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Bernie S. Siegel facts for kids

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Bernie Siegel
Born (1932-10-14) October 14, 1932 (age 89)
Nationality American
Education Colgate University, Cornell University
Occupation Surgeon, author, New Age speaker
Employer Yale University
Spouse(s) Bobbie
Parent(s) Simon B. Siegel and Rose Siegel

Bernie Siegel (born October 14, 1932) is an American writer and retired pediatric surgeon, who writes on the relationship between the patient and the healing process. He is known for his best-selling book Love, Medicine and Miracles.

Early life and education

Siegel was born on October 14, 1932 in Brooklyn, New York. He received a B.A. from Colgate University and his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, graduating with Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha honors. He was trained in surgery at Yale–New Haven Hospital, West Haven Veteran’s Hospital and the UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.



Siegel practiced general medicine and pediatric surgery until 1989, when he retired from Yale as an Assistant Clinical Professor of General and Pediatric Surgery.

Medical research and advocacy

Psychosocial support therapy

Exceptional Cancer Patients (ECP) is a non-profit organization founded by Siegel in 1978. As described in a 1989 article in The New York Times, patients "with cancer and such other serious illnesses as AIDS and multiple sclerosis use group and individual psychotherapy, imagery exercises and dream work to try to unravel their emotional distress, which, Dr. Siegel says, strongly contributes to their physical maladies." The ECP was created to provide resources, professional training programs and interdisciplinary retreats that help people facing the challenges of cancer and other chronic illnesses. In the fall of 1999, the Mind-Body Wellness Center (owned and operated by Meadville Medical Center and MMC Health Systems, Inc., a non-profit organization) acquired and assumed operations of the ECaP.

In 2008, Jerome Groopman, reviewing Anne Harrington's The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine, noted that a study by David Spiegel which (Harrington wrote) appeared to support Siegel's claims that breast cancer was partly caused by emotional turmoil, and that "dramatic remissions could occur if patients simply gave up their emotional repression, without chemotherapy or radiation." However, Groopman noted that later trials failed to show any significant beneficial effects.

Siegel's theories concerning the purported benefits of psychosocial support therapy remain unproven. He has stated: "a vigorous immune system can overcome cancer if it is not interfered with, and emotional growth toward greater self-acceptance and fulfillment helps keep the immune system strong", but Stephen Barret argues that Siegel has published no scientific study supporting these claims. A cohort study intended to measure the effects of positive mental imagery on breast cancer survival rates found no significant impact. Earlier indications of strong beneficial effects in the study were found to be a statistical error due to selection bias. However, a possible effect could not be ruled out, as the study had a "relative lack of statistical power", and that "the program might have other beneficial effects on the quality of life".

Siegel is an Academic Director of the Experiential Health and Healing program at The Graduate Institute in Bethany, Connecticut.


  • 1986 - Love, Medicine & Miracles - HarperCollins Publishers ,
  • 1989 - Peace, Love & Healing - HarperCollins Publishers ,
  • 1993 - How to Live Between Office Visits - HarperCollins Publishers ,
  • 1999 - Prescriptions for Living - HarperCollins Publishers ,
  • 2003 - 365 Prescriptions For the Soul - New World Library ,
  • 2003 - Help Me To Heal - Hay House ,
  • 2004 - Smudge Bunny - (Children's book - Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant) - New World Library/HJ Kramer ,
  • 2006 - Love, Magic, and Mudpies: Raising Your Kids to Feel Loved, Be Kind, and Make a Difference - Rodale Books
  • 2009 - Faith, Hope and Healing: Inspiring Lessons Learned from People Living with Cancer - Wiley ,
  • 2009 - 101 Exercises for the Soul: Simple Practices for a Healthy Body, Mind, and Spirit - New World Library ,
  • 2011 - A Book Of Miracles: Inspiring True Stories of Healing, Gratitude, and Love - New World Library ,
  • 2013 - "The Art of Healing: Uncovering Your Inner Wisdom and Potential for Self-Healing" - New World Library,


  • 2004 - Meditations for Peace of Mind (Prescriptions for Living) (Audiobook, CD) - Hay House ,
  • 2006 - Love, Magic, and Mudpies: Raising Your Kids to Feel Loved, Be Kind, and Make a Difference (Audio Edition) - Gildan Media, LLC


  • 1989 - An Evening With Dr. Bernie Siegel - Upstate Media Enterprises
  • 1994 - Voices of the New Age - Hartley Film Foundation
  • 1995 - Hope and a Prayer: How Hope, Humor and Love Can Heal - Bernie Seigel M.D. - Hay House
  • 1997 - Fight for Your Life - Varied Directions/ The Hoffman Collection
  • 1996 - Bernie Siegel: How to Live Between Office Visits - Mystic Fire Video
  • 1998 - Love Medicine & Miracles - Mystic Fire Video
  • 1999 - A Conversation with Bernie Siegel - Wisdom Television
  • 2011 - What If?: the Movie - Awakening to Our Unlimited Self - James A. Sinclair documentary
  • Bernie Siegel, M.D. - Inner Vision: Visualizing Super Health - Hartley Film Foundation
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