In the last five years, Peter Gott ’57 has retired twice – first from his work as a general internist in 2006 and again late last month from his nationally syndicated medical advice column. Gott, better known as “Dr. Gott,” began writing for a local newspaper in 1967, and since launching his syndicated column in 1984, he’s dispensed a distinctive blend of home remedies and advice to readers of some 400 U.S. newspapers.
In that time, Gott drew a loyal following, as Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph editor Nick Pappas learned when he tried to bump the column in favor of Sudoku five years ago. Pappas wrote:
“[I] wasn’t prepared to engage Dr. Gott disciples about the value of a daily syndicated health column that at various times has advocated using Vicks VapoRub on toenail fungus, placing a bar of soap under the sheets to prevent leg cramps, or rubbing castor oil on sore joints.“When one upset caller referred to me as a ‘whippersnapper,’ I knew I was in trouble.”
The Telegraph reversed its decision, giving readers five more years of ointment lore and other homespun advice. Pappas remarked that Dr. Gott fans were “the nicest, most polite group of disappointed readers” he’d ever encountered.
While Gott’s column has disappeared from print, the doctor is still fielding questions on a daily basis online through the website AskDrGottMD.com. The self-proclaimed “technophobe” has found that his tips read just as well on the Web. In a recent post titled “New beginnings,” he urged readers to keep sending their questions. “I’m here to stay by using a different venue,” he wrote, “and value every letter I receive.”
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