MSU alumnus, internal medicine specialist joins Longest Student Health Center staff

Robert "Ryan" Looney (Photo by Russ Houston)

Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University alumnus Dr. Robert “Ryan” Looney has returned to his alma mater as the newest staff physician at the John C. Longest Student Health Center.

Looney recently began working at the Student Health Center after completing a residency in internal medicine at Brookwood Baptist Health in Birmingham, Alabama. Looney graduated from the University of Pikeville’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2013.

“Early in my residency, I thought I would do more work in an ICU and be in a hospital,” Looney said. “As I got through my residency, I realized I really liked building relationships with patients and the clinic aspect as I got to do more clinic work. When an opportunity at MSU came up, I knew I wanted to work here.”

The Kennett, Missouri, native was a student-athlete during his college days at MSU. He ran track and field for the Bulldogs while earning an undergraduate degree in biochemistry and molecular biology. As a medical school student, Looney completed a rural family medicine rotation at the Longest Student Health Center, shadowing health center staff at the clinic and at spring football practice.

The addition of Looney as a full-time physician allows the center to treat additional primary care patients. In addition to serving MSU students and employees, the health center is open to those in the community.

“It’s not just a walk-in clinic,” Looney said. “We’re a fully equipped health center. The only thing we can’t do is major surgeries and CT scans. We’re available to the community and we have a very quick turnaround.”

As an internal medicine specialist, Looney can provide primary care for patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other conditions. He and the rest of the center staff also can help facilitate appointments with specialists, when needed.

In addition to working at the center, Looney also works part-time at OCH Regional Medical Center in Starkville. He said getting first-hand experience with in-patient care on a regular basis has helped make him a better all-around doctor. He also enjoys training the medical school students and residents who come to the health center for rotations.

“When you become an upper level resident, you train the interns and new residents and med students,” Looney said. “We still get to do a little bit of that here, as well. That forces you to stay up-to-date on things. When you’re a physician, you’re a life-long learner.”

For more on the John C. Longest Student Health Center, visit or call 662-325-2431.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 8:27 am