Robert S. Mendelsohn

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Robert S. Mendelsohn (1926 – 1988) was an American pediatrician and critic of medical paternalism, inveighing against pediatric practice, obstetric orthodoxy and the effect of the preponderance of male obstetricians, and vaccination. He also opposed water fluoridation, coronary bypass surgery, licensing of nutritionists, and the routine use of X-rays.[1]

For 12 years, Mendelsohn was an instructor 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.

Mendelsohn was president of the alternative medicine National Health Federation (NHF) between 1981 and 1982. He also 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.

Mendelsohn wrote a syndicated newspaper column called The People's Doctor, and also produced a newsletter with the same name (the newsletter continued after his death until 1992, under the name The Doctor's People.[2]) He published five books, including Confessions of a Medical Heretic[3] and Mal(e) Practice: How Doctors Manipulate Women.[4] He appeared on over 500 television and radio talk shows.


Mendelsohn received his medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1951.

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[5] of acute cardiac arrest. Mendelsohn also suffered from diabetes.[1]


  • 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)


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