Sherwin Nuland


Biography of Sherwin Nuland

Dr. Sherwin Nuland (born December 1930) is an American surgeon and author who teaches bioethics, history of medicine, and medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine and, upon occasion, bioethics and history of medicine at Yale College. His 1994 book How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter was a New York Times Best Seller and won the National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Nuland has written non-academic articles for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The New Republic, Time, and the New York Review of Books. Perhaps his greatest work, however, is his unforgettable first-generation American autobiography of his own painful coming of age as a son of immigrants, "Lost in America: A Journey with My Father." He is a fellow of the Hastings Center, an independent bioethics research institution.

Nuland was born in the Bronx, New York City, in December 1930 to immigrant Jewish parents Meyer and Vitsche Nudelman. Although raised in a traditional Orthodox Jewish home, Sherwin now considers himself agnostic, but continues to attend synagogue.

Nuland is a graduate of New York University and Yale School of Medicine, where he obtained his M.D. degree and also completed a residency in surgery. He currently resides in Connecticut with his second wife Sarah. He has four children, two from each marriage. His daughter Victoria Nuland, a career foreign service officer and the former U.S. ambassador to NATO, is since 2011 spokesperson for the Department of State.

In a 2001 TED talk, which was released in Oct 2007, Nuland spoke of his severe depression and obsessive thoughts in the early 1970s, probably caused by his difficult childhood and the dissolution of his first marriage. As drug therapy remained ineffective, a lobotomy was planned, but his treating resident suggested electroshock therapy instead, leading to ultimate recovery. Nuland is also one of the featured lecturers at One Day University.

In 2005, Dr. Nuland produced a series of lectures for the Teaching Company on the history of Western medicine titled Doctors: The History of Scientific Medicine Revealed Through Biography.

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