Health and Medical History of President

Barack Obama: Physician's letter, 2008

Back to President Barack Obama

cigarettes
Obama was smoking cigarettes in high school 2a. He continued smoking afterwards 2b. He talked about quitting in 1988, but this may have been in jest 2c. He has [tried to] quit several times over the years BELOW 3.

While running for President in 2008, he said he would quit, and that he was chewing Nicorette. His wife disclosed that, in exchange for giving her permission for him to run, she required that he quit 1. According to a February 2008 report, he quit smoking "several weeks" earlier 1.

Comment: Obama's total exposure to cigarettes, measured in "pack-years," has not been released. Any competent physician would elicit this information from the patient. It is so important that some physicians have called it a new "vital sign" (that's silly, but it makes the point). The quantified smoking exposure is important, among other reasons, in estimating the risk of various diseases. Although it appears as if the information was deliberately suppressed, I hope a reader can supply a pointer to the data.


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A typed version of the letter is presented below.
Hyde Park Associates in Medicine, Ltd.
1515 East Fifty-Second Place, Third Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60615

To Whom It May Concern:

I am David L. Scheiner, a board certified general internist licensed to practice in the State of Illinois. I am on staff at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Rush University Medical Center. I have been Senator Barack Obama's primary care physician since March 23, 1987. The following is a summary of his medical records for the past 21 years.

During that period of time, Senator Obama has been in excellent health. He has been seen regularly for medical checkups and various minor problems such as upper respiratory infections, skin rashes and minor injuries.

His family history is pertinent for his mother's death from ovarian cancer and grandfather who died of prostate cancer. His own history included intermittent cigarette smoking. He has quit this practice on several occasions and is currently using Nicorette gum with success.

Senator Obama's last medical checkup was on January 15, 2007; he had no complaints. He exercised regularly often jogging three miles. His diet was balanced with good intake of roughage and fluids. A complete review of systems was unremarkable. On physical examination, his blood pressure was 90/60 and pulse 60/minute. His build was lean and muscular with no excess body fat. His physical examination was completely normal.

Laboratory studies included triglycerides of 44(normal under 150), cholesterol 173 (normal under 200), HDL 68 (normal over 40), and LDL 96 (normal under 130). Chem 24, urinalysis and CBC were normal, PSA was 0.6, very good. An EKG was normal.

In short, his examination showed him to be in excellent health. Senator Barack Obama is in overall good physical and mental health needed to maintain the resiliency required in the Office of President.

Sincerely,

David L. Scheiner, M.D.

Resources
Cited Resources
  1. Kornblut, Anne E. Michelle Obama Weighs in on Husband's Smoking. washingtonpost.com. 11 February 2008.
  2. Obama, Barack. Dreams from My Father. New York: Three Rivers Press, Revised Edition, 2004 (original edition 1995).1400082773 Libraries 2004012412. ap. 93 bpp. 100, 188, 255, 304 cp. 430
  3. Scheiner, David L. ["To whom it may concern" letter]. . undated (but apparently 29 May 2008).
    Comment: Dr. David L. Scheiner became Obama's physician in 1987. A scanned copy of the letter is available from the New York Times. The letter is undated, but the Atlantic Magazine posted its copy of the letter on May 29, 2008.
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