Years ago, your doctor used to be someone who would know a lot about you. You’d see the same person throughout your life and, in every visit, the doctor would have time to chat with you about your health, your family, your job and everything in between.
But as medicine has gotten more price-conscious and corporate, fewer doctors have the time to spend with patients and many are simply interested in writing you a prescription and moving you along.
That’s precisely what Dr. Robert Wolf wanted to get away from. After spending more than 20 years in private practice in internal medicine in the Chicago area, Wolf recently joined the Center for Holistic Medicine where he hopes to get back to focusing on the whole patient.
“I’m all about the old-school spirit. I get to know my patients. I value the doctor-patient relationship. The better I know my patient, the better I can help,” he says. “I’ve always been the one to think of my patient as a person, not a specimen.”
A native of the Chicago area, Wolf received his undergraduate degree at Loyola University in Chicago and his medical degree at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in 1991. He then did his residency at Rush University Medical Center, where he was Chief Resident in Internal Medicine.
From 2001 to 2014, Wolf was in his own private practice affiliated with NorthShore University Health System. In 2014 he joined Northwestern Medicine in Lake Forest and worked there until the fall of 2017.
Throughout his career, Wolf has encouraged a dynamic relationship with his patients. He focuses on preventive health, fitness, and the spectrum of disease management within the field of internal medicine. Dr. Wolf welcomes patients age 15 to seniors. He also cares for those afflicted by alcohol and drug addiction and mental health issues.
He says often our physical and emotional issues are intertwined.
“Does stress cause the disease or does disease cause the stress? It’s kind of a chicken-and-egg question,” Dr. Wolf says. “As we approach the whole person, we have to address all aspects, and not just the symptoms. We touch on the causes and the complicating factors. If a chronic pain patient is depressed, for example, you’ve got to treat the pain, but you also have to treat the depression.”
Unique to his style of medicine, all prospective patients are welcomed to schedule a free, no obligation, get-to-know-you visit to better get acquainted with Dr. Wolf. He even will care for his patients who require hospitalization.
Wolf says he is excited to join the Center for Holistic Medicine, where he will be able to treat patients for their medical issues, but also augment his care by encouraging his patients to get nutrition, therapy, chiropractic, and naturopathic treatments.
“I plan to integrate traditional internal medicine and collaborate with my colleagues at The Center,” he says. “I don’t view this as alternative medicine. I like the term complementary medicine.”
Dr. Wolf says he appreciates that the Center for Holistic Medicine emphasizes spiritual as well as physical wellbeing. “The Center is a very spiritual healing environment,” he says. “A lot of healing is positive attitude and mindfulness.”