A Renowned Pediatrician Remembers His Life in Iran and Beyond
Sherman Oaks, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/31/2007 -- “Over the past fifty years, I have served as pediatrician to Royalty and the world’s wealthiest families, the kind you see on magazine covers, as well as to the poorest people on Earth, the kind you see late at night, on television.” So says Ralph Salimpour M.D., D.C.H., F.A.A.P. in his just-published memoir, Silent River, Empty Night: Diary of a Pediatrician in Iran, which encompasses his personal and professional life, as well as his experiences during the revolution in Iran.
Dr. Ralph R. Salimpour is the senior attending physician of the renowned Salimpour Pediatric Medical Group in Los Angeles, California and is internationally recognized as a global expert in the fields of tetanus, malnutrition, and rickets. He attended the Shiraz School of Medicine in Iran and is a graduate of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of England, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center/UCLA School of Medicine. He has practiced medicine on three continents over the span of more than five decades.
When he was 23 years old, he graduated from medical school. “The science fiction of those days is reality now: to live with someone else’s kidney, a dead man’s heart beating in someone else’s chest, seeing through a different cornea, cloning, and genome mapping, to name but a few. Many diseases have been eradicated and the severity of some has diminished tremendously. A lot of diseases are under control, while some new entities such as AIDS and SARS have emerged. These battles will be won, too,” Dr. Salimpour says with authority.
Through the years, Dr. Salimpour recalls being called at odd times of the night by an anxious mother whose child had high fever and was hallucinating, a father who had lost his prescription, or simply for a healthy toddler who wanted to play at two o’clock in the morning and would not sleep. “Will I ever see again any of the children for whom I lost so much sleep?” he wonders. “Will the young man whose life I saved in the middle of the night ever know to whom he owes his life? Or will the little girl whose Willm’s tumor was accidentally discovered when she was on her way to China know that, if she had not been carefully examined during a routine examination, she would have never lived to see her teen years?”
The fact that Dr. Salimpour knows, and these children lived and grew up and had children of their own, is enough for him. As an Iranian Jew, Dr. Salimpour loves his adopted country, the United States of America, and he has found professional success and personal happiness here. Yet he longs to go back to Iran and see his homeland again. “My birthplace, Khoramshahr, was destroyed and burnt by Sadam Hossein,” he laments. “His people even had no mercy for its beautiful tall palm trees. I would love to go back to Tehran and see how big that little twenty-bed children’s hospital has grown. The ‘baby’ we cared for had two hundred beds when I left. I wonder if any of the babies I saved from lethal diseases such as tetanus or malnutrition remember me now.”
For Dr. Salimpour, medicine in general, and pediatrics in particular, are lifelong pursuits. Silent River, Empty Night is a documentary of real life -- the real life of children who grow up to be fathers, mothers, and grandparents, and the real life of the physician whose greatest pleasure in life, aside from his family, is to bring a smile of relief to a worried face – whether it belongs to a child of wealth or poverty, on this continent or anywhere around the world.
Silent River, Empty Night
By Ralph Salimpour M.D., D.C.H., F.A.A.P.
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Publication Date: March 2007
Availability: Online at Amazon.com, BN.com, and Borders.com. Also, available via special order at major book retailers.