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February 20, 1987

Hilde, the Teacher

Author Affiliations



JAMA. 1987;257(7):975. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390070095032

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Dr Hilde Bruch died recently at the age of 80. Pediatrician, psychiatrist, and psychoanalyst, Dr Bruch was a pioneer in the field of eating disorders and is considered a major contributor to the conceptualization of anorexia nervosa.

During the 18 years that it was my privilege to know Hilde Bruch I never presumed to understand her. This was not the way she would have it. She would discuss her ideas, her work, and, eventually, even her physical problems; but never, with me, would she discuss her personal life. With Dr Bruch, one always knew one's place.

On the other hand, she knew nearly everything about me. 1968.—I was a third-year student at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, which I had attended, as did many of my classmates, with the hope of becoming a heart surgeon. My first rotation was in surgery at the Heart Palace, Houston's Methodist Hospital.