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ART ULENE, MD, is reclining in a stuffed wing chair in the lobby of a hotel in the California desert resort town of Rancho Mirage. A group of middle-aged women huddle, whispering and giggling, a short distance away. Finally, they inch closer, moving together. Still giggling, the blushing spokesperson asks, "Are you Art Ulene?" They are clearly delighted. Ulene is clearly uncomfortable; he is congenial, but slightly taciturn.
"We will win a $50 bet if we ask you a question," they say. But awe paralyzes their imagination, and no one is sure what to ask. Then, one blurts: "What are you eating? Is it junk food?" Caught unawares, Ulene picks up the tiny cellophane bag from his lap to look for himself. Fortunately, the bag contains a packaged granola snack.
It is not easy being Dr Art Ulene. Because he appears coast to coast on the NBC "Today Show" and
It Sounds Glamorous, but TV Celebrity Status Offers Physician Little Respite. JAMA. 1987;258(16):2171-2172. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400160017004