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100 Year Old Doctor Gives Advice
Air Date: 07/26/2011
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100 Year Old Doctor Gives Advice

BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor (Washington, DC):

Finally tonight, you're about to meet a great character. You don't have to do what he says, but it might help to listen up. He's a doctor, after all, and not just any doctor. You're about to hear some advice on how to live a long life, in his view, and about what you should and should not do. And as you listen to him, remember, experience does count for a lot in this world. It's our MAKING A DIFFERENCE report tonight. His story from NBC's Robert Bazell.

Unidentified Woman: (On phone) Dr. Engleman's office.

ROBERT BAZELL reporting:

Dr. Ephraim Engleman keeps regular office hours for arthritis patients at the University of California-San Francisco. He also directs the Rosalind Russell Medical Research Center for Arthritis, and frequently meets with colleagues to discuss research.

Dr. EPHRAIM ENGLEMAN: Well, your hands look pretty good.

BAZELL: None of that would be unusual, except that Dr. Engleman just celebrated his 100th birthday and has no plans to slow down.

Would you ever consider retiring?

Dr. ENGLEMAN: No. Not unless I have to.

BAZELL: It would be difficult to exaggerate the changes in medicine in the course of his 75-year career.

Dr. ENGLEMAN: The treatment of arthritis was aspirin. People would come in on wheelchairs and gurneys. We don't see that anymore. People walk in. They're not necessarily cured, but they're much better.

BAZELL: His advice for achieving longevity is not exactly the conventional wisdom.

Dr. ENGLEMAN: Exercise, to me, is totally unnecessary. I think it's mostly overrated. And the use of vitamins, forget it. And I don't encourage going to a lot of doctors, either.

BAZELL: What does he recommend?

Dr. ENGLEMAN: To fall in love, get married. Sex is to be encouraged. Children is a priority.

BAZELL: His sons Philip and Ed are both physicians. His daughter Jill, a lawyer, is married to a doctor, and their son is a physician. Aside from medicine, Engleman has two great passions. One is music and his phenomenal violin ability. And the biggest passion...

Dr. ENGLEMAN: That was our wedding picture.

BAZELL: ...his wife, Jean, with whom he just celebrated their 70th anniversary.

Dr. ENGLEMAN: It's been a lovely 70 years we've been together.

Ms. JEAN ENGLEMAN: I know, it's been wonderful.

Dr. ENGLEMAN: Yeah.

Ms. ENGLEMAN: So let's stay together for another 70 years.

Dr. ENGLEMAN: All right. We'll--OK. All right, whatever you say.

BAZELL: Robert Bazell, NBC News, San Francisco.