Tribute To Dr. Sherwin Nuland
I was saddened to hear the news a few days ago of the passing of Dr. Shewin Nuland from prostate cancer at the age of 83.
As a practitioner who has helped thousands of patients with prostate cancer with natural and lifestyle interventions, I could not help wonder about his lifestyle: did he eat good, anti-cancer foods? Exercise? Consumed supplements? Or did he only undergo Conventional therapies? I don’t yet have answers to such questions.
I also wondered how he, an expert in the process of dying, died.
I had meant to meet Dr. Nuland since I read his book, How We Die – Reflections of Life’s Final Chapter, which had a huge impact in my life, especially my clinical life. In his book, he reflected on how so many patients died without dignity. Death, like birth, is a natural process and it should, when possible happen with dignity – an uncommon occurrence in our society. In his teachings he also talks about medicine as an art, not a science. A concept that I agree with. I won’t give away the other strong messages of his book. I highly recommend it.
Despite never meeting Dr. Nuland, I felt strongly connected to him; he was born from immigrant parents like I was – his parents from Russia, mine from Cuba. His parents migrated to the South Bronx where he grew up as I did. He earned his bachelor’s degree from New York University where I presently practice and teach. He was a patient advocate as I am. Lastly, he became a healthcare practitioner and so did I.
When the news of his expiration was presented to me, I was upset that I kept putting off attempting to meet him. “I’d do it later” was my mentality as I was too busy.
Well, later never came.
Of course, there are “follow through” lessons here but that’s not what this blog is about.
This blog post is about the celebration of an extraordinary life. A passionate life reflected by his work and books.
I’d like to share two relatively recent video of Dr. Nuland – one a little less than 20 minutes and the other, if you have time, a little over 72 minutes. Both worth viewing. Trust me.
RIP Dr. Nuland.
TEDMED talk – a little over 19 minutes.
Most recent lecture – 72 minutes long. Provides a most interesting perspective on the history of medicine and the process of dying in our modern world.