For decades, Robert P. Dickey was one of the only pediatricians who treated families in some of the District’s poorest neighborhoods. He made house calls on his bicycle and didn’t charge families who could not afford care
He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received a Master’s of Science in Chemical Engineering. After working for the CIA, Dr. Dickey returned to Minnesota to study medicine. He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Dickey returned to Washington, DC to do his internship at Children’ Hospital where he worked with children with Cystic Fibrosis. In 1973, he opened the doors of his pediatric practice. Dr. Dickey was dedicated to serving struggling families in an urban community in Southeast DC where he served over 6,000 in 40 years of practice. He was affectionately known as an old country doctor because he cared for the well being of the whole family.
Dr. Dickey took his health as seriously as that of his patients. Diet and exercise were critical to his daily routine. He was well known for his strict and limited dietetic habits. When not hard at work, Dr. Dickey had a passion for the outdoors. One could often see him walking around town when he was not hiking the Appalachian Trail and it brought joy to his heart to be able to get up every morning and take long rides on his bicycle.