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Culture > Bibliography > Medical Pioneer of the 20th Century

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submitted by George Poulos on 25.05.2004

Medical Pioneer of the 20th Century

Author:Dr. Archie Kalokerinos

When Published:2001.

Publisher:Biological Therapies Publishing, Melbourne.

Available:This book is available from ACNEM
(Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine)
See, http://www.acnem.org

Also from the Kytherian World Heritage Fund.
Contact Angelo Notaras, 02 9810 0194
Email, Angelo Notaras
George Poulos, 02 93888320
Email George Poulos

Description:Soft Cover, 464 pages, with Foreword, Introduction, Table of Contents and Epilogue.

Price: AU$25.00

Weight: 562 g

Medical Pioneer of the 20th Century - Archie Kalokerinos Book Cover Medical Pioneer

Book Review: Medical Pioneer of the 20th Century

Daan Spijer, LLB

In the early 1970s, as a solicitor, I was involved in the fledgling Fitzroy Legal Service. I experienced the frustrations of trying to deal with governments and government organisations in an open and honest way. I also discovered the dangers of trying to upset entrenched and vested interests with occasional death threats from businesses which objected to their illegal and immoral actions being exposed. I therefore felt a strong resonance with Dr. Kalokerinos when I read this gripping, first-hand account of his life.

The title of this book is ambitious and will engender incredulity in some. However, there will not be many who can fault the title once they have read the book. Dr. Kalokerinos is honest about both his contribution to medical science and the contributions of others. There is no false modesty here and no plagiarism.

It may seem incredible to some readers that there can be so much opposition from authorities to the advancement of medical knowledge, but it needs to be remembered that there are many with much to lose when the status quo is upset. Medicine is to a large extent in the hands of big business and there are many practitioners who simply cannot abide the idea that what they learned at university was not the whole truth – perish the thought that it may not even have been close to the truth.

Much of what Dr. Kalokerinos writes about is not even new although to many it may seem revolutionary. For decades researchers around the world have been publishing work which points to the benefits of approaching medicine from the question of "what has caused this condition?", rather than with the question "how can I remove the symptoms?". Much of the medical part of this book is about the answers to the former question and it is these answers which seem to have so upset the establishment, which is more interested in answers to the latter question. Much of the practice of medicine is analogous to an engineer seeing a patch of oil which has obviously leaked from an aeroplane’s landing gear and ‘fixing’ it by wiping away the oil patch.

I felt my anger rising when I read of the reactions to the progress Dr. Kalokerinos made in reducing the infant death rate in the Collarenebri area (outback NSW, Australia) from one of the highest in the world (including so-called developing countries) to the lowest in the world. Most of the responses to this miracle were in the realm of disbelief, hostility, denigration, denial and threats. He was branded a dangerous man and in other ways personally insulted, yet very few took the trouble to look at what he was doing and try it for themselves. The result, as he puts it, was and continues to be thousands of unnecessary and preventable infant deaths. The prevention of these deaths is simple and relatively cheap and cannot be patented.

Dr. Kalokerinos’ work covers such conditions as sudden infant deaths, sudden unexpected shock, sudden unexpected unconsciousness, otitis media, shaken babies; much of it has to do with the important role of diet and antioxidants. He emphasises the need for careful observation, the asking of questions arising from those observations and honesty. All of these seem to be missing from much of the practice of medicine.

In this autobiography, the author writes about his beginnings as the son of Greek immigrants from Kythera, his childhood, his medical training in Australia and England, his early medical practice, his diversion into opal mining and his return to medical practice. The story of the diversion also makes riveting reading. Few know that Dr. Archie Kalokerinos was a world expert on opals and wrote two books on the subject.

For those who know Dr. Kalokerinos and read this book, there may be surprise that he is not more bitter and more disillusioned than he is. Many of us have heard him lecture on the subject of his work with Aboriginal children and the many lives he saved, as well as the horrible oppositions he encountered. We know him as a passionate and compassionate human being. Despite his 73 years (or because of them), he has much still to offer the world in knowledge and understanding. It is criminal that he has not been recognised more than he has and hopefully this will be corrected in his lifetime. In 2000 Dr. Kalokerinos was given the honour of being named Greek Australian of the Century.

Dr. Kalokerinos counted amongst his close friends Dr. Linus Pauling, Dr. Glen Dettman, Dr. Fred Hollows (now all dead) and many other forward-thinking and honest people. He is a friend and mentor to many around the world who try to practise their medical craft honestly and compassionately, often in the face of opposition from governments and colleagues. He is a valued Fellow of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine.

Dr. Kalokerinos’ humanity and honesty comes out throughout this book and can be seen in the following paragraph towards the end of this work:

"Many of my medical enemies are dead. Tempting though the thought is, I cannot gloat. I can only wonder where their stubborn, often grossly dishonest, activities got them. Some of my greatest enemies, including those who would have gladly seen me sent to hell, when faced with grave medical disorders, came to me for advice and help. Needless to say, I did what I could for them."

This book should be read from cover to cover by all doctors, medical bureaucrats, health ministers, hospital administrators and anyone else who has anything to do with the delivery of medical services. It should also be read by all people who value their health and the right to choose what they consider to be the most appropriate intervention for whatever ails them, without being dictated to by those who fear change because of vested interest or just because it makes them uncomfortable.

We should all feel uncomfortable that governments and industry have such a devastating control over our lives.

It is through the honesty, integrity and tenacity of people such as Archie Kalokerinos that changes will eventually come about. As George Bernard Shaw put it: "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. All progress depends on the unreasonable man."

See also: extracts of one chapter of this book in Photography Diaspora - subsection - Working Life.

The above review appeared in Journal of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine, Vol. 20, No. 1, April 2001, page 11. The review is reproduced here with permission of the author. Copyright in the article vests with ACNEM.

Reprinted at kythera-family.net with permission.


Medical Pioneer of the 20th Century - Archie Kalokerinos 1

Genealogy and childhood

Detailed analysis of Archies' Parents and Childhood, from Medical Pioneer of the Twentieth Century

Peter Tsicalas's references to Nick Emmanuel Kalokerinos, and his first cafe in Emmaville

Medical Student, Internship and Ship's Surgeon

Detailed analysis. Archie as Medical Student, Intern and Ship's Surgeon

Opal Fever

Archie digging out opals as a young man, 1967

George Christianos showing author Archie Kalokerinos Opals from the 8 mile find

Medical Pioneer of the Twentieth Century

Review of the book, Medical Pioneer of the Twentieth Century, including details about where to purchase it

Introduction to Medical Pioneer of the Twentieth Century

Involvement with indigenous Australians. From Chapter 21, Medical Pioneer of the Twentieth Century

Dr Ian Dettmans' appraisal of Archie Kalokerinos

Book Forward, 1984 - Indicating Archie's holistic and preventative orientation to health issues

Response to Warren and Marshall winning the Nobel prize for Medicine, 2005

Awards

Greek Australian of the CENTURY

The Later Years

Archie in 2005

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