Dynamic Chiropractic - January 17, 1990, Volume 08, Issue 02

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"An Evening with Robert Mendelsohn, M.D."

Two Videotapes

The other evening I had a very pleasant experience. Someone I have admired for a long time visited me in my home. While I had never met him personally before, I felt very comfortable with him as he spoke to me and with some of my colleagues.

The more he spoke, the more I was impressed with his love for people. Here he was, an MD, speaking of all the shortcomings of his own profession while boosting chiropractic. On several occasions he was invited to speak at the student AMA conventions. At the end of his talks, young medical students would come up to him and express their disillusionment with their program of studies. They would then ask him what they should do about it and his advice was that they should transfer to a chiropractic college.

Everyone sat, enthralled, as this medical iconoclast told of his experiences in the medical profession. As he continued, I was at once both amazed by the inadequacies of medicine and with my being something pretty special -- a DC.

At first you think that you're just listening to some disgruntled MD who couldn't make it or had a grudge of some kind. How, you wonder, could anyone find such fault with being a man of medicine? What happened in his professional life that made him turn against his own? Was he denied political position or prominence? Was he looked upon as academically unsound? Or, was it that he just wasn't able to meet his bills because he was so bad?

All of the preceding are obvious questions until you realized that he was a financially successful pediatrician, who once taught pediatrics in a leading medical school, was on the staff of a large hospital, and was once the president of his state medical board. In other words, he had impeccable medical credentials.

So why did this leading member of the medical profession decide to turn on his colleagues? Given his background, it was safe to surmise that his intellectual metamorphosis came about from spasms of conscience initiated by the honest evaluation of his profession.

As he spoke, he increasingly seemed to mesmerize everyone with his wisdom and charm. He related how he practiced, his fight against the reckless administration of vaccines, and the mindless administration of drugs. He reminded everyone of the paucity of hours the medical student has in pharmacology and their seduction by the pharmaceutical companies. He also reminded everyone that every time medical doctors went on strike the death rate went down dramatically. Apparently, when the body is allowed to take care of itself, without being medically "fiddled" with, it has a better chance of survival -- surprise!

People started asking questions which he graciously answered. All too soon his visit ended and I turned off my VCR, for I had been viewing the two cassette videotapes of a talk Dr. Robert Mendelsohn gave before a group of chiropractic physicians just a few weeks before his untimely death.

One of the gifts of films and tapes is that they preserve for all time the image and thoughts of those we admire and respect. They are preserved not only for our own edification but, as in this case, for the education of the public we serve.

It's nice to know that I can, by just pressing a button, visit once again with Dr. Mendelsohn. So can you -- and you should.