Family Practitioner Robert Thain, MD, believes that having a primary care provider can improve people’s long-term wellness. Data shows that primary care providers catch health issues before they become severe, which leads to better outcomes for patients. In the long run, people who have a primary care provider typically spend less time in the hospital and less money on medical care.
“A physician who knows you has the advantage of more easily recognizing when something is wrong. They also usually know your family and that creates a system of support,” Dr. Thain explained.
Dr. Thain finds it very rewarding to treat families throughout their lives, watching their lives change as the years pass. Having lived in East Central Illinois for nine years, Dr. Thain has developed a great appreciation for the community and its residents. In 2013, he moved to Mattoon from his hometown of Antioch, Wis., where he had practiced medicine for 22 years.
“East Central Illinois is a great place,” Dr. Thain stated.
Having grown up with a family practitioner as a father, Dr. Thain understood the joys and demands of the medical profession long before he made it his life’s work.
“My father never pushed me into medicine, but I had a pretty good idea about what being a doctor was going to be like from watching him. He seemed to like his work, so, early on, I knew being a doctor would be a good decision for me,” Dr. Thain recalled.
Dr. Thain studied at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford, where his interest in family medicine deepened during his clinical rotations.
After more than 30 years in medicine, he emphasizes that focusing on the basics leads to the greatest success in patient care.
“Physicians should listen first, because people will often lead them to the answers they are seeking. I take my time with people and let them know that I am in no rush – that they are the priority. If I see that a person is extremely nervous, I ask them to take their time and slow their breathing,” Dr. Thain explained.
He sees patients from age two through adulthood, and he treats a wide range of diseases and illnesses.
“A typical day involves treating sore throats, back pain and diabetes. But you have to be prepared for something unusual because you never know what’s going to be on the other side of that door,” Dr. Thain said.
In a world with so much information at our fingertips, widespread medical information can improve people’s awareness of diseases and how certain behaviors can impact health. In some cases, however, people can get carried away with self-diagnosis.
“I think people are much more informed because of the internet,” Dr. Thain explained. “I don’t fear their questions, but I do caution patients about believing everything they read.”
When Dr. Thain has free time, he and his wife enjoy traveling, visiting antique shops and spending time with their son and daughter. He also plays Texas Hold’em avidly and has even completed in the World Series of Poker.
For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Thain, call 217 234-7000. Dr. Thain practices at SBL Family Medical Center, 200 Richmond Ave E., Mattoon.