Urban Housecall Circa 2011-2012

This site is part of the course material for Ruth Loman's lecture series Soc. 121 which examines online messaging impacting healthcare. The rest of the course materials are available from the department's website or from Dr. Loman's office. Ruth also leads the New Philosophers as they work toward completion of their Project Nothing effort which has been recognized by most of the mainstream press. The group works to encourage the introduction of philosophy into the high school curriculum. Their model presentation is based on ancient and modern views from recognized philosophers on the notion of nothing. Rev Sales covers much of the topic here. The NP are looking for student volunteers for several projects focused on community health.


For a number of years this was the Urban Housecall website. The Urban Housecall Magazine is a premier source for up-to-date health and wellness information addressing the healthcare needs of the African American community. This site itself has seen several redesigns to its look, although its core mission remains the same.
Content is from the site's 2011 -2012 archived pages.

The Urban Housecall's current website is found at: www.urbanhousecall.com/


What makes us different….

We are a magazine that is physician owned and physician operated.

Urban Housecall Magazine was founded by African American physicians that have a passion for improving the health of our community. We have seen the impact of the lack of accurate, culturally sensitive medical information firsthand, and know that a change is needed. This is no small task, but can certainly be accomplished through educating our community about health maintenance, preventative medicine strategies, disease management, and the risks of neglecting the care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We strive to present relevant, relatable, and accurate information you can use. While we realize there are many factors affecting the delivery of health information in the African American community, we KNOW that a foundation of medical information is vital. Knowledge is power! The more we know about our bodies, the more we love our bodies. The more we love our bodies, the more empowered we are to do the very best to take care of them.

What we offer….

  • Articles addressing the issues most pressing in the African American community as a unit, as well as specific information relevant to the African American man, woman, and child
  • Articles debunking common health myths in the African American community
  • Blogs/Forums allowing you to commune with others who are also trying to become more active participants in their healthcare
  • Lifestyle modifying resources: healthy recipes, spiritual and inspirational encouragement
  • Live, interactive Q &A chat sessions with physicians
  • Customized Health Enrichment and Lifestyle (H.E.A.L.) Plan


Ask Our Docs

Welcome to the Ask Our Docs Chat! 

Join the physicians of Urban Housecall Magazine for live, interactive Q&A chat sessions.

Simply type in a question while our Doctors are online and we’ll respond right away!

  • Have a question about a diagnosis you or a loved one have been given?
  • Wondering if that symptom could be a side effect of your medicine?
  • Wondering what questions you should be asking your doctor?
  • Ever been too embarrassed to ask your doctor about something face to face?

If you answered yes to any of these questions…Ask Our Docs is for you!


About Us

Urban Housecall is a multimedia health and wellness resource designed to meet the health information needs of the Black community.  Husband and wife team, Dr. Robert C. Robinson III, MD and Dr. Karla L. Robinson, MD developed Urban Housecall Magazine, an online health and wellness magazine in an effort to empower the community to become more active participants in their healthcare by providing relevant and up-to-date health information.  Due to the overwhelming response from the community, Drs. Robert and Karla Robinson went on to establish the Urban Housecall Radio Show to promote the message of health and wellness through the airwaves. Their weekly broadcast airing live each Saturday from 11am-12n EST on WGIV Charlotte 103.3FM/1370AM and live streaming on www.wgivcharlotte.com features information on the health issues most pressing in the urban community, celebrity interviews, and practical ways to make the best health and lifestyle choices. 

Both natives of Chicago, Drs. Robert and Karla Robinson completed their undergraduate education at Xavier University of Louisiana.  Dr. Robert Robinson went on to complete
medical school and Internal Medicine Residency training at the University of Illinois at Chicago, while Dr. Karla Robinson completed medical school at Rush University Medical College and Family Medicine Residency Training at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. After receiving numerous accolades and board certification in their respective specialties, Drs. Robert and Karla Robinson relocated to the Charlotte, North Carolina area with their family.

