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I was born in Paterson, New Jersey October 16, 1936. I started life as a 7-pound 6-ounce baby and made amazing progress. I went to public schools in Paterson, New Jersey and graduated from Eastside High School in January, 1954. During my time in Paterson, I was active in athletics, participating on the track team throwing the shotput. I also played basketball in the city leagues and in the Y. leagues. During football season, the coach would not let me play because I was too big and not developed enough and he did not want me to get hurt. He made me football manager which gave me the opportunity to work with the orthopedic surgeon physician for the team and I became a surrogate trainer. I strapped ankles, knees, wrists etc. and also carried the water bucket. This was an introduction to the area of medicine. I had an uncle, my father's brother, who was an orthopedic surgeon, and between those two orthopedic surgeons, my interest in medicine, and specifically orthopedic surgery was generated.
My high school yearbook lists under ambition, “to be an orthopedic surgeon". It was written in my sophomore year of high school. I graduated high school in January of 1954, and entered New York University, University College of Arts and Sciences, in February of 1954. My goal was to get into medical school. I also went to college on a track scholarship. I threw the shotput, discus, javelin, 16-pound hammer, 35-pound weight, and 56-pound weight in field events competition. I was metropolitan intercollegiate champion in 1956 in the 16 pound hammer throw. I threw the 56-pound weight 29 feet, when the world record was 31 feet at that time.
I graduated from NYU in June of 1957, and entered The Chicago Medical School, Chicago, Illinois in September of 1957, approximately 51 years ago. During my time at The Chicago Medical School, I was the editor of The Chicago Medical School Quarterly, the medical journal publication of the school. I was editor of the journal for two years. When I graduated medical school in June of 1961, I was elected permanent secretary of my graduating class.
I entered an orthopedic residency program which started with a general internship at Hospital for Joint diseases in New York City. The first year was a rotating internship. The second year of the program was a general surgical residency year in which we were the only general surgical residents. There were no residents senior to us as general surgical residents. We had an extensive experience in general surgical cases, for what was a first year surgical resident. I left Hospital for Joint Diseases and went to the New York Medical College program for orthopedic surgery residency under Dr. Arthur Michele. It was a fabulous program that rotated through Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital and Metropolitan Hospital Center in New York City, and Crippled Children's Hospital, part of the United Hospital group in Newark, New Jersey. I became administrative chief resident in July of 1965, had the incredible opportunity to have my younger brother join me in his first year of orthopedic surgery residency when I was in my senior year. I had independent surgical privileges for that entire year and we did more surgery than anybody thought could be done by a group of residents. Incidentally, we did great work.
Upon completing my residency, I was supposed to go into Uncle Sam’s military as I was a Berry Plan deferee. Either fortunately, or unfortunately, I experienced a severe sprain of my lower back which hospitalized me for several days on my own hospital ward, and led to my being rejected for my active-duty request into the army. Needless to say I was terribly disappointed. I had never been rejected from a job before. (I had never really applied for job before that). Since my rejection to the military came very late, I had not searched for a position to go into private practice.
I wound up being given a job with an HIP group in the Bronx New York. I did orthopedic surgery for this group. During my residency I ran a night call practice for emergency coverage for this HIP group as well as other HIP groups in the Bronx. They liked my work during my residency, and offered me a job. I also built a private practice while I was with the HIP group. I also had an academic assistant clinical professor of orthopedic surgery rank at New York Medical College where I supervised residency training.
I became board-certified in Orthopedic Surgery in 1968. I also was inducted into the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the International College of Surgeons that year. I was on the staff of Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center as my primary hospital. I became the chief of children's orthopedics at the hospital. During my time in New York, my brother completed his residency program and fellowship in England in hand surgery, and came back to join me in practice in the Bronx. He looked around, saw things that I didn't see because I was content, and he wanted to look for different pastures. Searching got us to Florida, Broward County, Florida specifically, and in 1973, we closed the office in the Bronx and moved to Florida together, where I have lived ever since. While I was in New York, my family lived in New Jersey. I was active in the synagogue, and was one of the founders of Beth Tefilla Synagogue in Paramus, New Jersey. I also joined the Masonic Lodge in New York City and rose through the chairs of the Lodge to become Master of Golden Rule Ionic Lodge in 1971. I maintained my activity in the Lodge until I moved to Florida. I also became a member of the Shiners and the Scottish Rite Temple.
In Florida, I became active in the Young Israel of Hollywood Fort Lauderdale, and rose to the level of vice president of the synagogue. I also served on the board Of the Alexander Gross Hebrew Academy in Miami Beach. My activities in medicine put me on the staff of Florida Medical Center, where I became Chief of Staff in 1976. My other hospital affiliations included Plantation General Hospital, Bennett Memorial Hospital which became Westside Regional Medical Center, University Community Hospital, and Margate General Hospital which became Northwest Regional Hospital and Medical Center. With my brother and I moving to Florida together, we had a two-man medical group called Stein Orthopedic Associates, PA. Later, we were joined by another partner Dr. Martin Silverstein and later by Dr. Richard Goldstein. We had Stein, Stein, Silverstein and Goldstein. The group subsequently broke up. Ultimately by brother passed away at age 46 of a heart attack and I was left in solo practice.
