INTERVIEW WITH BOYKIN ROBINSON, MD
What guided your decision to go into medicine and specifically, your chosen field?
To be honest, I started medical school with no real idea what field I was interested in and, if pressed, thought maybe I’d become a neurosurgeon. As we started doing third year clinical rotations (internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, etc) I found that the most interesting part for me was seeing new patients initially in the ER. As the year went on, I found myself wanting to spend more and more time down there and eventually realized it was where I wanted to end up practicing. I found that I really liked the challenge never knowing what the day might bring, or what kinds of patients I would see.
“As a physician, I usually have a pretty good idea about what resources are reputable and which ones are not, but I worry that too many people click on the first links they see, not realizing that the information they get may not be accurate or up to date.”
What are the most important qualities for a doctor to have?
The answer to this question has changed over time as medicine has increased in complexity. Clearly physicians have always needed to be intelligent and compassionate, but today physicians also need to be able to think creatively on multiple levels to navigate an ever changing healthcare landscape.
What is the most important factor in the doctor/patient relationship and why?
Trust. The doctor/patient relationship has to be built on mutual trust or it will not succeed. Patients have to trust that their doctor understands what is going on with them and that s/he can come up with the best plan to address the issues. On the other hand, the doctor needs to be able to trust that the patient will adhere to the plan (i.e. follow up with the recommended specialist) as this will affect their treatment plan.
What do you think about the health and wellness information and resources available online?
Over the past decade, the amount of information online regarding health and wellness has exploded. However, this is another example of where quantity doesn’t always equal quality and you have to be careful what you click on. As a physician, I usually have a pretty good idea about what resources are reputable and which ones are not, but I worry that too many people click on the first links they see, not realizing that the information they get may not be accurate or up to date. Physicians joke about patients who consulted “Dr Google” before they came in for a visit and how often the search results created un-needed angst and worry about things that could be wrong. There are definitely some great sites for health and wellness online, but it almost takes a medical education to figure out which ones you can trust.
What makes you different from other doctors in your field?
My career path has been different than most physicians in that I had the desire to pursue leadership positions, business education, and eventually entrepreneurial ambitions with the launch of my company. I have worked clinically in ERs of all shapes and sizes and have had the opportunity to lead emergency physicians and hospitalists across the country. These experiences have given me a much better appreciation for how to improve care across many different situations.
“Doctorpedia allows physicians to take bite sized pieces of that knowledge and talk about it in ways that patients can understand. More knowledgeable patients make better health decisions and make the physician’s job that much more satisfying.”
You recently joined the Doctorpedia team as a Founding Medical Partner. What about Doctorpedia resonates with your personal and professional mission?
As the CEO of a company that leads emergency departments across the country, I am acutely aware of the need for patient education. As we move healthcare towards more of a value-based system, we need patients to stay healthy and to access care in cost-efficient ways. Doctorpedia is adding to the collective online knowledge base available and the videos they are creating will educate patients across the country and around the world.
What problem do physicians face that Doctorpedia can help solve?
Physicians have not historically had a platform to share their knowledge with the public. There are no secrets in medicine, but it takes years of training to understand the intricacies and complexities of the human body and of the disease process. Doctorpedia allows physicians to take bite sized pieces of that knowledge and talk about it in ways that patients can understand. More knowledgeable patients make better health decisions and make the physician’s job that much more satisfying.
What is your favorite activity outside of work?
Watching my 11 and 15 year old boys play soccer, baseball, basketball, and run cross country. These schedules keep us busy, but I have loved having the opportunity to watch them grow and improve over time. And then there’s all of the time we spend with Theo (above).
What would you do for a living if you weren’t a doctor?
Given the path my medical career has taken, it reasons that I would be in business, ideally as an entrepreneur. That being said, it is hard for me to imagine a career other than emergency medicine; I can’t even come up with what else in medicine I would have practiced. Emergency Medicine wasn’t something I always knew I wanted to do, but looking back, I can’t imagine having done anything else.
Boykin Robinson, MD
Dr. Robinson is board certified in Emergency Medicine by ABEM and in Healthcare Management by ACHE. In addition to being Founder and CEO of one of the country’s largest independently financed physician services companies (CoreClinicalPartners.com), Dr. Robinson is a Doctorpedia Founding Medical Partner and CMO of Doctorpedia's Emergency Medicine Channel.