Get to Know Me
Dr. Robert A. Heinle is a pediatric pulmonologist and sleep physician. He's director of the hospital's Pediatric Pulmonary Fellowship, medical director of the Pulmonary Function Laboratory and co-director of the neuromuscular clinic. He's also assistant professor of both internal medicine and pediatrics at Sidney Kimmel Medical College.
Why I Treat Children
I grew up in a big family. There were always kids around, so I had a lot of practice interacting with, and looking out for, children who were younger than me. As a result, I learned early on that I'm good with kids and enjoy working with them. Growing up, I decided that becoming an aerospace engineer would be fun and exciting, so I actually became one and worked at NASA. But, after spending all day, every day staring at computer screens and not interacting with people, I began to rethink my decision. It occurred to me that the perfect combination of my affinity for science, math and physics, and love for working with children would be to become a pediatrician. So, I went back to school. I'm more than glad I did. I love being a pediatrician. I think I appreciate even more the opportunity of working with kids and helping them because of the extra work and commitment it took to go back to school to become a doctor. I love helping children get better if they are sick, and watching them develop from babies to toddlers, then to being big kids and teens. I love working with their families, too.
What I'm Passionate About
I absolutely love to teach. I teach my own children, and I thoroughly enjoy educating the next generation of physicians as the program director for our hospital's pediatric pulmonary fellowship and as an assistant professor of internal medicine and pediatrics at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. I assist in the education of our hospital's general pediatrics residents and medical students. I also like to help educate my patients and their families about the medical conditions they're facing and about their treatments and home care. I feel that the best tool in health care is, very often, education.
How I Try to Make A Difference
I really want to make sure that each patient and family is taken care of — completely. So I make sure that I spend the time each one needs in our appointments together. For this reason, I may run a little late, especially as the day goes on. I turn that into a promise that I make to all of my patients and families: I may not be on time for our appointment, but I will always give you all the time that you need. In addition to making sure each patient's medicine and treatment is squared away, it’s my goal to make sure each patient — and their family — leaves with a better understanding of asthma or whatever pulmonary condition they’re dealing with.