Robert Hasty, D.O., FACOI
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
College of Osteopathic Medicine
College of Osteopathic Medicine Doctor Makes a Difference
It’s almost impossible for Robert Hasty to go anywhere within Nova Southeastern University’s Health Professions Division (HPD) without a faculty or staff member or student stopping the affable doctor to say hello. Hasty, D.O., FACOI, is extremely popular, especially among his students, because of his expertise in internal medicine and his dedication to helping them succeed.
As he walks through the HPD Café, the well-dressed and be-spectacled doctor preaches to his enthusiastic students about the Three As required to succeed in medicine: affability, availability, and ability.
At 34, Hasty’s mastery of the Three As helped him become one of the youngest professors at NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM). During his short tenure, Hasty has started the COM Grand Rounds, a monthly lunch meeting during which phy-
sicians, other health care professionals, and professors from across South Florida talk about medical issues ranging from mental health to radiology. Hasty has also led NSU research on obesity and a popular, but problematic, blood thinner drug.
“Hasty is one of our most energetic and visionary faculty members,” said Anthony J. Silvagni, D.O., Pharm.D., M.Sc., FACOFP, FAFPE, COM’s dean. “He has a vast clinical knowledge and is readily available to help others.”
Hasty’s meteoric rise in medicine began with “paper or plastic.” Growing up in a single-parent household of four children in Boca Raton, Hasty learned at an early age that he’d have to work hard to get ahead in life. Long before he entered the field of medicine, Hasty got a job at a place where “Shopping is a Pleasure”—Publix Super Market, Inc. At 14, he was hired as a bag boy, responsible for sacking groceries and offering a helping hand. He did it well, and was quickly promoted to stock boy.
While these were simple jobs, working for Florida’s largest supermarket chain helped Hasty develop valuable people skills that he puts into practice as a physician. “My first job gave me insight to the thought process of different people,” he said.
He continued working at Publix during his college years at the University of Miami. At 21, he left the company and was awarded 1,200 shares of company stock.
As an undergraduate, Hasty wanted to prepare for a profession that would combine his passion for investigative work with his desire to help people. At first, he considered going into business. Then, he realized medicine would allow him to help more people than he could in the corporate world. “Medicine is a profession that puts you in intimate contact with people,” Hasty said. “You see them at their best and at their worst.”
The ambitious college student wanted to really prepare himself for medical school. So, he triple majored in biochemistry and molecular biology, chemistry, and biology. “I used to carry two backpacks because I had so many textbooks,” said Hasty, who graduated with
top grades. Hasty also scored high on the Medical College Admission Test. With his test score and stellar grades at the University of Miami, Hasty had his choice of many medical schools. But, he selected NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine after he met
the late Matthew Terry, D.O., COM’s former dean.
Terry explained to Hasty how D.O.s (doctors of osteopathic medicine) are very compassionate and empathetic physicians. The former dean also mentioned how the profession was growing. Once an obscure medical discipline sometimes discriminated against, osteopathic medicine has become a mainstream practice and first choice among many incoming medical students. “I think the public is recognizing the value of D.O.s,” Hasty said.
NSU medical school and residency
As a medical student, Hasty enjoyed learning from an eclectic and engaging faculty. One of his former professors, Ken Johnson, D.O., FACOOG, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, is now Hasty’s colleague.
Part of Hasty’s education at NSU’s medical school included medical rotations at Broward General Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, and Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers. After graduation, Hasty began a three-year
medical residency at Mount Sinai. Shortly after, the young physician became the medical center’s chief intern; two years later, he became the chief resident. In his third year, Hasty was honored as Resident of the Year for the entire Mount Sinai health care system.
He attributes his success to hard work and his education at NSU’s medical school. During his residency, Hasty chose to specialize in internal medicine because it provided a unique perspective into medicine and more options than other medical disciplines. Internal
medicine has 14 specialties including cardiology, pulmonology, and endocrinology. Hasty also felt internal medicine was very cognitive and cerebral. “We investigate the causes of human diseases,” he said.
Back to NSU's medical school
After working at Lee Memorial Hospital following his residency, Hasty yearned to teach. When he saw an opening at his alma mater, he quickly applied for, received, and accepted, the position of assistant professor. Since then, he’s been quite busy.
He and Gary Hill, D.O., COM professor and internal medicine physician, created an internal medicine residency program at Broward General, Broward County’s largest hos-
pital. Hasty sees patients and oversees NSU medical residents there. He also practices medicine at the NSU Health Care Centers. Hasty currently teaches up to four classes a semester, including courses in radiology, cardiology, and physical examinations.
“Being a medical school professor at NSU is personally and professionally gratifying,” Hasty said. “As an alumnus, I can identify with NSU medical students. I truly appreciate the learner’s perspective, and I understand their needs.”
When he is not in the classroom or examination room, Hasty is busy writing about medical issues. He has published several articles and is often interviewed by media outlets that seek his expertise on a variety of public health issues. He has also given numerous lectures at the medical school and local hospitals on many topics including managed care and acid-base disorders.
“He brings energy to each and every project he’s involved with,” said David Gensure, NSU’s director of continuing education. Gensure has worked with Hasty on several projects in recent years.
Several of Hasty’s projects include research. He is currently the principal investigator for the ROCKET-AF study, which aims to find a replacement for the blood thinner Coumadin. Currently, patients taking the drug, also known as warfarin, are experiencing
many serious side effects. “Coumadin is a tricky medication to use, as other medications can react negatively with it, and blood tests must be checked on a routine basis,” Hasty said of the drug, which is used to treat patients with an irregular heartbeat. For the ROCKET-AF study, Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical has chosen NSU’s COM as a site for its Coumadin test trials. Hasty is investigating a possible replacement drug called rivaroxaban. “It has the potential to be a revolutionary new treatment for these patients,” he said.
Hasty’s other area of research is obesity, a topic on which he lectures across the country. His goal is to raise public awareness about the issue and to develop innovative medications that can reduce obesity. He’s hoping to eventually get federal research dollars for his project. “Obesity is the public health challenge for my generation of academic physicians,” he said. “We have 64 percent of the U.S. population overweight. The rates of diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses are skyrocketing as a result.”
Whether it’s through obesity research, teaching in the classroom, or working with patients, Hasty is making a big difference at NSU. “If the university had a most valuable player award, it would go to Hasty,” Gensure said.
Robert Hasty, D.O., FACOI, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Diplomate of Internal Medicine, Program Director of Palmetto General hospital Internal Medicine Residency