Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News!

the doctor prescribes cover

The Doctor Prescribes

This is one of those small booklets that advise patients on basic wellness. In other words, what to do when you are stressed-50s style. Phones and deadlines are “lethal weapons designed to commit civilized suicide”. The basic prescription is fresh air, eat right, go to bed early and get up earlier.

Some of the specific suggestions:

Nothing too spicy(don’t drown your breakfast eggs in pepper)

Limit drinking

Limit sugar

Get out in the country and breathe deeply

Sun bathe

Play golf

Get a hobby

The big advice centers on ulcers, cancer, and heart attacks and everyone knows that protocols and diagnostics for these conditions have changed quite a bit in 60 years. The other material is more wellness and lifestyle habits. Of course all of this advice assumes you are a upper middle class white man in an office job in the city. Ladies and others, you just have to suck it up.


doctor prescribes summary

table of contents of doctor prescribes

relaxation advice




  1. Ah the good old days when people could lie in the sun for hours with no protection and get a “healthy” tan. And if you had a pack of smokes to light up while you were at it, all the better!

  2. And don’t forget-a nice soothing menthol cigarette can both energize and sooth the lungs.

  3. Is that a quilt on the wall? Review & Herald is (was) one of the Seventh-Day Adventist publishing houses.

    1. Ah-ha, I should have known! The Seventh-day Adventists are the health-manes of Christendom, the people who brought us the Delightful Food cookbook you featured a while back with all the vegetarian recipes!

  4. A lot of this advice sounds pretty reasonable… though you might want to add sunscreen into the mix.

  5. if I ate a breakfast that big I’d be too bloated to do much shopping right afterwards! (and who gets dressed up to go shopping anyway?)

    1. Oh, in 1949 you got dressed up to go shopping. You — if you were female — wore a dress or suit, stockings, gloves and a hat. I remember my mother saying that even in the mid-50s she would wear a hat to go downtown. Ten years later, even though she didn’t wear the hats anymore to go shopping, she was horrified that I went downtown in cutoffs and bare feet: what if someone she knew saw me?! Even being accompanied by the son of the bank president was insufficient melioration.

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