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Miami County Surgeon Retiring After Nearly 30 Years

Dr. Rowan NickolOnce Rowan Nickol decided he wanted to be doctor, there was no doubt the specialty would be surgery.

“I did my surgery rotation last in medical school because I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I thought I would try everything else first.  Nothing else measured up,” he said.

After medical school at the University of Cincinnati, he spent five years at Miami Valley Hospital before joining Drs. Charles Garrity and Joseph Miller in 1984 to form Miami County Surgeons.

Twenty nine years and countless surgeries later, Dr. Nickol, still with a love of surgery intact, is retiring June 30.

“The practice of surgery is entertaining. It is wonderful. When I came to town, the people who were the oldest physicians around were still doing exactly the same thing that they did when they started, still had the same instruments,” Dr. Nickol said.

Times have changed.

“We have to put up with rapid changes in technology; instruments; sales people in the operating room. The technology changes so fast you have to have somebody there to train you on particular tools,” he said. “The anatomy hasn’t changed, the diseases haven’t changed, but the technology has and people do better now.”

He called surgery “more of an addiction than a like.”

Surgeons typically want instant gratification, he said. “You separate the disease from the patient and you are ready to move on. There are some failures in there, but still the answers come quickly,” Dr. Nickol said.

He’ll miss the patients and his many coworkers over the years, but not he nighttime call outs.

In retirement he plans to babysit, be involved in Big Brothers/ Big Sisters and Habitat for Humanity and hunt and fish. “I live for the outdoors,” he said.

A native of Versailles, Dr. Nickol worked in construction while in high school and part time in medical school. He enjoys helping his four sons and daughters in law – Matt and Angie, Seth and Sarah, Lee and Roshelle and Jay and Jenny - with home projects. He and his wife, Karen, live in Piqua and have two grandchildren, Caroline and Zella.