Doctor, patient, caregiver – Dr. Robin Hall has seen and lived ‘the other side of illness’

Dr. Jim Hall and Dr. Robin Hall

The recent cancer diagnosis of British Princess of Wales Kate Middleton has heightened awareness that we are all vulnerable to life-altering health issues at any time. Dr. Robin Hall has experienced all three aspects of health care – patient, physician, and caregiver, which led her to write her compelling book, “The Other Side of Illness: Unexpected Blessings.”

Her bestseller serves as a source of inspiration for patients, health care providers, and caregivers alike, offering encouragement by highlighting the unexpected blessings and positive transformations that families and patients may experience through the journey of a life-altering illness.

The uplifting book helps the reader understand that there are often upsides to downturns in our lives once we start intentionally looking for them.

Legendary communicator Dale Carnegie frequently stated that someone must live a story before they can effectively share it. In his words, a person must “earn the right to tell a story.” Dr. Robin Hall has definitely earned that right as a patient, physician, caregiver and author.

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Hall was a standout student while earning her undergraduate degree from Texas Wesleyan University, where she was elected Senior Class President and graduated with honors (magna cum laude). While biology was Dr. Hall’s major, her minor in business proved valuable as she eventually launched two industry-leading medical practices in her 32-year career.

Dr. Hall (hereafter referred to as “Dr. Robin” to avoid confusion with her husband, Dr. James “Jim” Hall) experienced her first major medical condition when she and her husband experienced fertility challenges in their quest to have children. Her story in the “I Surrender” chapter of her book delves into the deeply emotional and painfully complex diagnosis that prevents a couple from having children.

Because she was earning the right to tell her story, she became a patient advocate as much as a physician, and she developed greater personal empathy for fertility-challenged patients and spouses.

Most women are uncomfortable talking about the subject, and both a husband and wife experience deep feelings of failure and inadequacy. Dr. Robin shares her personal story to offer hope and encouragement, providing a voice for those grappling with secrets they hesitate to discuss openly.

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She broadened her faith and deepened her trust in God by sharing her testimony. Through sharing her testimony, she found blessings on the other side of this medical condition. As she wrote, “While we may not always receive the answer we want, there will always be a blessing if we widen our view and look for it.”

After struggling to become pregnant, Dr. Robin and Dr. Jim were close to losing all hope. Her feelings of hopelessness resulted in her wanting to avoid Mother’s Day celebrations at church. But at 36, she and Dr. Jim decided to try infertility treatments.

The rest of the story is recounted in her book and it will inspire you. It’s a living example of faith, trust, and hope that reminds us that God listens to and answers our prayers.

Dr. Robin experienced the patient side of health care in yet another dramatic fashion when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 62. She realized that the absence of medical symptoms did not necessarily mean that she was healthy.

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It meant only that her condition had not yet been diagnosed – a revelation she has shared with her patients throughout her career.

Using her faith together with her medical education, she made the difficult decision to undergo a double mastectomy to treat her cancer. That pivotal decision has led Dr. Robin to be cancer-free for the past two-and-a-half years. She is more than a patient – she is a survivor who has overcome cancer with a powerful, inspiring message.

Early in her career, Dr. Robin became convinced that the ultimate form of medical care was preventive medicine so that patients could live healthier and longer. In her words: “Your health is your greatest asset, so why not treat it that way?” Her mission was to educate others on the enormous gap between what is referred to as the “standard of care” based on the current “sick care” system and “optimal care,” which is based on a proactive, preventive approach.

After launching her first solo practice, Colleyville Family Medicine, in January 1991 and serving patients for several years, she became disenchanted with not being able to give patients the time and preventive care they deserved.

She recognized that insurance companies paid claims only after medical conditions had been diagnosed, a model she believed was upside-down.

Physicians typically receive insurance payments for treating sick patients to cure the impacted condition. She committed herself to a better way: “Prioritize your health as the asset it is.”

With this mission in mind, Dr. Robin opened one of the first concierge practices in the country in 2005. The practice she founded, Destination Health, served Southlake and the surrounding bedroom communities that are home to many executives who conduct business in Dallas and Fort Worth and are also required to travel extensively, which takes a toll on one’s health.

They needed a physician who would be available for them when they needed attention and would focus on comprehensive, preventive care. By boldly stepping forward, Dr. Robin has been considered a trailblazer in the concierge medical practice industry.

Her focus was simple: If you don’t make time for your health today, you won’t have health for your time tomorrow.

A patient’s health can change as fast as the Texas weather, she says, so preventive preparation is essential.

Her commitment was four-fold:

  • She welcomed patients to call and either visit with her on the phone or have a same-day appointment.
  • She committed that every patient interaction would allow the patients quality, undistracted access so they could ask their medical questions and feel confident she was taking the time to listen to them and clearly explain their current medical condition and options.
  • She would fulfill her passion for educating and empowering patients toward obtaining optimal, preventive health care and becoming their own health advocates.
  • She would inspire patients by reminding them to care for their health today because tomorrow is never guaranteed.

Her concierge practice did not accept insurance because so much of her concentration was on preventive medicine, which was not covered by insurance.

Dr. Robin Hall’s trifecta (patient, physician and caregiver) began in 2016, when. her husband, Dr. Jim, was diagnosed with Stage IV non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Since that time, she has been his primary caregiver through three different chemotherapy regimens and walked alongside him providing consistent encouragement and unwavering faith as he bravely faced his life-threatening medical condition.

Dr. Robin believes that her breast cancer diagnosis was easier to accept due to Dr. Jim’s experience.

“I have always felt God called me to the medical profession,” says Dr. Robin. “While I always felt honored to be a physician, the unexpected blessing has been the perspective that benefited me as a patient and a caregiver. Even on Jim’s worst days, I look for and find the blessings in his smile and sense of humor.”

Dr. Robin says her many years of counseling patients about their own medical conditions prepared her for the caregiver role more thoroughly than she had anticipated.

After her husband’s cancer diagnosis was later followed by her own, she realized that perhaps she was receiving a divine nudge to move up her retirement date.

At the professionally youthful age of 63, she did just that. But she only retired from seeing patients in the office.

She was not finished with her mission of inspiring others and educating them on optimal health. She is now accomplishing this through speaking engagements and publication of her book. The change has allowed her and her husband flexibility to travel and enjoy quality time together.

Many people might view life with such medical issues negatively, but not Dr. Robin Hall. “I’m thankful that my parents named me ‘Robin’ because that bird is a colorful character that serenades gardens in song and brings joy. And they travel in groups so they are social, like me! Being ‘Robin’ helps me see the positive side of everything.”

Just as with all of her practices, she is finding unexpected blessings from The Other Side of Illness.

About Dr. Robin Hall: Dr. Hall founded Colleyville Family Medicine in 1991, then later opened one of Texas’ first concierge medical practices, Destination Health, in 2005 and sold that practice in 2022. She published “The Other Side of Illness: Unexpected Blessings” last November and it has become an Amazon best-seller in six categories. Dr. Hall has been a contributing guest with health segments on KTVT/CBS 11 and KDFW/Fox 4. A giftedpublic speaker, she appears before audiences nationwide.