A Patient with Real "Passion" for Life

Physician's Money DigestMarch31 2004
Volume 11
Issue 6

I suppose every busy physician has had their shareof "famous patients." My doctor-father tells mehe had a few, including one reputed New Jerseymobster kingpin. Upon being asked by my fatherwhat would happen if dad owed him a lot of moneyand could not pay, he replied, "Well, we wouldn't hurtyou, doc, but we know where your family lives."

ThePassion of the Christ

Another one of dad's patients of note came to myattention as a result of the widespread commentarysurrounding a new thought-provoking film, . The Mel Gibson–backed film onthe death of Jesus has earned over $350 million in USbox office receipts, making it an all-time blockbuster.

Greatest Story

The Bible

The Day Christ Died

The first popular book written on the subject ofthe death of Jesus—other than , of course—was the 1957 bestseller, . It wasauthored by Jim Bishop, who was a patient of mydad's for 15 years in the 1950s and 1960s. The quick reading,272-page book is a historic, not religious,account of that fateful, 24-hour time period culminatingon April 7, 30 AD.

The Day ChristWas Born, The Birth of the United States, The DayKennedy Was Shot, The Days of Martin Luther King,Jr, and The Day Lincoln Was Shot

Other Bishop bestsellers include . The book onPresident Lincoln's assassination, published in 1955,was the one that made him wealthy and famous. Healso dined with and wrote about three US presidentsand called John Wayne, Jimmy Cagney, JackieGleason, and Jimmy Hoffa friends.

Doctor Duty

Bishop was also a prolific columnist for HearstCorp for 25 years, syndicated in over 200 nationalnewspapers. A June 1960 column covered a visit tomy dad's medical office. The writer's offering, entitled"Doctors Snare an Artful Dodger," was a witty day-in-the-life account of his visit with three health careprofessionals—an internist, radiologist, and dentist.

Referring to my dad and his then medical partner,Dr. George Sheehan, Bishop wrote, "When they heardthat I was coming they flipped a coin. Kelly lost. So heprobed, punched, listened, weighed, regarded,opened, closed, hefted, and said wearily: You ought tolose 25 pounds. Otherwise, you're okay." Exhaustiveas that examination may have been, the other twohealers weren't nearly as accommodating of him aswas my dad.

The Jersey City, NJ, native died in 1987 at age 80.Dad said that despite all his celebrity, Bishop was a"regular guy" who always sought to help others. "Hewas a self-made man, so fame never really changedhim," dad explained.

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