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Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD
Curriculum Vitae | Publications


· Yale University, 1956 AB
· Gold Medal, 1956 Olympic Games – 8-oared rowing event
· Western Reserve University, 1961, MD
· Surgical Training – The Cleveland Clinic Foundation
· St. George’s Hospital, London, England

Cleveland Clinic:

· President of Medical Staff, 1977-1978
· Member, Board of Governors, 1977-1982
· Past Chairman, Breast Cancer Task Force
· Former Head, Section of Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery
· Preventive Medicine Consultant 2009-Present
· Director Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Reversal Program
Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute 2009-Present



· President, American Association of Endocrine Surgeons
· “Best Doctors in America”, 1994-1995
· Scientific Publications – Beyond 150 in Peer Review Journals
· Director and Program Chairman, “1” National Conference
on the Elimination & Prevention of Coronary Artery Disease”,
Tucson, AZ, 1991
· Arresting and Reversing Coronary Artery Disease – A 5-Year
Study. The Journal of Family Practice, Vol. 41,No. 6(Dec)1995.
· Director and Program Chairman, “Summit on Cholesterol
& Coronary Disease”, Orlando, FL, 1997
· Editor, “Proceedings on Summit on Cholesterol &
Coronary Disease Supplement The American Journal of cardiology,
Vol. 82(1OB),
November 26, 1998
· Updating a 12-Year Experience with Arrest and Reversal
Therapy for Coronary Heart Disease, The American Journal of Cardiology,
Vol. 84, August 1, 1999.
· The 2015 Plantrician Project Luminary Award
· American College of Lifestyle Medicine 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award
· Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award


Twenty-three years ago, while chairman of the Cleveland Clinic’s Breast Cancer Task Force, general surgeon Caldwell B. Esseistyn, Jr., M.D., grew disappointed in the way he and his colleagues were treating cancer and heart disease. Relying on pills and procedures despite their side effects and risks, Dr. Esselstyn says he and his peers were doing “nothing to prevent disease in the next unsuspecting victim.” This was particularly frustrating given that research studies had already suggested an obvious culprit. The fatty American diet was, in all likelihood, responsible for heart disease and many Western cancers, which are infrequently seen in parts of the world where much less fat is consumed.

Targeting heart disease, Dr. Esselstyn’s experiment started at home. He and his wife adopted a plant-based diet, cutting out oil, meat, fish, fowl and dairy. “It means a lot to patients to know their doctor is making the same changes they are,” he says. Since studies show a craving for fat diminishes the less fat one eats, and since patients have hundreds of recipes from which to choose, the physician and his heart
patients have grown comfortable with their routine over time.

Cleveland nutrition consultant Kris Napier attributes some of
the success of Dr. Esselystyn’ s research study to the time and
personal attention the surgeon devotes to the patients. He met with
each patient every other week for the first five years of the study,
every month thereafter. The surgeon, his wife, the patients and
their families still gather several times a year for picnics at
which they share favorite low-fat, plant-based dishes.


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