Starting out as an art major at Santa Barbara City College, Sunnie Skiles, MD, FAAP, eventually transitioned to environmental studies before joining the University of California Santa Barbara. During this time, she held various jobs and was encouraged by an adviser to apply to medical school because of her exceptional grades and the fact that she already had work experience. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in physiology, pathology and related sciences in 1982, she completed her Doctor of Medicine at the School of Medicine of the University of California Davis in 1987, where her first two years were didactic and the second two years were hands-on at the UC Davis Medical Center. Dr. Skiles concluded her formal studies with a pediatric residency at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Maricopa Medical Center from 1987 to 1990.
Holding considerable expertise in general pediatrics, Dr. Skiles began her career as a pediatrician at the Children’s Medical Center from 1990 to 2012. In 2012, she established Proyouth Pediatric Health & Wellness, a private pediatric practice based in Rocklin, California, through which she provides care for patients from birth to age 22, as well as coordinated care with hospitals and resources for expecting parents. Currently the only doctor at the practice, Dr. Skiles hopes to bring on another doctor in the near future and is developing plans to reach out to young pediatricians who are looking for experience in private practice.
Alongside her primary responsibilities, Dr. Skiles has contributed her skills to a number of other professional endeavors as well. She offers her services to the Eastern Plumas Medical Center, which does not have a dedicated pediatrician at their clinic, every third Friday, and she plans to continue working with the medical center even after her eventual retirement from private practice. To keep abreast of developments in her field, Dr. Skiles notably maintains professional affiliation with both the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, where she has been elected as a fellow.
Dr. Skiles attributes much of her success to her “can do” attitude, setting goals and taking her life one day at a time. She notes that she was significantly impacted by lectures she heard at church, which emphasized that people can be whatever they want to be if they work hard, as well as by the influence and support of her colleagues. Having accomplished much over the course of her career, Dr. Skiles considers her greatest reward to be working with her patients, and she always makes sure that she gives her patients all the extra time she can.