On the various hospital staffs, I was involved on institutional review boards, credentials committee's, and several other medical staff committee obligations. In addition to my obligations and my medical practice, I maintained my affiliation with the Chicago Medical School. I became a member of the Board of Governors of the National Alumni Association of the Chicago Medical School. I became president of the National Alumni Association of The Chicago Medical School from 1985 to 1987. I remain a member of the Board of Governors of the Alumni Association of The Chicago Medical School to this day.
In 1988 I was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Finch University School of Health Sciences, the University of which the Chicago Medical School was the anchor school. I served on the Board of Trustees for approximately 10 years. The school is currently The Rosalind Franklin School of Medicine and Science and is located in North Chicago, Illinois.
My orthopedic practice included all aspects of general orthopedic surgery. I took care of major trauma cases, total joint replacements, arthroscopic surgery, and spinal surgery. My major interest was always spinal surgery. There were no fellowships in spinal surgery when I finished my training and I did not seek any of the newer or earlier fellowships that were probably forming at that time.
I was the first physician to do suction diskectomy on disks in the lumbar spine in the South Florida area. I was a charter member of the North American Arthroscopy Association, and an early practitioner of arthroscopic surgery. I did anterior and posterior spinal fusions, pedicle screws and plates, anterior cervical diskectomies and fusions, arthroscopic surgery of the knees and shoulders, open shoulder reconstructions, most any type of fracture care, as well as total joint replacements of hips and knees, ankles, arthrodesesis of many different joints, and basically all types of orthopedic surgery.
I was always interested in injection therapy. I learned, at a young age, from my uncle to do trigger point injections to various areas of the body. He was a master at injecting and getting excellent results with injections. Even when I was in high school and had back pain he gave me injections, and they worked. So as my practice progressed, injecting various areas of the body became second nature. I had heard about prolotherapy somewhere in the 1970s, but having a busy practice in which I was a senior surgeon, I did not look outside very hard to try and find where I could learn about prolotherapy. I would not do anything without learning about it first.
Changes happen in one's life. In 1985, my brother, my partner, passed away at age 46 from a heart attack. I was now in solo practice again. I kept doing my things, but in 1990 I has severe pain in my neck and back and legs and arms and underwent expansile laminoplasty surgery to my neck, and decompressive lumbar laminectomy to my back at the same sitting. My practice was therefore, curtailed for some 6 months, and when I got back to practice it was somewhat slower. In 1991, I became certified by the American Academy of Pain Management as a Pain Management Specialist. I also sat for and passed the exam for the American Board of Quality Assurance Utilization Review Physicians, ABQUARP. I am active in doing peer-review work for several medical review organizations.
In 1994, after a dental filling for a broken tooth I found myself severely in pain, brain fogged, and virtually feeling helpless. Six weeks later a dear friend of mine and dentist who practiced in my building invited me to come to his office to look at a machine that he had that got to get rid of pain. I almost did not go. However, a few weeks later I did go, and he told me about this laser that he had. He used it on me and lo and behold, a mantle of pain lifted off my body. The pain had been there for 6 full weeks and was very severe. I asked him where he learned about what he was doing, and he showed me a brochure from Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt. The weekend of October 16, 1994, a Thursday Friday Saturday and Sunday, was a seminar in Albuquerque, New Mexico. There, I learned more in 4 days than I had learned in 20 years in medicine. Mercury toxicity was my diagnosis, and Dietrich led me on the way to remove the Mercury for my body and give me a chance to continue. In December of 1994, he was teaching a course called neural therapy with proliferating substances. I attended that course as well as several others. I met Tom Dorman, Tom Raven, and several others through Dietrich. Dietrich said to me at that time that if I learned prolotherapy I would be able to keep practicing for a long time. If I didn't, because of the condition of my body at the time, he did not think I would be able to do surgery for very much longer.
Dietrich was very prophetic. In October of 1995, I was involved in an automobile accident in which I sustained a fracture of my odontoid and a fracture of my left thumb when an air bag blew up in my face. I needed surgery for my neck. I have a screw in the odontoid and a nonunion of the odontoid and I have two screws in the base of my thumb. I was able to learn prolotherapy, and prolotherapy plus neural therapy plus detoxification, and nutrition and all other areas of complementary and alternative medicine that treat pain without surgery and harmful medications. That has become my practice, my preaching if you want to call at that, and my enthusiasm to continue practicing medicine, 51 years after I entered medical school, now at age 71+.
Getting out of operative orthopedics, and finding the American Association of Orthopaedic medicine, was one of the best things to happen to me in the last 10 years. I actually found an organization where I feel at home and enjoy going to meetings, sharing ideas, and being with friends.
In June of 1958, at the end of my first year in medical school, I married Leona, and we have 3 children. My daughter Eileen, who is married to Michael, lives in Florida near us, my daughter Randy, lives in Charlotte, North Carolina and is not married, and my son David, lives at home and is not married. He is a fabulous CIA graduate chef. In the end of May, our family will be going away together on a cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. When somebody asks me how many years I have been happily married, I usually tell them 3 and that's not bad out of 50.