Few of us in medicine have the creativity, vision, or persuasiveness
to have a transforming influence on the fundamental ways in which we think
about health and illness and frame our approach to the care of patients. George
Libman Engel was such a person, and our profession is poorer for his passing,
which we mourn.
Engel's early life experience undoubtedly influenced his professional
career interests significantly. He, his parents, and his brothers grew up
in the home of his uncle, Emanuel Libman (of Libman-Sacks endocarditis), distinguished
pathologist and internist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. A superb
clinician and keen observer of patients ("he could smell typhoid fever on a ward"—George Engel's words), Uncle Manny,
of whom Engel spoke and wrote often, surely had a profound effect on George,
his twin brother Frank, and their older brother Lewis. Frank went on to become
a distinguished internist/endocrinologist at Duke and Lewis a distinguished
biochemist at Harvard.
Cohen J. George L. Engel, MD. JAMA. 2000;283(21):2857. doi:10.1001/jama.283.21.2857