Dr. Gott combined the empathy of an old-fashioned family doctor with the outspoken fervor of a patients’ rights advocate in his medical column. He responded to readers’ medical questions with sensitivity and accuracy and was reported to accuse physicians of flaunting their wealth with expensive, showy automobiles, needlessly keeping patients waiting and being more interested in their golf scores and investments than in their patients’ problems. Perhaps that is the reason he was known as America’s most popular medical columnist. He simply wasn’t afraid to speak out in defense of a patient when health care issues were being ignored.
His daily column was syndicated from 1984 to September 2011 when he was replaced as a result of changes within the syndicate; however, he wrote six days a week on his website and for several newspapers, as well. Readers continue to send letters and emails, which his staff now answers in the straight-forward, simple-to-understand language he used over the years.
Dr. Gott was a graduate of Princeton University and Tulane Medical School. He interned at Mt. Sinai Hospital, with residency at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York. He was Past President of his local county medical association, former Chief-of-Staff of his local hospital, sat on their Ethics Committee and was affiliated with several hospice boards.
His publications appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, Archives of Internal Medicine, Patient Care, Modern Medicine, Saturday Review, USA Today, and Working Mother. He published five books: No House Calls, Summer Windows of ‘Sconset, Live Longer, Live Better, Dr. Gott’s No Flour, No Sugar Diet, and Dr. Gott’s No Flour, No Sugar Cookbook.
Dr. Gott retired as a general internist July 1, 2006, exactly 40 years from the date he began. During that period, he maintained an active solo practice, was medical director of two local private schools, saw patients at three local nursing homes, was on call for himself and several colleagues every third day and most holidays, made house calls, and wrote a syndicated medical column. Dr. Gott passed away at home on June 13, 2012.