Prior to launching Urban Housecall, Dr. Karla Robinson spent a number of years in clinical practice as a board-certified Family Physician, while Dr. Robert Robinson is a board-certified Internist working as a hospitalist physician.  Their combined inpatient and outpatient medicine experience give them the unique ability to service the community as experts on all the health issues that matter to the urban community the most.


Editor’s Corner for the Urban Woman

 Welcome Urban Woman!

It brings me great joy to present Urban Housecall Magazine to you. Not only has the birthing of this magazine been a labor of love, but a true test of faith. Not long ago, I was in my clinical practice asking God how I could effectively serve the community on a much larger scale. I had no clue that my road would lead me to Urban Housecall. The overall health and wellness of our community has always been a passion of mine. But believe it or not, as a physician in my day-to-day clinical duties I felt as if my destiny was unfulfilled. Although I was treating physical ailments daily, I knew that I had a much greater responsibility to educate and uplift our people regarding the health matters most pressing in our community. Too often as African Americans we are ill-equipped to effectively and efficiently manage our health. This is often due to a lack of knowledge about our bodies, lack of access to medical providers that know enough (or quite frankly care enough) to appreciate cultural differences as it relates to healthcare, and the fear of taking control of our own health. We should definitely be partnering with our healthcare providers to devise a plan of care that we are ALL comfortable with. I want to give you the tools you need to make this a reality. The only way to empower ourselves is through educating ourselves.

On this site you will find relevant, up-to-date, concise information encompassing every area of our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. We will explore health topics affecting all stages of life. There is something for EVERYBODY….literally! If you find that there are topics that you don’t see represented, or if there is anything you would like to see us do better, please don’t hesitate to let us know. I look forward to a long, exciting, inspiring journey with each of you.

Karla Robinson, MD

Board Certified/Licensed Family Physician

Editor’s Corner for the Urban Man

Welcome Urban Man!

It is with great pleasure and excitement that we bring to you  Urban Housecall Magazine. As Black physicians, it has long been our desire to positively impact the health of our community on a national level. In our professional experiences we were often frustrated to see that despite there being an increase in minority healthcare providers in the nation, African Americans continue to have significant healthcare disparities and are disproportionately afflicted by preventable medical conditions as compared to our majority counterparts. We recognize that it is our responsibility to “buck the trend”. It is this passion that spawned the development of Urban Housecall Magazine.

Within our site you will find relevant information pertaining to disease management, preventative health, spiritual health and a host of other topics all provided by our people for our people. The authors of our health articles are board certified and licensed physicians, nurses, and other health professionals in our respective specialties. This means that the information provided here is free from bias and based solely on the evidence-based practices of the clinicians who actually treat the conditions that we cover.

My specific interest is in improving the health of our Black men. Black men are dying at an alarmingly high rate as compared to other groups, and the vast majority of ailments that we are succumbing to are, in large part preventable. In my career as a clinician, as well as in my personal experience, I have often encountered Black men who have a general distrust of the medical community. This has resulted in a lack of appropriate care and an overall avoidance of the healthcare system. Urban Housecall Magazine intends to bridge this gap, and increase active participation in the healthcare process. We seek to do this through educating our men on the importance of routine health maintenance, preventative screenings, and the management of chronic disease. You will find topics and articles covering every season of life and general men’s health topics that apply to us all.

It is our hope that you find just what you need here in Urban Housecall Magazine. We thank you for your support in our endeavor to improve the health of our community, and we look forward to years of partnering with you towards achieving this goal.


Robert C. Robinson III, MD

Co-Founder Urban Housecall Magazine
Board Certified/Licensed Internal Medicine Physician





Urban Legends

Binge Drinking-Urban Legends 

1.  Drinking a 6-pack of beer is an average amount. This is by no means average.  The definition of binge drinking is more than four drinks at a sitting, or per occasion.  Binge drinking is excessive alcohol consumption and can lead to serious health, social, and lifestyle consequences as a result. 

