A. T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) has recently published Dr. Max, a book on Max T. Gutensohn, D.O.  Dr. Max, as he was affectionately called locally and throughout the osteopathic profession, taught and practiced medicine in Kirksville for nearly 50 years. Revered by everyone who had the chance to meet or to learn from him, Dr. Max made a lasting impression with his humble and wise demeanor and his commitment to patients, students, and the osteopathic medical profession.  Dr. Max, who died in 2002, was known nationwide as an osteopathic icon and widely recognized for his superb diagnostic skills.  He received numerous prestigious awards and honors throughout his career and served as the president of ATSU in 1983-84.

Dr. Max, is a collection of his reflections on a variety of subjects from osteopathic manipulation, to his tremor, to golf, and even to Ernest Hemingway.  It also includes stories and tributes written by those who loved and admired him.  The collection paints a picture of a man who, despite his physical disabilities, rose to the top of his profession.  Glimpses of his dedication, brilliance, gentleness, compassion, and superb diagnostic skills, as well as his sense of humor, appear throughout the collection.

One of the tributes in the book is by Dr. Jack Magruder, president of ATSU: “When I was just a kid, we lived on East Jefferson, several blocks from A. T. Still University.  My father was very ill and had been for two or three years, and Dr. Max was his physician.  Dad couldn’t get to the doctor’s office easily, so Dr. Max would come to my house, carry his black bag, treat my father, talk to him, and encourage him.  All of us in the family—I was probably in junior high—had such admiration for Dr. Max, this physician who would come to our house and take care of our father.  We thought he was next to God.  And then, lo and behold, I found out later when my dad was gone and I am old that actually he probably was next to God in the way people viewed him.”

The book, edited by Phyllis Blondefield, Ph.D., is available at the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine on the campus of ATSU.  Proceeds from the sale of the book go toward the Gutensohn/SGA Student Endowed Emergency Grant Fund.

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