Longtime Hannibal doctor retiring

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Dr. Michael Bukstein

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Dr. Michael Bukstein, surgeon and physician executive director for Blessing Health Hannibal, is retiring on July 1 after 48 years of service.

“When I joined Hannibal Clinic in 1975, I was physician number 11,” he said. “The friendships and relationships that I have made and enjoyed are enduring.”

A Missouri native who earned his medical degree from the University of Missouri, Bukstein had wanted to be a doctor since grade school due to time spent with a physician friend of his family.

“My high school yearbook said under my picture that my ambition was to become a surgeon,” he said.

After earning his medical degree, Bukstein completed two years of residency at the University of Missouri and three years at the University of Wisconsin. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery.

“It was always special for me to see a former patient on whom I had the privilege to operate and see that they are doing well,” Bukstein said. “I enjoyed getting to know my patients, to know what motivated them, and hence what made them want to get well.”

When not in the operating room, or leading Blessing Health Hannibal since January 2022 as Physician Executive Director, Bukstein is a licensed pilot, experiencing what he calls the “ultimate freedom” in flight – and working to help meet the needs of the residents of Hannibal.

“I am a Trustee in the Riedel Foundation, which distributes funds to local not for profit organizations. It has been a wonderful experience in philanthropy,” he said.

Bukstein and his wife also established a philanthropic fund at the University of Missouri to support a chair in cancer research.

In a farewell letter to patients and staff, Bukstein wrote, “It is values that brought me to Hannibal and have guided me. Thank you all for your trust, friendship and collaboration. Show gratitude, be mindful and seek joy.”

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