Talk:Leon Eisenberg

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I am adding links to Dr. Leon Eisenberg's research concepts, since I am his Assistant. Maynard S. Clark 04:39, 24 February 2007 (UTC)vegetarian

When he finished his adult psychiatry training at Sheppard Pratt, he spent two years with Leo Kanner as his Fellow. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MaynardClark (talkcontribs) 14:05, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

There needs to be a more complete bibliography (Leon Eisenberg's published and refereed writings number well over a thousand), and an outline of his historical contributions to various fields, including his longstanding criticisms of psychoanalysis and the several platforms from which those criticisms of psychoanalysis have been developed, not only by others, but also by him over 50+ years of writing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MaynardClark (talkcontribs) 17:16, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

If we develop the discussion of his longstanding criticisms of psychoanalysis, we should also develop a section on his longstanding commitments to affirmative action, which he cites as his greatest and most profound contribution. There seems to be substantial intellectual foundation for doing so, not merely a moral commitment to equal treatment for all persons. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MaynardClark (talkcontribs) 17:30, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Is there a "History of PsychiatrY" category in Wikipedia? If so, this article should be part of that portal, as evidenced by the hundreds of Eisenberg colleagues who believed then and continue to believe today that his work and contributions made him a GIANT in psychiatry and that his contributions are far more than 'mid-importance' (as the banner suggests). I move that the current banner in the article itself be removed. MaynardClark (talk)

The banner SEEMS (hard to tell) to have been added by Delusion23 (were the biography classes added also by Delusion23?), whose contributions to Wikipedia are largely in football (by his own admission), which is far afield from the practice of child psychiatry, nosology, global psychiatric epidemiology, the development of DSM and ICD standards, the first RCT in psychiatric pharmacology on children, guiding a set of psychiatry-related practice fields and research over the decades, and numerous other "firsts"! May I suggest that this critic, well-intended or not, ought not to be evaluating Eisenberg's contributions from the perspective of football. MaynardClark (talk)

(base for) Possible NEW text - 02-29-2008

Dr. Eisenberg received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (1946), interned at Mount Sinai in New York City, then completed a residency in psychiatry at the Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital (1952), and subsequently received a Fellowship in Child Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Hospital under Professor Leo Kanner (1954). He became Chief of Child Psychiatry at Hopkins in 1961 and moved to Harvard in 1967 as Chief of Psychiatry at the Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1980, he became Chair of the Department of Social Medicine and Health Policy. In July of 1993, Dr. Eisenberg reached Emeritus status at Harvard Medical School but continues to work full time. The scientific contributions of Dr. Eisenberg are of particular importance and illustrate how well his work corresponds to the intentions of the Pinel Prize. They include

- the first longitudinal follow-up of Leo Kanner’s original cases of autism - a study that identified the roots of social phobia in parental anxiety - the first clinical trial of the effectiveness of psychiatric consultation in a social agency - the first randomized controlled trial in childhood psychopharmacology - the first randomized controlled trial of stimulant drugs in adolescents - the first randomized clinical trial of brief psychotherapy - a forceful critique of Lorenz’s theory of instincts and imprinting - an early statement of the distinction between “disease” (what doctors deal with) and “illness” (what patients suffer) - a widely-cited critique of the oscillation of psychiatry between brain-centered and mind- entered approaches arguing for the integration of the two - a synthesis of the evidence on the importance of training primary care physicians to recognize and treat depression - papers that highlight the molding of the brain structure by social experience - publications putting inheritance in an environmental context as a determinant of risk and resilience.

Specific publications referring to the above achievements are contained in his bibliography which is not attached but can be made available.

