A renowned Belleville orthopedic surgeon told his patients he is retiring from practice in an abrupt announcement July 29.

Don Serot, M.D., a board certified physician, could not be reached for comment. But sources indicate his decision to retire early was related to the high cost of obtaining medical malpractice insurance coverage.

A recorded phone message at his Memorial Hospital office tells callers, "Dr. Serot has announced his retirement and wants to thank patients for allowing him to be a part of their lives."

Anne Thomure, public relations director at Memorial, reacted by stating, "We're obviously sorry to see any physician leave the area.

"Dr. Greg Simmons has recently joined Memorial's medical staff - he along with the other orthopedic surgeons on our medical staff should be able to meet patient needs.

"We continue to actively recruit physicians to the area."

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