PERSONAL: Born in Romania; immigrated to United States; naturalized U.S. citizen; married; children: two daughters. Education: New York University, B.A.; State University of New York Downstate College of Medicine, M.D. (cum laude); King's County Hospital Center, postgraduate training.
ADDRESSES: Home—Westchester County, NY. Office—10 W. 74th St., New York, NY 10023.
CAREER: Writer, physician, television show host, and consultant. Westchester County Medical Center, directory of emergency medicine. Health Horizons television show, host, 1995–99. Founder of International Hormone Institute. Member of board of managers, State University of New York Downstate College of Medicine.
MEMBER: Alpha Omega Alpha.
(With Carol Colman) Natural Energy: From Tired to Terrific in Ten Days, Putnam (New York, NY), 1998.
The Hormone Solution: Naturally Alleviate Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance from Adolescence through Menopause, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2002.
The Thirty-Day Natural Hormone Plan: Look and Feel Young Again without Synthetic HRT, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2004.
The Teen Weight-Loss Solution: The Safe and Effective Path to Health and Self-Confidence, Morrow (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Erika Schwartz is an expert in women's health and related issues. Born in Romania, Schwartz was raised in Italy and came to the United States at age fifteen. She became the first woman and the youngest physician ever to direct a major university-hospital trauma center when she became head of the emergency room at Westchester County Medical Center in Valhalla, New York. Schwartz often lectures on medical and health topics and has been a frequent guest on such television programs as O'Reilly Factor, Hardball with Chris Matthews, The View, and CBS Early Show. For four years, Schwartz herself was a television show host and producer for Health Horizons, a program airing in the greater New York metropolitan area and designed to educate patients and to bring doctors and patients closer together.
Schwartz is an advocate for the use of natural hormones in medical care, and is the founder of the International Hormone Institute. Several of her books focus on the use of natural hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in a health-care setting. The Hormone Solution: Naturally Alleviate Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance from Adolescence through Menopause addresses problems with hormonal imbalances that can occur in women at any age. Mood swings and acne in teenage girls are caused by hormone problems; migraines and weight gain can be hormone-related for middle-aged women. In her book, Schwartz offers a "clear, accessible account of the role of hormones in health," noted Judy Bass, writing in Natural Health. She describes how natural plant-based hormones are identical to the types of hormones produced by the body, and are much more effective than synthetic hormones. Though available only by prescription and sometimes difficult to get—pharmaceutical companies have little profit incentive to produce natural hormones since natural substances cannot be patented—Schwartz continues to recommend close collaboration between doctor and patient in devising an effective treatment plan.
In The Thirty-Day Natural Hormone Plan: Look and Feel Young Again without Synthetic HRT Schwartz outlines a program for gradually introducing hormone therapy into a patient's daily lifestyle. She describes a month-long program designed to treat menopausal symptoms with natural hormones. She encourages gradual adoption of more healthful dietary habits while discontinuing the use of sugar, alcohol, processed foods, and caffeine. Library Journal reviewer Martha E. Stone lauded Schwartz's program because she "divides her plan into manageable daily chunks" that can easily fit into a busy lifestyle. A Publishers Weekly critic noted that Schwartz's program "will be helpful" to women with hormonal problems "who want to avoid any possible health risks in taking synthetic hormones."
The Teen Weight-Loss Solution: The Safe and Effective Path to Health and Self-Confidence contains Schwartz's expert suggestions for teenage health and wellness through the use of natural hormones. Not restricted solely to weight loss, Schwartz describes how properly regulated hormones can help adolescent girls "feel physically better and mentally clearer," commented Rachel M. Minkin in Library Journal. "Losing weight is just an added benefit of regulated hormones," Minkin observed. Acne and a number of emotional issues can be successfully addressed with hormone therapy, Schwartz notes. "Schwartz does cover her territory well when it comes to mothers and daughters," commented a Publishers Weekly contributor, who called the book "eye-opening" for parents and teens.
Schwartz told CA: "My mission is to improve healthcare by giving women the tools and support necessary to be healthy at all ages. I am an expert in the use of bioidentical hormones and I integrate natural methods with conventional medical wisdom in all my practices. I started writing ten years ago. For me, writing is the ideal way to share my expertise and life experiences with the public.
"My writing grows out of the information that I gather from my patients, the wisdom shared by the professionals and laymen who I encounter in my daily life, and my personal experience and research. The most surprising thing that I have learned as a writer is how desperate we all are to be acknowledged and not alone. My writing gives people hope, strength, and support. When you read my books you learn that you are not alone but rather are part of a community of millions—and our problems can be solved together. My writing offers safe, caring, and compassionate solutions."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Business Wire, July 5, 2000, "New Natural Hormone Therapy Program Developed by Erika Schwartz, M.D.," p. 2405.
Library Journal, January, 2004, Martha E. Stone, review of The Thirty-Day Natural Hormone Plan: Look and Feel Young Again without Synthetic HRT, p. 148; September 15, 2004, Rachel M. Minkin, review of The Teen Weight-Loss Solution: The Safe and Effective Path to Health and Self-Confidence, p. 75.
Natural Health, May-June, 2002, Judy Bass, "A Look at a Powerful Remedy: This Doctor's New Book Says Natural Hormones Are Not Just for Menopause," p. 103.
Publishers Weekly, November 10, 2003, review of The Thirty-Day Natural Hormone Plan, p. 56; July 5, 2004, review of The Teen Weight-Loss Solution, p. 53.
Erika Schwartz Home Page, http://www.drerika.com (June 12, 2005).