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“Real Doc Hollywood” to speak to medical school graduates
(Apr. 19, 2004)
The physician known as “The Real Doc Hollywood” will present the convocation address to East Carolina University’s medical class of 2004 on May 7.
The Brody School of Medicine convocation to honor the Class of 2004 will begin at 9 a.m. in Wright Auditorium with Dr. Neil Shulman giving the featured address to the class.
Shulman, an associate professor of medicine at Emory University, wrote “What? Dead…Again?” a novel that was the basis for the “Doc Hollywood” film and served as associate producer of the 1991 hit movie starring Michael J. Fox. He describes himself as not only a physician, but also an author, speaker and entertainer.
He has written or co-authored 20 books on topics ranging from his experiences as a young doctor to good health practices for both patients and physicians and children’s books. Some of his titles include “Finally…I’m a Doctor,” “Your Body’s Red Light Warning Signals: Medical Tips That May Save your Life,” “What’s in a Doctor’s Bag?” “How to Have a Habit,” and “The Germ Patrol.”
Shulman’s career is not all humor and speaking engagements throughout the country; he has also authored numerous research papers and acted as co-investigator on National Institutes of Health clinical research grants totaling more than $8 million. He has extensive experience in preventative medicine and patient education, particularly in the area of hypertension and kidney and heart diseases.
From his office at Emory University School of Medicine, Shulman said he will speak to the medical graduates about the opportunities that lie ahead for them.
“I plan on telling them that they are about to embark on a very exciting adventure,” he said. “That they can launch their degree into a wide array of careers. A medical degree gives you many opportunities. You can do research one year and go to Africa another. It’s not just one thing. That’s what I’ve done. I’ve used my career for a lot of other things.
“And I want them to go through their careers with a smile. Life is a dash between two numbers on a tombstone. And it’s a great place to help others enjoy their dash.”
Shulman has been involved during his career in creating charitable organizations involved in increasing the understanding between children of different cultures, enriching the lives of elderly nursing home residents and helping to provide needed heart surgery for children who could not have otherwise obtained it.
One of his current projects involves promoting medical literacy in the public. He has established several websites, including one devoted to medical literacy: www.dochollywoodproject.com.
Shulman is working on a screenplay of his book, “Back Yard Tribe,” for Walt Disney Studios. He is also working on production of a national children’s program, “What’s in a Doctor’s Bag?”
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