Philip Robinson Obituary, Death – Phil enrolled in the Otago Medical School in New Zealand when he was 17 years old. He once informed us that due to his late start to medical school, he was the final student in his class. He said that after withdrawing a few weeks into the school year, he had gotten a placement offer. Later, Phil said, “I thought I wanted to be a pharmacist, but when I got to university, I decided that medicine seemed more cooler. I barely made it into my medical class because I was the last student to enroll. He insisted that everything was a lucky break. We believe that medicine was fortunate.
In 2002, Phil earned his MB ChB, New Zealand’s equivalent of a medical degree. In Wellington, the nation’s capital, he then completed his internships and basic medical training. At the Wellington Regional Rheumatology Unit and then in Dunedin, he received his training in rheumatology. Phil made a great apprentice. One of us, Rebecca, who monitored him, recalled being taken aback by the fact that he recorded CDAI or SDAI for each of his patients with rheumatoid arthritis, in contrast to the majority of the consultants (attendings). In classic Phil fashion, Phil defended his decision by quoting an article by Joseph Smolen when Rebecca questioned him about why he went with the CDAI rather than the better-known DAS-28.
While in training, Phil started doing research and made the most of all the academic chances. By the time his rheumatology residency was over, he had at least six peer-reviewed publications available. Phil was renowned for being a generous giver of his time and thoughts; he was frequently contacting or emailing others to ask about their studies, interesting articles, or podcasts. These sentences stood out for their unwavering optimism and vigor.
Life for Phil was far too brief. But we are all so fortunate to have met him, gained knowledge from him, collaborated with him, and founded the GRA with his assistance. He carried out studies that helped us manage this pandemic with our patients, and we will always be grateful for that. His advice to think large, work with others, embrace ambiguity, and have fun while doing it may have been the most valuable.
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