Dr. Melvyn Lurie

Dr. Melvyn Lurie

Melvyn Lurie grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and was educated in its public schools. He attended John Hopkins University, where he captained its soccer and tennis teams. He graduated with honors, winning the Pre-Medical Student Of TheYear Award and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. At 20 he began his medical education at Harvard Medical School. It was interrupted for a year, when he was a research fellow at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, studying cellular immunology, graduating with honors and winning the Reznick prize for his Pasteur research.

Lurie interned in surgery at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (now Brigham and Woman’s Hospital) in Boston, then entered the U.S. Public Health Service at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland to continue his work in immunology.

In 1971 he moved to Emergency Medicine, when the field was in its infancy. After five years of seeing patients only briefly and desiring a specialty based on in depth knowledge of one biological system, he entered psychiatry at Harvard’s McLean Hospital. He remained on the Harvard Medical Faculty for the next 20 years, teaching students and postgraduate trainees.

At the same time Lurie established a multi-disciplinary private practice in Boston’s financial district, treating members of the business and legal professions. This led to organizational consulting and speaking to local businesses and government. He also served as an expert witness in a variety of legal cases and a consultant to the insurance industry and government in disability evaluations. To enhance his knowledge of the business world, at 58 he obtained an MBA degree in the evenings from Boston University’s Graduate School of Management.

As the healthcare system evolved, he switched to a focus on acutely ill psychiatric patients in hospitals. Currently he continues work with the seriously ill but now with the severely chronically ill. His teaching has not ceased. He combines the case and didactic methods in his work with Tufts medical students.

Lurie’s interest in Politics began early in life. It expanded to the international level during his fellowship years in paris. It was during that year that he traveled extensively in Europe, crossing the border at Checkpoint Charlie to see the soviet block first hand. He saw the long lines of food and the depressed lines of people. He was moved by the Berlin Wall Museum’s stories of courage and ingenuity of people escaping from the exploitative communist system.

Lurie settled in Boston suburbs to raise a family, but the lure of politics remained. He was active in the presidential primary of 1980, supporting the candidate with the most rational approach to the Watergate tragedy. He ran for local political office, served on his town’s Elderly Housing Committee, and spoke, often in poetry, at legislative town meetings. It was during these years that psychiatrist Lurie saw the deeper, unconscious psychological aspects of politics that led to this book.