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The Magician: Bob Baker, MD

Updated: Feb 6

Dr. Bob Baker’s driving passion is helping doctors rediscover the love of practicing medicine while boosting patient ratings and physician compensation. In his book, The Performance of Medicine, he shares unique techniques and strategies to help physicians better connect and communicate with their patients. He believes practicing medicine is the best job in the world and that even today, physicians can reignite their own passion for their work.

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As an internist/gastroenterologist in private practice for 35 years, Dr. Bob is proud to have received Press Ganey scores in the 99th percentile from his patients. He has a deep understanding of the challenges physicians face today and how to overcome them to create win-win results for physicians and patients alike. Dr. Baker attended Princeton University and got his MD from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He trained at Weil Cornell Medical Center and did his GI fellowship at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Baker’s Prescription for Success:

Number 1: If you’re a clinician, you won’t really know that you’ve been successful until you look back on your career and ask yourself, “Am I leaving the world a better place?”, “Did I serve my patients selflessly and well?”, and “Are their lives better because they met me?” If you can answer all of those questions, “Yes”, you’ve had a very successful life.

Number 2: The only standard that should matter is being the best you that you can be at what you do, and then spend a lifetime striving to live up to that standard, and no other.

Number 3: Always be humble. Appreciate that the body has great abilities to heal itself despite what we do and not necessarily because of it.

Connect with Dr. Baker:

Dr. Baker’s Book on Amazon: The Performance of Medicine

Notable quotes from Dr. Baker’s interview:

I think that that’s one of the reasons that I decided to do internal medicine in addition to gastroenterology, so I could have a view of the whole patient and not just the tube running from the mouth to the anus.
I really believe that the magic of healing, the magic of medicine, begins with the doctor-patient connection.
It’s a hugely great feeling to entertain other people, and listen to them laugh.
Artists that I’ve known in other fields, be they dancers or musicians needed to live and breathe their art. I didn’t have that degree of dedication for magic, but I did feel that I had it for medicine.
I’m quite sure that I’m the only Princeton-Columbia-Cornell-Harvard-trained physician to have appeared on “America’s Got Talent”. So I do have that unique credential.
Remember that the vast amount of knowledge that we have and that we’re gaining every single day about how the human body works is just dwarfed by how much we don’t know. So, never cease to wonder at the marvels of the human body, always trying to understand it better and along with it, the human beings inside those bodies.
What I hope the doctors will remember is that when we look back on our careers, it will certainly be true that we will not have, say sold the most widgets or moved the most product or won the most cases or we certainly will not have made the most money, but there will be thousands and thousands of people whose lives are better because they met us. That’s the best job in the world.

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