I’m from this area and I started out as a candy striper here (SOMC) many years ago. I left to go to school and came back about 25 years ago,” Schoettle said.
Schoettle said while away at school she received a nursing degree and came back to the Portsmouth area during the summers to work as a student nurse.
“After getting my medical degree and fellowship in pediatric intensive care, I worked at the children’s hospital in Pittsburgh and at the medical college of Virginia as a pediatric intensivist. I left there to come back here about 25 years ago,” Schoettle said. “I was recruited, because the administration at SOMC wanted to start a women’s and children’s hospital. About two weeks before I came back, the administration changed and that idea was nixed.”
She returned to the area without a job. She found work in other medical offices.
Schoettle said she helped to start a pediatric clinic in West Portsmouth and has been in private practice for about the last 10 years.
When asked what she’s going to miss the most Schoettle, with tears in her eyes responded, “the kids. I’m taking care of the kids It’s fun to see the next generation growing.”
She said all of her patients are like family. She said developing relationships that have lasted over the years has been the best part of having her practice.
When asked about lasting memories, Schoettle said, “when you see a successful intervention that helped a child, or a child that survived a horrible illness or injury and came back to see you, looking fine and healthy. Those kinds of things stick with you,” Schoettle said.
Schoettle said she does not have plans for retirement.
“I might take a few days off. I have not had a vacation in over 10 years,” Schoettle said.
The practice will officially close at the end of January. Schoettle will stop seeing patients around the 15th of January and then start moving items out of the offices. Letters have been sent to patients informing them of the practice closure.
“It’s the end of a cycle, it seems like our lives are in cycles and this is the end of my 20 plus year cycle. We’ll see where I go next and I’m sure where that will lead me,” Schoettle said.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT