This blog consists of 5 permanent posts. Please read all posts for a complete understanding of this medical misadventure.

Thinking about hiring Dr. John L. Kuehn - let's put it this way - you better shop around....

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dr. John L. Kuehn responds

The Owl Of Disdain.

"Seldom in my life have I met... [pregnant pause] a dumber man." 

A disheveled Dr. John L. Kuehn pontificates as he drinks the night away at his Ottawa Hills, Ohio, 60-year high school reunion on June 19, 2008.   He leaves in his wake, a legacy of deceit and failure.

Primum non nocere
 "first, do no harm." 

John L. Kuehn, M.D.
Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, NEOUCOM - Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine

Many Psychiatrists and Psychologists are drawn to the profession because of their own pasts and problems. It creates an interest in the workings of the mind... maybe they deserve closer scrutiny than the average person, not less.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Who watches the watcher?

Send email to John L. Kuehn, M.D.

With lies you may get ahead in the world - but you can never go back. - Russian proverb

Tell me Dr. Kuehn, how would you feel if a physician treated you as you treated me, during your freshman year of college?

The past never changes and thus Dr. Kuehn's legacy will forever be marred and marked with the indelible stain which he alone placed upon his soul. The fact that Dr. Kuehn is in such deep denial and apparently suffers no remorse is troubling. I would be ashamed and would find it impossible to live with the burden of such guilt on my conscience.


Click on the letter to enlarge and read
The art of selective disremembrance by a man full of deceit.

"There are some people," Smiley declared comfortably, "who, when their past is threatened, get frightened of losing everything they thought that they had, and perhaps everything that they thought they were as well.
John le Carré, The Secret Pilgrim.

"Never write a letter, never destroy one."
-Cardinal Richelieu

"I really don't remember any details about the identity of the patients in the Whitman brief communication to APA 40 years ago. The LSU records are probably long gone, and it would be impossible to identify specific patients from them even if they existed because of disguised identities.
Although I have no specific memory of you I do know that you would not have been one of the patients since you told me you were not a marksman and had not been in the service."

I don't believe you, Dr. Kuehn and I don't believe that reasonable people who read this blog will believe you. It is not reasonable for you not to remember the details about the identity of the patients in the Whitman Syndrome speech and paper; a speech and paper which were together your Magnum Opus.  The Whitman Syndrome paper and speech marked  the high water mark of your less than distinguished career, notwithstanding your propensity to engage in name dropping. Frankly, I believe that you knew precisely what you were doing at all times and felt that you could get away with it indefinitely.

Nor do I believe that you do not remember me. You contradict yourself in your own letter, when you state that that "you told me you were not a marksman and had not been in the service." Furthermore, as you well know, I left my stereo with you in Baton Rouge. When I did not return to school, your wife took the stereo to Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where she was apparently enrolled in graduate school. I remember very clearly, telephoning you during the summer of 1969 and being struck by the change in your personality which could perhaps best be described as a tone of indifference. At the time I thought it was quite strange. Subsequently in the late summer of 1969, I picked up my stereo in Bloomington.  Clearly,  Dr. Kuehn, you remember me.
Of course I had not been in the service; you disguised my identity to some extent by stating that I was 21 and had served 3 years in the Marine Corps.
Unlike you Dr. Kuehn, I have an excellent memory.  Let those who read this blog judge the veracity of your letter.
For the information of my readers, I was invited by The American Journal of Psychiatry to submit a manuscript concerning this most unfortunate incident for publication. I elected instead to publish the story via this blog.

Click to enlarge

Welcome back Dr. Kuehn.  What do we owe the honor of your vist?  Oh yes, I remember, you were a devotee of Matthew Weiner's television series, The Sopranos.  Of course, it follows that you would enjoy his series, Man Men and especially the recently aired episode 5 which featured Charles Whitman.  Obviously, you have Charles Whitman on your mind as well as your paper, The Whitman Syndrome.  I must say, you are quite predictable.

Psychiatric News   |   
Volume 36 Number 17 page 26-26
Letter to the Editor
‘The Sopranos’
John L. Kuehn, M.D.
Dr. Herbert Peyser’s Viewpoints article in the June 1 issue is a stimulating, well-written commentary on the behavior of the psychiatrist in HBO’s "The Sopranos." He criticizes her for treating Tony Soprano, a fictitious New Jersey mobster who has developed panic attacks in midlife.
Viewers learn early in the series that Tony Soprano is a killer and sociopath, and the psychiatrist knows it. Dr. Peyser criticizes the psychiatrist both on moral grounds for accepting such a bad person as a patient, as well as on technical grounds by remaining silent and "neutral" while the patient haltingly, and with much resistance, tells his story. In his opinion, the psychiatrist is incompetent, and if he were examining her for the boards, he would flunk her. Dr. Peyser pointed out, however, that he had seen only a "bit of the show" (several episodes?).
Being a bit of a devil’s advocate, since I agree Tony is a "high-risk, difficult-to-treat" patient whom practically no one should be "required" to accept, I nonetheless disagree with his opinion.
Now that I am (mostly) retired after 37 years of psychiatric practice (and other years as a Navy doctor), my wife and I have time to browse at Blockbuster Video, where, out of curiosity, we took out the first nine episodes of "The Sopranos." At first, after several episodes, we would have agreed with Dr. Peyser: The psychiatrist was using poor judgment, seeming to countenance violence, practicing rescue psychiatry or "Red Crossing," at times being unconsciously seductive—overall, she was playing with fire and had bitten off more than she could chew. She was even risking her life as the sinister Capo "Uncle Junior" became aware that his nephew, Tony, might be blabbing to his psychiatrist. She also was the verbal target of several of the patient’s rage attacks.
In later episodes, however (get on down to Blockbuster, Dr. Peyser, and take out a few more episodes), this psychiatrist’s incredible courage, fearless dedication, and commitment to the patient emerge. By the ninth episode (that’s as far as we’ve gotten since we don’t have HBO), Tony has actually begun to change his behavior: At the last minute, and despite his ambivalence, he has canceled a "hit" on a soccer coach who had seduced a teenaged friend of his daughter and decided (after consultation with the psychiatrist) to leave the coach’s punishment up to the police and courts.
Thus, as we continued to watch, we felt that "The Sopranos" is a fascinating, beautifully written, and brilliantly cast series that portrays a psychiatrist as a complex woman and psychiatric physician who exemplifies the highest values of our calling: courage and commitment to the individual patient, but not without that "certain risk to one’s own personal safety" that Justice Holmes averred was necessary to being truly alive. I’m also reminded of Freud’s comment on being asked what he planned to do now that he had to go into private practice to support his family: "I plan to do my best by whatever patient comes my way. . . ."

By Case #2


  1. Im still not understandind what he did to you. Ive spent 30 minutes reading these two pages and accomplished nothing.

  2. Thank you Dr. Kuehn for your insightful comment. I rest my case.