American Academy of Emergency Medicine

Robert A. Frolichstein, MD FAAEM

Candidate for At-Large Director

Nominated by: Robert McNamara, MD MAAEM FAAEM; Sumeru Mehta, MD FAAEM; Mark Reiter, MD MBA FAAEM
Membership: 1998-2017
Disclosure: Nothing to disclose at this time.

  • Independent Practice Support Committee 2016-2017
  • Palliative Care Interest Group 2016-2017



Candidate Statement

“The doctor, to the extent he is a doctor, considers only the good of the patient in what he prescribes, and his own not at all”--Plato

As President of Greater San Antonio Emergency Physicians (GSEP), the first group to join the American Academy of Emergency Medicine Physician Group (AAEM-PG), I believe I can bring material experience and capability to the AAEM Board that will assist the Academy in it’s efforts to advance and protect the independent practice of emergency medicine.

We are held to a lofty standard as physicians. Our profession, and the resulting social contract, demands that we consider the patient’s well-being above anything else. This is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s practice of medicine as we are continually pressured by entities under control and management of non-physicians that may, or may not, have the best interest of the patient in mind. As a leader in an independent democratic group that has survived and thrived through tumultuous hospital mergers, gaining, then losing, then regaining hospital contracts, buy-out offers, and workforce shortages, I am immensely proud of our recent decision join the AAEM-PG. This decision reflects our confidence that remaining independent of the potential to be influenced by non-physician owners always creates the best environment for doing what is best for our patients.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine, I served ten years in the United States Army receiving my EM residency training in San Antonio, Texas at Brooke Army Medical Center and Wilford Hall Medical Center. During this residency, I first became aware of the values of AAEM during a residency visit by Dr. Robert McNamara. The discussion that day, perhaps harmonizing with values I already possessed, shaped the values I carried into the future. Throughout the years, it has become evident that my values coincide with the AAEM Vision Statement “A physician’s primary duty is to the patient. The integrity of this doctor-patient relationship requires that emergency physicians control their own practices free of outside interference.”

I have been a leader in GSEP for twelve of my fifteen years with the group, serving on the GSEP Board of Directors, as ED Medical Director, as member and chair of numerous hospital committees, and as GSEP President for the last six years. Given the opportunity, I will use my experience, my commitment to a belief that remaining an independent democratic group is important to help prevent further erosion of our autonomy, and my passion for preserving the sacred physician-patient relationship to serve the Academy and each of it’s members to the best of my ability.