Robert D. Sheeler, M.D.
Medical Editor, Mayo Clinic Health Letter
"As a family physician, I have the great privilege of caring for individuals over long spans of time and getting to know them and their families in a context of both health and illness. This has been a delight and has provided me with great opportunities to get to know wonderful people over the course of a significant part of their lives. My Family Medicine training has also been of value, as family doctors are trained to think of the health of the whole community in a larger context, rather than just the individual with a specific illness in one point in time."
Dr. Sheeler was born and raised in the Washington, D.C., area. He did his undergraduate training at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, and graduated with honors in both chemistry and biology. His undergraduate medical training was at the University of California in San Diego in Family Medicine, where he received the Roetheyer Award for Excellence in Family Medicine. Dr. Sheeler did his residence training at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Mason City, Iowa, and has practiced in northern Wisconsin in outpatient and hospital practice as well as having been the director of a nursing home. He came to Mayo Clinic in 1990 and is a Consultant and Associate Professor in the Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Sheeler has had an active role in Mayo Medical School with a strong interest in teaching nutrition, communication and patient-centered approaches to healing. He has been the chair of various undergraduate Medical School courses, as well as the Clinical Practice Chair in the Department of Family Medicine and the Director of the Urgent Care Center. Dr. Sheeler also has a strong interest in pharmacology. He has served as the Vice Chair of the Mayo Foundation formulary group and chairs the Foundation-wide task force on neuropsychiatric medications. Dr. Sheeler also serves on the Spirituality Committee and is a member of the board of directors of a complementary care nonprofit group that provides services such as acupuncture, therapeutic massage and other approaches to healing.
At the present time, his research interests are primarily focused on headache disorders. He has also published and spoken widely on various topics including asthma, hypertension and Lyme disease. He has worked closely with the American Board of Family Practice for many years, developing testing standards and educational materials for both the Board of Family Medicine and the National Board of Medical Examiners.
Dr. Sheeler has a variety of interests that range from writing fiction to woodworking, jewelry making and cooking that may or may not be gourmet. His wife likes to say that about 90 percent of his cooking experiments are great successes and the other 10 percent are learning experiences. Several of the recipes published in Mayo Clinic Health Letter over recent years have been the outgrowth of his interest in this area.
"When I first came to Mayo Clinic, of all the opportunities that a wonderful institution like this has to offer, the biggest hope for my career was to be the Medical Editor of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. I have had the uplifting experience of working with a truly dedicated staff on the Health Letter. The chance to reach so many people and the generosity of the Mayo Clinic specialists in all departments, and their true desire to communicate their honest and strongly felt opinions about developments within their field has been a wonderful resource for the Health Letter and its readers."