Meet Dr. Chris Toler, MD, MBA

Chief Clinical Officer

A woman looking the left.
Inside Iron Health
May 24, 2024

What got you interested in healthcare?

Growing up I always knew I wanted to become a physician. I grew up in rural Kentucky where the few physicians we had in town were held in such high regard and gave so much to the community. I also had an aunt who suffered surgical complications that lead to infertility. The OBGYN was such a key person to helping her have a family and ultimately changing her life. I recognized the value a physician can bring to a family.  

I went to medical school and eventually ended up choosing OBGYN as a speciality after considering primary care. On the first day of my OB rotation in my third year of medical school I was on the labor and delivery floor I knew that day what I wanted to do with my career in medicine.  

In my fourth year of medical school a full-circle moment happened when on my specialty rural medicine rotation I was assigned to the same OBGYN that helped my aunt years earlier. I completed an OBGYN residency after medical school and returned to rural Kentucky for practice in the same hospital where I was born.


Is there something that you missed from your own healthcare experience that Iron Health specifically addresses?  

Iron Health is the piece that was missing from my practice. As a specialist, there were many times patients would ask questions and had issues that were a better fit to be treated by a primary care provider who could manage beyond the diagnosis and provide long-term follow-up. Many diseases are interrelated and patients benefit from having a primary care provider who is able to manage the whole person. 

Women’s health is a big part of that whole person so naturally, it would make sense to integrate OB and GYN with Primary Care. Unfortunately due to time constraints from trying to manage an office practice, labor and delivery, and the OR schedule my staff and I was maxed out.  Having a partner that offered fast access to primary and other specialty services like behavioral health and weight management would have allowed me to make sure the patients received the care they needed in a time that would actually make a difference in their lives. I would have felt like I was really providing a service to them and able to be that doctor they expected. I have firsthand experience with burnout, as do many physicians, and having a partner like Iron Health instead of depending on my other practicing partners for coverage would have been great.

What’s something you wish people knew more about (related to women’s health)? 

I wish women knew how much physicians really care about them and how physicians would like to practice but are not able to that in this broken healthcare system.

What makes you most excited about working at Iron Health?

The ability to innovate. For too long OBGYNs have been on the hampster wheel of providing patient care in the most tradition sense. Now, with technology and new payment models, we are able to take the OBGYN and their practice to the next level. Because we are a nimble start-up company and the relationships we build are true partnerships, we are able to innovate with them. In real time we can see the issues that are affecting their practice and use our technology and platform to build a solution that works for them and their patients.  

What does "strengthening the healthcare system” mean to you?

Strengthening healthcare is:

  • About making the healthcare system work for the patient. 
  • Aligning the value for all parties involved–the patient, the provider, the health system, and the payor.  
  • About bringing the decision back to the exam room.
  • Making it accessible to everyone.

Let’s discuss

Things you like talking about - clinical or otherwise, ideally a mix of both:

  • Binge-worthy television
  • Success stories-where the underdog wins
  • Music and concerts
  • Diversity and different cultures
  • Travel
  • New technology in medicine
  • Value based care

Any funny or embarrassing personal story that you’d like to share?


When you’re not working, where can we find you?

  • Out to dinner
  • The gym
  • On the patio with great music
  • Traveling

Anything you want to add?

I have a mother, a daughter, a team of female coworkers, and many women friends–I want my daughter to grow up and all women around me to know there are men on their side, allies, rooting for their equality, empowerment, success, and celebrating their diversity.