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December 21, 1994

A Family of Doctors

Author Affiliations

Medical Center of Delaware Wilmington

JAMA. 1994;272(23):1872-1873. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520230082050

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"As children we realized that we were part of a great adventure, the conquest of disease by scientific medicine," the author remembers. His memories of his overpowering physician father, Dr Herman Hellerstein, are, however, not all wonderful. "What he asked, no demanded, was for us to define ourselves as doctors in the context of the past, to state bluntly how our professional attainments, our production of new medical knowledge, would stack up against those of previous generations."

Herman Hellerstein also demanded that his family ingest healthful diets and exercise as much as possible; he was a pioneer in the prescription of exercise and dietary prudence as prophylaxis against, not just a remedy for, coronary artery disease. His son David still remembers the family's meals with distaste.

While producing and caring for a family of six children, his physician mother worked in the Family Clinic founded by her school, Case Western

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