Dr. Eisenberg has served as consultant to the Division of Mental Health at the WHO in multiple capacities since 1964 and to the Pan American Health Organization since 1988. He participated in numerous WPA meetings, lectured in many countries and served as an adviser on numerous projects whose focus ranged from human ecology and stress to neurosciences and the development of the World Mental Health Report 2001. He has received honorary Doctor of Science degrees from the University of Manchester (UK) and the University of Massachusetts. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Greek Society of Neurology and Psychiatry, of the Ecuadorian Academy of Neuroscience, and of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK). He received numerous awards for his work in psychiatry, paediatrics, schizophrenia and public health. However, he is proudest of the Diversity Lifetime Achievement Award he received in 2001 for his role in inaugurating affirmative action at Harvard Medical School in 1968 and sustaining it as Chairman of the Admissions Committee from 1969 to 1974. He has published widely: more than 240 articles in refereed journals, 130 chapters in books, and 11 edited books. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MaynardClark (talkcontribs) 17:16, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

In reviewing the bibliography of Leon Eisenberg's CV, I note a great number of articles in journals we cannto locate in major libraries, nor in, nor in specialized libraries - all listed as being "Volume 1", some listed as "Volume 1" and "Issue 1". I wonder to what extent those colleagues who wanted to START a journal sought Leon Eisenberg as a MAJOR 'first author' in the premier issue and hoped that his celebrity status would ensure the success of their journal (but it didn't).

Opportunistic Uses of Leon Eisenberg[edit]

It may be funny if opportunistic colleagues sought Leon Eisenberg in order to catapult their fledgling journals into professional focus by recruiting one of 20th century psychiatry's most witty, interesting, and encyclopedic authors (yet they failed in these business ventures!). MaynardClark (talk)

Alleged Der Spiegel interview[edit]

No such Der Spiegel article appears to exist. A couple of websites have the same paragraph almost verbatim. Can the primary source be identified? Carturo222 04:14, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

See below. Rp (talk) 22:54, 5 September 2013 (UTC)


Complaints shown on ARTICLE ITSELF:

  • This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
  • This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (September 2012)
  • This article may be too long to read and navigate comfortably. (September 2012)
  • This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (September 2012)
  • This article may have too many links, and could require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (September 2012)


  • Length: Many of the elder leaders in the various subspecialties in psychiatry (who attended either of Leon Eisenberg's Memorial Services or the presentations of the annual Leon Eisenberg Award in Psychiatry) have commented on how useful and informative the Wikipedia article is.
  • Prose instead of charts: Such a format would make the article LESS readable, which is the core complaint about its length. So, leave it alone!
  • # Links Overall: Since when are links a core problem in an article?
  • External Links: The likely readership of this article (those interested in the history of psychiatry and the contributions of Leon Eisenberg are aided by external links.

Clean up Time[edit]

As of today I am starting to work on a Leon Eisenberg bibliography. He has published such a large quantity of works, I think I will make a table. Does that seem like the best way to go? Let me know of any thoughts or suggestions. I've been wanting to clean this page up for a while now. Hopefully a separate, linked bibliography page will dramatically reduce links on the main page. I'm thinking about possibly keeping a selected list of publications on the main page, though. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Islandcalypso (talkcontribs) 17:28, 12 March 2015 (UTC)


I see this mention of his remarks on ADHD, Is there any relevance between him and ADHD? Many articles report him as the "father of ADHD" but this article does not mention him having a history with it, indeed, the disorder appears to be attributed to Sir Alexander Crichton. Thoughts? Sephiroth storm (talk) 21:10, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Later autobiographical reflections: "Were We Asleep at the Switch?"[edit]

I can see that my revision in this section was reverted. I'll post the added sentence here so that we may discuss it: "It is likely that while Eisenberg claimed that the prevalence of ADHD was overrated, he did not mean to say the disorder itself was not, May 17, 2013"

Sephiroth Storm's comment after removing the edit was: "[...] source does not state that this is likely the case. Article is about the validity of the statement". In this case, I suggest a reformulated revision: "It was later suggested by native German speakers referred to at the website that while Eisenberg claimed the prevalence of ADHD to be overrated, he did not mean to say the disorder itself was not, May 17, 2013"

