ABC7 Takes A Look Back At Dr. Dean Edell's Career

Monday, March 12, 2007

This is an historic day at ABC7, because one of the pioneers of medical television is retiring from after 27 years. Dr. Dean Edell is retiring from his daily television reports here on Channel 7 but you can continue to catch him on his radio show on KGO AM 810. So we decided to take a quick look back at dr. Dean edell's wild ride.

Once upon a time, there was doctor who would train for 13 years to be an eye surgeon, but one day he walked away, dropped out and became a tried-and-true hippie.

Then 27 years ago, we kind of cleaned him up, except for the hair, and turned him into a TV personality.

One of his first appearances was discussing tampons as a cause of toxic shock.

Dr. Dean Edell: "There are a lot of physicians who feel the string might be implicated."

Thus began a most unique media career.

Edell was always ahead of the curve. In the early 80's, he was one of the first to report on a "mysterious" illness, later known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. At the height of early AIDS hysteria, Dr. Dean made a point of shaking hands with AIDS patients to show people didn't get it from touching.

Dr. Dean was one of the first journalists to look at the science behind such controversial issues as circumcision, childhood immunization, medical marijuana and the myth of silicone breast implant disease.

In addition to keeping us up on the latest research, he introduced us to the human side of medicine with real heroes like Brian, a scleroderma patient with a heart of gold, and Gene, disfigured by porphyria, a rare sun-sensitivity disease, who was also a loving father to a wonderful family.

Dr. Dean Edell: "Until recently sleep apnea in kids was virtually unrecognized."

Many Bay Area viewers never realized Dean's news reports aired throughout the United States, and even in Russia.

You'd even catch Dr. Dean dropping in on network shows like "The Today Show" and trying to get a word in edgewise with the ladies on "The View."

And Dean also did several full-length programs and is probably the only medical doctor to have his own daily network television show.

In addition to television, he's one of the most popular radio talk show hosts and can be heard in over 300 cities.

Along the way, Dean has put several of his kids on TV and shown he's a big kid himself when he climbed into an F-18 fighter jet for the ride of his life.

So after 27 years, what it all comes down to is Dr. Dean's desire to teach us about our bodies and to inform, to educate and to empower each one of us about our own health.

Dean may pop up here from time to time when we need his expert opinion on a major medical story.

And you can still catch him on KGO Radio and ask him medical questions every weekday at 1 p.m. on 810 on the AM dial.

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