In Memoriam, Dr. Lee Lipsenthal

September 22nd, 2011 by Nick Jacobs Leave a reply »

We have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find…God.
—Joseph Campbell

Such has been my experience with Dr. Lee Lipsenthal. Lee was the co-founder of Finding Balance in a Medical Life, a recognized leader, teacher and pioneer in the field of provider wellness. He was internationally known for his research work with my friend Dr. Dean Ornish in preventive cardiology. He was also well known in the field of Integrative Health, and past president of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine.

Lee Lipsenthal, MD - Enjoy Every Sandwich - Nick Jacobs, FACHE - HealingHospitals.comAlthough Lee’s entrance into medicine was traditional, (a BS from George Washington University, his MD from Howard and an internship and residency at the Medical College of Pennsylvania), he started on his truth path of healing as a resident, where he developed the first multi-disciplinary cardiac rehabilitation program in Philadelphia, a plan that addressed stress reduction, exercise and nutrition teaching.

He then went on to become the Director of Cardiovascular Services for the Benjamin Franklin Clinic in Philadelphia, as well as a staff physician at The Pennsylvania Hospital. In this role, he developed treatment programs for patients with heart disease or risk of heart disease; he developed corporate wellness programs for national companies, and consulted on patients with cholesterol disorders at the hospital.

But who was the real Lee Lipsenthal? Lee was a hero who embraced the adventure and led the way for us all. In an incredibly selfless and positive way, like all heroes, Lee “lost himself and then gave himself to all of us.” He mastered the transformation of consciousness, and taught us all to look deeply inside ourselves. Lee’s life and teaching was always about the powers of life and their modulations through the action of man, and Lee’s actions led us all to a better place; a place of healing, love and understanding. He did this through his words, his music, his soul and his heart.

Lee Lipsenthal, MDLee captured the imaginations of many of us and gently drew us into his circle of positive influence where he provided a psychological center for our lives, he fed our individual and collective souls and he helped us to experience life at its fullest. He often took us to the edge of self-discovery, but he always took us to a place of peace and love. He could literally show us the “belly of the whale,” and then bring us back to a deeper understanding of our lives, our abilities and our spirits.

In many ways he helped us transcend our humanities so that we all could emerge into a deeper reality of serving our fellow man. He taught us that, as a person, if we don’t listen to the demands of our own spiritual and interior life, we will drift dangerously off-center.

Lee was our center. Lee was our friend, our mentor, our spiritual guide and our hero.

Lee passed this week, surrounded by his wonderful, loving family, and our hearts are breaking from the loss, but also reveling in the joy of having known him, having shared him and always loving him.

Learn more about Lee’s extraordinary journey, and his wonderful book, Enjoy Every Sandwich below.

You will be inspired and moved.



  1. Jeffrey D. Miller, MD says:

    It is with flowing tears that I hear of Lee’s passing. I was blessed of attending a conference he held in Denver 9 years ago, and then again a lecture just 4 months ago in Albuquerque where I live. I was touched when I presented my short story of transition to him after the lecture, for which he offered up his contact info should I need more help/guidance. I imagined multiple times contacting him, but never did. Now I will need to continue with just the imagining and his words in print and memory. Though I met him only twice, he was an inspiring man and fellow physician. And even more now propels me forward to listen to my core values as a physician and human. I will miss him.

  2. Britt Gonsoulin, MD, MPH says:

    A lovely tribute…thank you. His influence in our lives will life on, be passes to those we know, and continue to change the face of medicine. Such a beautiful soul that we are lucky to have known and loved…

  3. Milada Gorelik says:

    It is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful leader. The video and his words are so simple that they get through your skin. I wish more patients and families had opportunity to watch it as they embark on their journey to palliative care, death and dying, as well as living every moment of their existence.

  4. We lost an amazing, lovely, courageous man who will live on in his simple message of living fully, loving, and focusing on what matters.
    I have been hearing about Lee for several years but unfortunately never met him. Knowing someone like Lee can transform one’s life. How lucky we are that he has left us with his words and thoughts that have come out of such a deep and wise place.

  5. Saskia Lytle-Vieira, D.O. says:

    A wonderful, gentle man who touched me deeply. Lee was an inspiration to me, and will continue to be so now more than ever.

  6. Lee’s powerful and inspirational message of listening to the demands of our own spiritual and interior life, and his own practice of this, in the context of the authentic love he experienced with his wife Kathy and their children and friends, prepared him well for the labyrinth that all of us will one day walk, a good and safe place where Lee and God have now met, and maybe even are enjoying an occasional BLT. His Spirit still IS, and one only needs to take some quiet time to bring forth his wisdom, healing, and loving energy.

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  10. I was cleaning up my home office space today and came across Dr Lipsenthal’s book ‘Finding Medical Balance’. I bought the book at the time when I was considering taking the leap into a career as a speaker and professional life coach rather than remain in a traditional medical practice situation. I’m glad to say I am making the transition but was also shocked to learn of his transition. It has reignited in me my passion to share ‘my song’ for however long I have remaining on this earth plane. Peace Profound!

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