In my view, the content of this section should be altered because it is not fully neutral. The phrasing "fabricated disease", when taken out of context, may suggest that Eisenberg was questioning the reality of ADHD itself. This suggestion is made stronger by the fact that the quotation has been widely used on the Internet as if it were self-explanatory, stemming from Moritz Nestor's reading ( I think that in such a case, a Wikipedia entry should be careful to present all plausible interpretations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scobin (talkcontribs) 19:18, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

No issue with the revised edit. Sephiroth storm (talk) 03:12, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
OK, I've added the revision verbatim. Thank you for noting that the original edit wasn't entirely correct. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scobin (talkcontribs) 19:57, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Well, I just did some link chasing and found:

  1. too many websites to count claim that on his deathbed, Eisenberg admitted ADHD to be a 'fictitious disease'
  2. snopes com traces these claims back to an article in Der Spiegel written by German science journalist Jörg Blech
  3. the original article ("Schwermut oder Scham") is online here;
  4. in a detailed audio interview available online, Blech explains this in more detail;

in the article (online), Blech

  • explains that Eisenberg, after discovering in the 1960s how methyl fenidate calmed down youngsters with behavioral problems, successfully campaigned to have ADHD listed as a separate mental disorder
  • says he interviewed a very cheerful Eisenberg at his house in 2008, adding some colourful details; and
  • claims that at on that occasion, Eisenberg greatly regretted his earlier stance on ADHD, quoting him as having said that "ADHD is a prime example of a fabricated disease";

in the audio interview, Blech stresses that Eisenberg was not on his death bed at all: he hadn't been diagnosed with cancer yet, and made quite an impression, being cheerful, immaculately groomed, and clearly up to date with the ADHD research literature; Blech also claims Eisenberg told him the following things:

  • he became convinced that ADHD was a separate disease purely on the basis of the effectiveness of methyl fenidate, and started his campaign purely on that basis
  • it hadn't occurred to him to try methyl fenidate on a control group (of children without behavioral problems)
  • when a colleague of his did just that, and found the drug to have the same effects on those children, his attitude towards ADHD being a disorder changed completely
  • subsequent research has found no basis for an inborn nature or genetic basis of ADHD; psychosocial causes appear much more likely
  • hence, classifying ADHD as a disease or disorder is questionable at best
  • he finds it inexcusable for psychiatrists not to search for psychosocial causes for behavioral problems, prior to, or instead of, prescribing medication
  • he complains about his views not being heard, and greatly welcomes his interviewer's interest

Having no stake in this debate, I have no idea how much of this information is worthy of inclusion into the article; but considering the stir this has caused (which is also the reason I'm here) I think some form of mention is in order, if only to combat the *awards list syndrome* which so many articles on Wikipedia about American persons tend to suffer from. Rp (talk) 22:30, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Another POS article[edit]

Anybody want to fix this garbage? --Malerooster (talk) 02:06, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

See also section[edit]

Ok, I am going to try to FIX the See also section by removing links that are found in the body of the article. Please see WP:SEEALSO for how the section should work. I actually will WAIT until others comment, or not, here, before doing this. Thank you, --Malerooster (talk) 02:32, 29 July 2014 (UTC)


Leon Eisenberg was long a major psychiatric consultant to many international psychiatric organizations, evidenced by the Awards he earned through the end of this life.

The Category:Psychiatric Consultants & Therapists should be returned. MaynardClark (talk) 02:45, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

a remark being removed as WP:NPOV[edit]

This edit removes a remark for being a violation of WP:NPOV. I agree something needs to be improved here, but just removing this remark doesn't seem right; the only source for the statements made here is the author of this interview, so providing some information on his general views is important. Rp (talk) 15:35, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

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Seems to work, but would be better?. MaynardClark (talk) 20:41, 20 December 2017 (UTC)