 2.  If I don’t drink everyday then the amount I drink is not a problem. This is a common myth and is false!  Whether you consume alcohol daily or not, the risk of binge drinking, alcohol dependence, and alcoholism still exists. 

3.  Binge drinking is all in good fun, it cannot kill.  This is not true.  In addition to the violent crimes and drunk driver fatalities that are associated with binge drinking, acute alcohol poisoning unfortunately has fatal outcomes many times per year.  If you do consume alcohol, you must do so responsibly. 

4.  Everyone has the same tolerance to alcohol.  This is untrue.  Each person responds to alcohol in their body in a different way.  There are many factors including weight, body metabolism, and body chemistry that determine how much alcohol each person can consume before dangerous levels are reached.



Binge Drinking

Deana M. Newman, M.A., C.C.P.

Reprinted courtesy of The New Citizens Press

Binge drinking is defined by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as “a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above”.  The condition normally occurs when men consume more than four drinks within a two-hour timeframe. Unfortunately, binge drinking is a major problem on college campuses from coast to coast.

According to a multiple survey review study of 4.7 million college students conducted by the Boston University School of Public Health from 1998-2001, over 500,000 students suffered injuries from alcohol-related accidents.  Additionally, more than 600,000 students were assaulted by another student under the influence of alcohol and 70,000 were victims of sexual assault or date rape.  The study also showed an average of 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 died annually from alcohol-related accidents including motor vehicle accidents.  Binge drinking may also lead to physical health problems, such as heart disease, and other hazardous behaviors such as having unprotected sex, poor performance in class, violence, suicide and alcohol-dependency.

“Students come to college with expectations that excessive drinking is a normative behavior…part of the college experience”, said Dr. Kami Silk, Director of the Masters in Health Communication program at Michigan State University (MSU).  “Also, certain sporting events and holidays are perceived as occasions to engage in binge drinking.”

Though college is a wonderful transition into adulthood, the luxury of freedom and making choices is not to be taken lightly.  In 1998, a Michigan State University student died of alcohol poisoning after drinking 24 shots in less than two hours. In 1999, a Duke University student died after drinking too much and choking on his own vomit.  In 2000, an engineering student from the University of Michigan died from alcohol poisoning after consuming twenty shots of whiskey in a short period of time, along with a student from Bradley University who succumbed to alcohol poisoning after drinking for twelve hours while celebrating his induction into a fraternity.  A student and President’s Scholar from California State University died in 2004 after falling into a coma following a night of drinking to celebrate his 21st birthday.  The list goes on and on.

One thing is clearly understood, binge drinking is a complex epidemic requiring urgent attention.

Michigan State University, a nationwide leader in communication, recently received a United States Department of Education Grant to serve as the model program in the country to address the issue.  According to Dr. Silk, the university will fight the battle of negative drinking behaviors through using the Social Norms Approach… “in other words, the misperception that all college students binge drink, is corrected, which ultimately influences the perceived social norm”.

The following are signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning:

  • Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness or “passing out”
  • Cold, clammy, pale or skin bluish in color
  • Irregular slow breathing
  • Confusion
  • Low body temperature
  • Seizures

Binge drinking is an extremely unhealthy behavior, no matter the type of alcohol.

Remember, you have one body and one life and it is important make wise decisions to stay healthy.

If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, immediately call 911 and wait for help to arrive.

For more information, contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Center for Substance Abuse at 1-800-662-HELP

Deana M. Newman is a freelance health and wellness writer based in Lansing, Michigan.  She is a Certified Cardiovascular Perfusionist who holds a Master of Arts in Health Communication from Michigan State University and is actively involved in educating minority populations on various health awareness topics.


Gout- Urban Legends

1. Gout is rare. This can’t be further from the truth.  An estimated 5 million people are currently living with gout.  It is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men over age 40.

2. Gout is a “rich man’s” disease.  This used to be the perception simply because it was thought to be associated with gluttony, but stats show that all groups are affected by this disease.  It’s important to know the signs and symptoms regardless of your socioeconomic status.

