After just four-weeks in a family medicine summer internship, the experience changed the career path of Robert Biggs, MD.
The Arcola native had always thought he’d become a pediatrician. However, an internship after his first year of medical school with David Hagen in Gibson City presented a somewhat different option – family medicine. “I could still treat children, but would also be able to treat older people as well. The older folks have great stories to tell, and I love hearing them. The stories give me insight into where they have been, what’s going on in their lives and that helps me understand what may be happening in their homes so I know how to treat them better, Dr. Biggs said.
His philosophy is to treat the whole person – the spiritual, emotional, and physical wellbeing, rather than just the disease.
He had known since the third grade that he wanted to be a doctor. “I had an idea that I wanted to give back to the community and serve others. I enjoyed the sciences, and as I matured, I began to feel that as a doctor I could do a lot of good in this profession,” he said.
Dr. Biggs began caring for people in the Sarah Bush Lincoln Arcola Clinic August 1.
He earned his undergraduate degree at University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in molecular and cellular biology, and earned his medical degree at the University of Illinois, College of Medicine in 2010. He completed his residency in family medicine at Self Regional Healthcare in Greenwood, South Carolina.
He married his high school sweetheart, Allison Williams, and together they lived in South Carolina, which gave them the opportunity to experience living in a different part of the country and away from family. While some might say that you cannot go back home, Dr. Biggs explained that with both of their families in Arcola and two young children, William, 3, and Ella, 19 months, coming back home was exactly what they wanted. “I’ve wanted to give back to the community that raised me, and coming home allows me to do just that,” he said. “And our families have been great helping out with the kids.”
He hopes to re-establish strong relationships in the community and has reached out to Arcola High School to become the team doctor. A former Purple Rider football and basketball player, he has a strong interest in sports medicine.
To make an appointment with Dr. Biggs, call the SBL Arcola Clinic at 268-4444. The office offers extended hours to accommodate the community’s needs. The clinic, also staff by Advanced Practice Nurse Terra Cottrill, is open 7 am to 5 pm, Monday; 7 am to 4 pm, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and 8 am to 6 pm on Wednesday. The clinic is located at 241 W. Springfield Road, Arcola.