Robert S. Mendelsohn

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Robert S. Mendelsohn (1926 – 1988) was an American pediatrician who criticized his profession, inveighing against pediatric practice, obstetric orthodoxy and the effect of the preponderance of male obstetricians, and vaccination. He also criticized water fluoridation, animal testing, coronary bypass surgery, licensing of nutritionists, and the routine use of X-rays among other health issues.

From 1954 to 1964, Mendelsohn was an instructor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Medical College, and was associate professor of pediatrics and community health and preventive medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine for another 12 years.

He had a private pediatric practice, in Chicago from 1956 to 1967; and later practiced out of his home in Evanston from 1978 to 1988.

From 1981 to 1982, Mendelsohn was president of the National Health Federation (NHF). From 1967 to 1968 he served as National Director of Project Head Start's Medical Consultation Service (a position he was later forced to resign after criticizing the public school system), and as Chairman of the Medical Licensing Committee of Illinois.

He often spoke at NHF conventions and produced a newsletter and a syndicated newspaper column, both called The People's Doctor. He appeared on over 500 television and radio talk shows. In 1986, the National Nutritional Foods Association gave Mendelsohn its annual Rachel Carson Memorial Award for his "concerns for the protection of the American consumer and health freedoms."

Mendelsohn considered himself a "medical heretic." One of his books charged that "Modern Medicine's treatments for disease are seldom effective, and they're often more dangerous than the diseases they're designed to treat"; that "around ninety percent of surgery is a waste of time, energy, money and life"; and that most hospitals are so loosely run that "murder is even a clear and present danger."


Mendelsohn graduated from Budlong Grammar School in 1940, and Roosevelt High School in 1944. He served in the U.S. Navy, from January 1945 until April 1946. He received a Bachelors of Science from the University of Chicago in 1949. Mendelsohn received his medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1951.

Dr Mendelsohn did his internship at Cook County Hospital 1951-1952. He completed his residency at Michael Reese Hospital (1952-1954) and later worked there as an attending (1955-1988).

Criticism of medicine[edit]

Mendelsohn asserted issues regarding drug induced nutritional deficits and other 'subtle' drug side effects, such as aspirin's interference with blood clotting factors[citation needed] and its propensity to reduce levels of Vitamin C.[citation needed]

Mendelsohn said that the greatest danger to American women's health was often their own doctors, and contended that chauvinistic physicians subjected female patients to degrading, unnecessary and often dangerous medical procedures. Cancer treatments like hysterectomy and radical mastectomy, according to Mendelsohn, were among the most indiscriminately recommended surgical procedures.[citation needed]


He died April 5, 1988 at his home in Evanston, Illinois of acute cardiac arrest.


  • 1982, Male Practice: How Doctors Manipulate Women, ISBN 0-8092-5721-1
  • 1987, How To Raise a Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor, NTC/Contemporary Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8092-4995-2
  • 1991, Confessions of a Medical Heretic, ISBN 0-8092-7726-3 (This book was first published in 1980)

External links[edit]

  • [1] (News article citing his death certificate)
  • Publicaciones GEA (Web informativa y publicación de la mayoría de la literatura de Robert Mendelsohn en español)
  • [2]
  • [3]