Retired area doctor finds second act as bus driver

Published 9:00 am Saturday, January 28, 2023

Dr. Richard Chamberlain has always had an affinity for kids.

After all, as an obstetrician-gynecologist, he brought many into this world.

Now, the retired medical professional sees himself working with kids differently.

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Chamberlain serves as a part-time substitute school bus driver with the Clark County Public Schools system.

“I kept on hearing that they were short on drivers and seeing advertisements and signs,” he said. “Finally, after being retired for a couple of years, I just decided to apply.”

Chamberlain ran a private practice in Winchester with his wife from 1996 until 2019.

Beforehand, he had practiced in places such as Canada.

During university training in the 1970s, he first developed an interest in bus travel.

“We actually ran a Sunday school bus route with our church for about four years,” he said. “I’ve always loved driving, and I like kids.”

After applying, Chamberlain was quickly accepted.

He began in December of 2021, studying and obtaining his Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in approximately four months.

By April 2022, he was starting to take students back to school.

Clark County Public Schools, with ten schools ranging from elementary to high school, has between 20 and 30 routes.

After being given a route sheet on the mornings he’s available, Chamberlain will complete a pre-trip inspection, followed by a day’s work before returning to the bus garage.

On occasion, he will also serve as a monitor along routes.

During his time, the experience has given him many allies he otherwise wouldn’t have had.

“I’ve made a lot of new friends over at the bus garage with the drivers and monitors and administrative staff…and mechanics,” he said.

Chamberlain also mentions that the job has both cons and pros, though the latter outweighs the former.

“It’s kind of tough in the morning when it’s dark, especially going through some of the neighborhoods. Some neighbors don’t have streetlights, and if I’m in a route I’m not familiar with, it’s challenging,” he said. “When it gets light, it becomes much more enjoyable. I really enjoy driving around Clark County. Especially out in the country, the country roads are beautiful…it’s beautiful scenery.”

Though working on a substitute basis, Chamberlain has not forgotten the essence of retirement.

He and his wife regularly travel, with four children and six grandchildren living in Colorado.

The retired physician likely will not be going anywhere soon, as he hopes to work in the position for five years overall.

When asked about his duty as a driver of current children, Chamberlain said that the connection between his previous career isn’t lost on him.

“I delivered a lot of babies…now I’m delivering with the bus to schools and to home,” he said. “I don’t really know [who]…[but] some of them I’ve [probably] delivered when they were born. It’s pretty interesting.”