Simon, Harvey B(ruce) 1942-
SIMON, Harvey B(ruce) 1942-
PERSONAL: Born July 6, 1942 in New York, NY; married Rita G. Stillman, August 21, 1966. Education: Yale University, B.A., 1963; Harvard Medical School, M.D., 1967; postgraduate study at the National Institutes for Health, 1969-72, and Massachusetts General Hospital, 1972-73.
ADDRESSES: Office—Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St., Ima 6, WAC 625, Boston, MA 02114.
CAREER: Georgetown University, Washington, DC, clinical instructor of medicine, 1971-72; Harvard Medical School, instructor, 1973-74, assistant professor, 1974—; affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital since 1973. U.S. Public Health Service, wartime affiliate, 1969-71.
MEMBER: American Association of Immunologists, Alpha Omega Alpha.
(With Steven R. Levisohn) Tennis Medic: Conditioning, Sports Medicine, and Total Fitness for Every Player, foreword by Stan Smith, illustrated by Bruce Terizian, Mosby (St. Louis, MO), 1984.
(With Steven R. Levisohn) The Athlete Within: A Personal Guide to Total Fitness, illustrated by Sheila B. Connari, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1987.
Staying Well: Your Complete Guide to Disease Prevention, illustrated by Casserine Toussaint, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1992.
Conquering Heart Disease: New Ways to Live Well without Drugs or Surgery, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1994.
The Harvard Medical School Guide to Men's Health, Free Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Founding editor of Harvard Men's Health Watch newsletter.
SIDELIGHTS: A physician on staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital and professor at the Harvard Medical School, Harvey B. Simon has written several books on medical issues for the general public. These works include advice on physical fitness and sports, disease prevention, and men's health. Simon has repeatedly been commended for providing a wealth of information on improving one's health and for his readable, straightforward approach. He is also the founding editor of the popular Harvard Men's Health Watch newsletter.
Two of Simon's earliest titles, written with Steven R. Levisohn, focus on sports and fitness: Tennis Medic: Conditioning, Sports Medicine, and Total Fitness for Every Player and The Athlete Within: A Personal Guide to Total Fitness. The authors recommend long term lifestyle modification incorporating healthy eating and exercise, and discourage dieting. They provide an exercise program and guidelines for determining appropriate body weight and nutrition. The benefits of competitive sports and what the book terms "life" sports, such as walking, running, and swimming, are discussed. A review of The Athlete Within in Publishers Weekly described the work as being "authoritative," although the reviewer considered the program best suited to "determined, disciplined readers."
In Staying Well: Your Complete Guide to Disease Prevention Simon provides information on inexpensive lifestyle choices that can reduce the reliance on costly medical intervention. He shows how the top-ten causes of death, led by heart disease and cancer, are affected by factors such as diet, exercise, and environment. The book is divided into sections addressing each system of the body and considers conditions ranging from memory loss to AIDS. It also includes a list of "Ten Commandments of Prevention" and contact information for gaining additional information. Simon's treatment earned several strong reviews. A Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that while the author's suggestions breaks no new ground, that his friendly tone is pleasing. Writing for Booklist, Gilbert Taylor was convinced by the author's "warmly straight talk" and called his manner "splendidly erudite but unaffectedly uncondescending." Library Journal reviewer James Swanton recommended the "straightforward, professional" work and likened it to "an extended office call." Physician Thomas C. Coniglione commented in Physician and Sportsmedicine, that the book is "timely and refreshing." He found that Simon's writing style makes the material accessible for a general audience and that the wide range of information also makes it a valuable tool for a variety of medical professionals.
Simon's work on the Harvard Cardiovascular Health Center Team and his own family history of heart disease are the background to Conquering Heart Disease: New Ways to Live Well without Drugs or Surgery. The three-part work details the biology of heart disease, fifteen steps to combat such illness, and the doctor's role in cardiovascular health. Simon reviews studies suggesting that antioxidants, niacin, and small amounts of alcohol are beneficial. He also relates on his own struggle with stress, smoking, insufficient exercise, and weight gain. Library Journal's Janet M. Schneider found Conquering Heart Disease to be an "informative, readable book." She noted that one of the author's strengths is his "rational, factual manner" in explaining supplements.
In The Harvard Medical School Guide to Men's Health Simon tailors his message of healthy living to a male audience. Using three Harvard studies, he details how research over the past twenty-five years has identified which illnesses should be of special concern to men and what methods work best to prevent these diseases. The discussion includes an explanation of why women live longer than men, a review of male-specific diseases and those that affect men differently than women, and suggestions on how men can use diet, supplements, exercise, and behavior modification to prevent disease. Writing for Booklist William Beatty called the book "comprehensive [and] informative," although he wondered, given that the subjects of the Harvard studies were mostly affluent, white men, if their results were broadly applicable. A Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that the book should be "required reading" for men of all ages, thanks to Simon's ability to drive home his message of prevention while also considering the sometimes controversial aspects of health research.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 1992, Gilbert Taylor, review of Staying Well, p. 1986; August, 2002, William Beatty, review of The Harvard Medical School Guide to Men's Health, p. 1904.
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 1987, review of The Athlete Within, p. 1064.
Library Journal, August, 1992, James Swanton, review of Staying Well, pp. 92-93; September 1, 1994, Janet M. Schneider, review of Conquering Heart Disease, p. 205.
Physician and Sportsmedicine, January, 1994, Thomas C. Coniglione, review of Staying Well, pp. 20-21.
Publishers Weekly, July 17, 1987, review of The Athlete Within, p. 47; July 20, 1992, review of Staying Well, p. 255; August 29, 1994, review of Conquering Heart Disease, p. 75; August 5, 2002, review of The Harvard Medical School Guide to Men's Health, p. 70.*