#99 — How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor ** April 20, 2016
Guest // Sally Mendelsohn, CNM ** Host // Maya Shetreat-Klein, MD
Do you have a pediatrician you love? Do you even know what that could look like? In the current polarized medical climate, finding a like-minded — or even open minded — pediatrician is not always easy.
But… there was one pediatrician who was willing to swim against the tide — loudly and proudly — even back in the 1970s. In this episode, homebirth midwife Sally Mendelsohn and Dr. Maya discuss Dr. Robert Mendelsohn’s “renegade” ideas, including his books How To Raise a Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor and Confessions of a Medical Heretic.
How did Dr. Mendelsohn start on his visionary path and how was it received by the medical establishment?
What were his thoughts about birth, ultrasound, breastfeeding, and vaccination?
What, if any, practices and attitudes have changed since he wrote his books?
Robert Mendelsohn, MD (1926-1988) was one of the first outspoken, renegade pediatricians. A graduate of University of Chicago for both his undergraduate studies as well as medical school, he went on to write numerous books including How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor, Confessions of a Medical Heretic, Male Practice: How Doctors Manipulate Women, and more. He was selected by President Johnson to lead Project Head Start’s Medical Consultation Service. He publicly questioned the mainstream attitudes about medication, parenting, birthing, ultrasound, immunizations, hospitalization and surgery. He appeared on over 500 television and radio talk shows.
Sally Mendelsohn, CNM is the daughter of Dr. Robert Mendelsohn and a leader for women in her own right. After getting her undergraduate degree at Brandeis College, she graduated from Georgetown and Cornell Universities to eventually became a Certified Nurse Midwife in 1982. During her 25 year career, she delivered babies both in home and hospital settings. Most recently, she taught midwifery in the graduate program at New York University. Sally and her family have recently launched a new website to more broadly share the ideas of her father. Learn more at www.thepeoplesdoctor.net.
Maya Shetreat-Klein, MD is an integrative pediatric neurologist, an herbalist, an urban farmer, a naturalist, and author of The Dirt Cure: Growing Healthy Kids with Food Straight from Soil (Simon and Schuster, 2016) — see her appearance on Dr. Oz! Maya completed the University of Arizona’s two-year Fellowship in Integrative Medicine and subsequently wrote the Introduction to Integrative Neurology curriculum. She has lectured nationally and internationally for both physicians and laypeople on such topics as children’s health, education, and time in nature, botanical medicine, biodiversity, and the relationship between our health and the natural world. She has testified on topics such as fracking, safe products for children, and the impact of chemical exposures on children’s health. Maya practices in New York City, where she teaches about Terrain Medicine.