David Hellerstein, MD

A Family of Doctors

My Books

Nonfiction
How can advances in neuroscience improve the the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders? Heal Your Brain "articulates and helps create a new watershed moment in psychiatric worldview," according to reviewer Bradley Lewis.
Memoir
In this poignant, deeply moving book, Dr. David Hellerstein traces five generations of American medicine -- from the Civil War to the present day -- as seen through the eyes of his unforgettable family.
Novels
A black comedy set in New York City, Stone Babies tells the story of Jay Sones, MD, a young obstetrician working in an infertility treatment center, who is caught up in an evolving medical scandal.
A comic first novel set in Manhattan, Loving Touches explores the love Dr. Pete Roth feels for two very different women: his wife Sarah, a Wall Street lawyer, and Celine, a former girlfriend who has been admitted to his hospital.
Essays
"a unique, beautifully written account of the making of a doctor.... a remarkable document--dramatic, moving and true." --Tobias Wolff, author of Back in the World

Blog and Research Clinic Website

Find Authors

A Family of Doctors


In this poignant, deeply moving book, Dr. David Hellerstein traces five generations of American medicine -- from the Civil War to the present day -- as seen through the eyes of his unforgettable family.

From Publishers Weekly
In a briskly flowing narrative, psychiatrist, essayist and novelist Hellerstein ( Battles of Life and Death ) records the accomplishments since the Civil War of 13 doctors in five generations of his Midwestern Jewish family. The family tree includes an EKG pioneer and the author's own father, mother, brothers and two sisters, each in a different specialty. In lively portraits and anecdotes culled from family attic archives, Hellerstein describes early, more primitive, medical procedures together with his ancestors' romances, scandals and travels, including a moving account of the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp witnessed by his father during military service. While citing modern medical advances, Hellerstein deplores today's diminished professional dedication and the advent of high costs, impersonal care and bureaucracy in medicine. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
As Hellerstein ( Battles of Life and Death , LJ 5/​1/​86, and Loving Touches , LJ 2/​1/​87) recounts his family history--the story of five generations of physicians--it evolves into something larger: a chronicle of the changes in medicine from the 19th century to the present as seen through the experiences of his family. His narrative begins with Marcus Rosenwasser in 1864 and ends with the medical career choices of four of Hellerstein's siblings, who confront the dilemmas and opportunities of contemporary medicine. Along the way, Hellerstein presents much medical and social history, encompassing the dramatic technological and educational metamorphoses that transformed the practice of medicine from a craft to the medical science of today. Recommended.
- James Swanton, Albert Einstein Coll. of Medicine, New York