3. If left untreated, gout will go away on its own. While each attack may only last a few days, the underlying cause of gout will remain if untreated.  This puts you at risk for repeated gout attacks.  If joints are subjected to multiple gouty attacks, joint damage and deformity can result.  It’s important to treat gout and prevent any further attacks.

4. I don’t have to worry about gout because I don’t overeat. Overeating can be a factor in gout attacks, but there are many other risk factors associated with developing gout.

5. Once a gout attack starts, there’s nothing I can do. This is NOT true.  There are medicines you can take at the first signs of a gout flare to stop them from progressing.  Talk to your doctor about the best medicine for you to take.

6. I need to lose weight to prevent gout attacks. Yes and No.  There is an association with obesity and increased risk of gout attacks, so having a healthy weight is preferred.  Weight loss should be under the supervision of a physician though, because rapid weight loss can actually increase uric acid levels in the blood leading to more attacks.



Don’t Let Gout Take You Out Of The Game

Robert C. Robinson III, MD

Here it is fellas!  Another football season has kicked off and there isn’t a more exciting time of year!  For many of us, this is a time of fantasy leagues, long weekend afternoons, late Monday nights, and most importantly the tailgating party.  But before you plan the menu for your next game day celebration, there are a few things you may want to consider if you don’t want to get sidelined before the next week’s action.

For a lot of football fans, tailgating and party menus consist of burgers, hot dogs, chips, dips, seafood, nuts, nachos, and beer.  But what you may not know is that many of the foods mentioned above significantly increase your risk of developing gout.  For those of you who already suffer from this joint throbbing ailment, some of these foods can cause an acute attack of debilitating pain.  Now, this is not to say that you can’t enjoy these foods in moderation, but here are a few pointers to ensure that you’re not popping pain pills before halftime is over.

What is gout? 

Gout is a painful inflammatory arthritis characterized by joint pain, swelling, and often redness.  It is caused by an increase in the uric acid level in the blood, leading to uric acid crystal formation in the joints and tissues.   Most often the big toe is the initial joint involved, but other joints may be affected or become involved in recurrent attacks.  This crystallization process is often episodic and can be precipitated by many factors.  There are several factors that determine your risk for developing gouty arthritis, but the one which you have the most control over is your diet.

What is the treatment for gout?

An acute gout attack is typically treated by decreasing the inflammation that is causing the pain.  These medicines are typically anti-inflammatories and can range from the over-the-counter non-steroidal medicines like Ibuprofen, to more powerful prescription medicines like steroids.  Your doctor will decide what is safe for you to use for treatment based on the frequency and severity of your gout attacks.

There are some gout medications that are used to prevent the attacks from occurring.  These are medications that are taken daily to prevent the buildup of uric acid in the blood, reduce inflammation, or are used daily to increase the elimination of uric acid from the body.  Your doctor will decide if prophylactic medication is necessary for you.

How can I prevent it?

It has long been recognized that consuming foods that are high in purines not only increase the risk of having a recurrent gout attack, but also substantially increase the likelihood of developing gout.  Some of these foods include beer and other alcoholic drinks, seafood, dried beans, and red meats.  Conversely, avoiding foods high in purines or having a diet of foods that are low in purines may lessen the risk.  These foods include dairy products, raw fruits and veggies, and chicken.

Who gets gout?

Men are four to five times more likely than women to suffer from gout, and African American men in particular are two to three times more likely to be affected than White men.  This is a condition that can affect YOU!  So before you plan your next game day gathering, make sure you’re doing everything possible to prevent yourself from being carted off the field.

*Talk to your doctor if you have ever experienced these symptoms of gout: pain, swelling, warmth and/or redness in the great toe or other joint; pain that is so intense in a joint that even light touch is unbearable; recurrent, episodic joint pain lasting for a few days and subsiding of if you already have a diagnosis of gout and are still having attacks, please talk to your doctor about all of your treatment options to get your gout under control.