Leaders in Psychosomatic Medicine: Dr. Robert G. Robinson, M.D.

Robert G. Robinson, M.D.

Dr. Robert G. Robinson was the chair of our Psychiatry department for 21 years and his role as a mentor to many of us, his stature as a researcher, teacher, and humanistic leader cannot be summarized in a humble blog post. His work on post-stroke psychiatric syndromes is known world-wide.

You can find a sliver about it in our book, “Psychosomatic Medicine: An Introduction to Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry[1].” His influence led to the publication of that book by Cambridge University Press and led to the favorable review in the British Journal of Psychiatry:

Book Review: Psychosomatic Medicine eds Amos & Robinson in The British Journal of Psychiatry

I will always remember his generosity, including his willingness to support my return to the department after not one, but two forays into private practice. Those were great learning experiences and Bob knew that. He supported the Psychosomatic Medicine service here and is board-certified in the subspecialty, taking the examination in 2005, the first year that it was offered after the subspecialty’s approval by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). He consistently encouraged the both/and priniciple in clinical practice, research, and in the organization of the department, especially in the collaboration between the clinical and research career tracks.

He opened his house to us for numerous parties, the first one of which I attended holds a special memory.   I was a first-year resident and his wife greeted me at the door at my arrival, breathlessly asking if I were the guitar player she had hired for the occasion. Yes, live music was not an infrequent part of departmental soirees at Bob’s house.  Although I guess I looked like a musician, the only instrument I’m capable of playing is the Kazoo. No, of course not, I’m not coordinated enough for that. I can barely whistle.

He is a wine enthusiast and has his own well-stocked cellar. Deer regularly seem to eat the grapes growing in his back yard, though, so I’m not sure how he adds to his collection. He should invest in something my wife (an avid gardener) uses: a stout bottle of Liquid Fence, preferably from a good year in this century.

He is both captain and friend. There are no words to adequately express my admiration and my gratitude.

Fealty, my liege.

1. Amos, J. J., M.D., and R. G. Robinson, M.D., Eds. (2010). Psychosomatic Medicine: An Introduction to Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry. New York, Cambridge University Press.

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