Humboldt General Welcomes New Family Practice Physician

Dr. Robert Westling has joined the medical team at Humboldt General Hospital.

The family practice physician will split his time between his own medical clinic and the Walk-In Clinic, where he serves patients Thursday through Saturday.

It's a perfect setup for the doctor who says full spectrum family care is his passion.

"I love solving mysteries," said Dr. Westling. "I want to help my patients find out what's wrong and get them back to where they need to be."

He continued, "It's a privilege to participate in the innermost lives of so many different people. It's the chance to be a psychotherapist, a hands-on surgeon, and to be able to rationally solve problems. That's why I like being a family physician."

Dr. Westling arrived at the medical profession over the course of many years and many studies. He originally studied religion with the intent to become a monk. He wanted to find truth through God, but he also had an excellent aptitude for science, and reveled in rational discovery.

"So I wrestled with these contending inclinations, all the while traveling Mexico, Central and South America, and going to more and more school (16 years in the end)."

Dr. Westling said that's when his parents and friends kindly said, "Enough is enough," prodding him to make a decision and choose his life's direction.

Dr. Westling said he had paid for his many adventures through carpentry. He came from a long line of carpenters and he enjoyed nailing, cutting and shaping wood, and seeing plans become wood, stone, and concrete. But he was also troubled by the condition of the people he had met in his travels.

"Their situation didn't seem just when compared to mine," he said, "so how could I go forward?"

That's when Dr. Westling focused on becoming a physician—a profession where he could "do the most."

"I really believed I could blend all these together as a physician," he said. "Just like a general contractor, who is responsible for bringing a whole project together, the family doctor brings together all aspects of care—the specialists, the consults, tests and treatments—so they fit together as a coherent whole."

He added, "I see the epitome of good health as autonomy, and that's what I can help provide to my patients."

Dr. Westling says his welcome to Winnemucca has been warm and inviting. "I've met some of the most interesting people in the short period of time I've been here," he said.

He also loves his commute time: "5 minutes to everywhere." And of course, as a Seattle native, he is enjoying the blue sky, sunshine and open vista.

Dr. Westling said he has also enjoyed his time at Humboldt General Hospital.

"I am impressed at the quality of the staff, the well-ordered modern clinic and hospital, and how friendly and helpful everybody has been," he said.

"There seems to be an air of innovation in the air here, meeting new challenges with new ways of doing things, and I like that."

By his own admission, Dr. Westling loves staying busy. Still, in the little spare time he has, he enjoys reading, photography and is looking forward to hiking some of the local landscapes, like the Black Rock Desert.

He also enjoys spending time with his four children, including his youngest daughter, who is still in high school and stayed behind in Las Vegas to finish her senior year and continue playing for her league-leading soccer team: The Heat.

His oldest son, Thomas, is in the Army Reserves and expects to be deployed next spring. Thomas is currently training to be a medic, but plans to eventually become a physician's assistant.

"He thinks this is much better way to be a healthcare provider than to go through all the rigmarole to be a doctor, and having enormous student loans to pay," said Dr. Westling. "I'm not sure he's wrong."

His oldest daughter, who dad says is very beautiful and photogenic, is studying to be an elementary school teacher and learning to be an adult.

Dr. Westling's youngest son is living with him in Winnemucca and looking for work. "He's intelligent, handsome and is good with tools," said Dr. Westling. "He's also a practical problem-solver. Anybody?"

Dr. Westling's clinic is located in Suite F of the hospital's new medical office building, located at 118 E. Haskell Street in Winnemucca. His medical office is open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Please call (775) 623-3575 to schedule an appointment or for more information.

Dr. Westling also serves patients in the Walk-In Clinic, located in Suite C of the hospital's new medical office building, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.