Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

The Medical Life

Question: What drew you to gynecology?

Robert Rubino: You know, essentially, it’s kind of the nexus of medicine.  It’s where all the disciplines kind of meet.  There’s some internal medicine, there’s surgery, endocrinology, a little bit of pediatrics and some psychiatry, you know, so it’s kind of the area where if you like everything in medicine, it’s a natural discipline for a lot of folks then.

Question: What advice would you offer to medical students?

Robert Rubino: Well, it’s probably similar to what everybody told you along the way; you really have to have almost like a magnetism for the specialty or, you know, for medicine.  So if you don’t feel like an undertow bringing you there, then you probably shouldn’t pursue it.  But if you do feel that undertow, you eventually have to give into it so you might as well do it sooner rather than later.  After, you know, five years in business, the undertow is still there.

Question: What are the challenges and rewards of private medical practice?

Robert Rubino: Well, I think balance and perspective is a daily challenge so you have to kind of remember why you did it and make sure you’re still happy doing the actual work, which for me, that’s easy, But you also, you know, you have to pay attention to the things that nobody wants to tell you about when you’re in training which is, you know, the business of medicine.  It’s kind of our duty to really learn that, not only for our patients but for ourselves and our families that we support and I think always looking to keep it interesting.  And for me, I’ve gone through all the clinical disciplines that interest me and I, you know, kind of grow into the next one.  Electronic medical records was something that was a big part of my life for the last five years, converting my practice from the old paper chart to the digital records and now we’re all paperless.  And that’s still an ongoing challenge, but I like that a lot.  And then, you know, the new technologies that arrive, to investigate them, find out if they’re a flash in the pan or if they’re really something legitimate for the future and that’s always interesting.

Question: How does the current insurance environment affect your practice?

Robert Rubino:  Well, I think after you come to grips with it, you shrug it off and say well, I’ll succeed and whatever I have to do to succeed, you know, I’ll adapt.  And I think that philosophy serves anybody well.  In our particular private practice, we do work out of a teaching hospital so we do teach residents and that keeps it interesting, but always adjusting to whatever, whether it’s insurance companies or new developments, you just have to kind of adapt and always pay attention to your core discipline of taking care of the patient and at the end of the day, paying attention to what you need to do to survive, which as long as you’re willing to work, you can do it.

Question: Do you welcome the concept of universal health care?

Robert Rubino: It depends on what somebody’s intent is, universal healthcare.  I think government taking over healthcare, I just imagine going into Motor Vehicle and my experience there, and that’s kind of a simple task; medicine is too complex I think for one person to take care of it.  I think our system here is not as bad as everybody says and, you know, I’m a member of it.  And while it’s not perfect, I still think it breeds the best innovation in medicine.  And still I think around the world, people look to this country for the innovation in medicine.  And I think a universal system, while it sounds great ‘cause no matter what it is, we’ll have like one fix for everything, it just doesn’t work in medicine.  So I think we can’t fix it, we have to just adapt to it and let it almost naturally run its course and see what we come with.  But right now, the system is not as terrible as everybody thinks, but I think it could be continually improved.

Question: What improvements could be made?

Robert Rubino:  Well, I think letting the consumer really drive the marketplace.  So some people will choose now not to have healthcare because they’re banking on their health somewhat the same way maybe a twenty-one-year old won’t buy life insurance because they’re banking on the fact that they’ll be around for ten or twenty years.  I think over time, letting the consumer spend their healthcare dollar I think would be in the long run cheaper than paying up front for insurance because to a certain extent, they’re just paying forward for their healthcare, it’s not insurance because they know the event of going to the doctor’s gonna happen.  A lot of times insurance is paying for something that might not happen.  Well, going to the doctor is going to happen for preventative care.  So I think giving folks the option of paying as they go to the doctor and then maybe to put some money aside in a tax-free account to grow over time where they’ll be rewarded for staying healthy and maybe having some kind of safety net for
getting admitted to the hospital where your costs really take off.  I think at the level of the office, we keep things inexpensive because it’s preventative care a lot of the times where the interventions don’t call into play all the services of other professionals.

Recorded on: 04/29/2008

Robert Rubino discusses his passion for gynecology, his advice to medical students, and his thoughts on the current state of health insurance in America.

Childhood sleeping problems may signal mental disorders later in life

Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.

Personal Growth
  • We spend 40 percent of our childhoods asleep, a time for cognitive growth and development.
  • A recent study found an association between irregular sleep patterns in childhood and either psychotic experiences or borderline personality disorder during teenage years.
  • The researchers hope their findings can help identify at-risk youth to improve early intervention.
  • Keep reading Show less

    Why do people believe in conspiracy theories?

    Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?

    Videos
    • From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
    • "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
    • Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.

    Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

    Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

    Credit: Neom
    Technology & Innovation
    • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
    • The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
    • It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
    Keep reading Show less

    COVID-19 brain study to explore long-term effects of the virus

    A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.

    Coronavirus
    • The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
    • The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
    • Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
    Keep reading Show less
    Quantcast