Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Obama releases medical information: "excellent health."


WASHINGTON--Likely Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is in "excellent health," according to a summary of Obama medical records released on Thursday. The 276-word summary was written by Dr. David L. Scheiner, the Chicago doctor who has been Obama's personal physician since March, 1987. Obama has not had a check-up in more than a year. Scheiner described Obama as "lean and muscular with no excess body fat." Obama is still using Nicorette gum to stay off cigarettes--he has quit smoking several times, his doctor notes.

*Triglycerides of 44(normal under 150), cholesterol 173 (normal under 200), HDL 68 (normal over 40), and LDL 96 (normal under 130). Chem 24, urinalysis and CBC were normal, PSA was 0.6, very good. An EKG was normal.

The Obama campaign decided to release this summary of Obama's health status at this time to contrast with the long medical history of GOP presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Az.). The McCain campaign last week allowed a select group of reporters to study McCain's more complex medical history, complicated because of his skin cancer and injuries suffered while serving in the military and as a prisoner of war in Viet Nam.

click below for full Scheiner letter....

from the Obama campaign....

Below and attached is a letter from Senator Obama’s physician detailing a summary of his health records.

Hyde Park Associates in Medicine, Ltd.
1515 East 52nd Place, Chicago, IL 60615

To Whom It May Concern:

I am David L. Scheiner, a board certified general internist licensed to practice in the State of Illinois. I am on staff at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Rush University Medical Center. I have been Senator Barack Obama’s primary care physician since March 23, 1987. The following is a summary of his medical records for the past 21 years.

During that period of time, Senator Obama has been in excellent health. He has been seen regularly for medical checkups and various minor problems such as upper respiratory infections, skin rashes and minor injuries.

His family history is pertinent for his mother’s death from ovarian cancer and grandfather who died of prostate cancer. His own history included intermittent cigarette smoking. He has quit this practice on several occasions and is currently using Nicorette gum with success.

Senator Obama’s last medical checkup was on January 15, 2007; he had no complaints. He exercised regularly often jogging three miles. His diet was balanced with good intake of roughage and fluids. A complete review of systems was unremarkable. On physical examination, his blood pressure was 90/60 and pulse 60/minute. His build was lean and muscular with no excess body fat. His physical examination was completely normal.

Laboratory studies included triglycerides of 44(normal under 150), cholesterol 173 (normal under 200), HDL 68 (normal over 40), and LDL 96 (normal under 130). Chem 24, urinalysis and CBC were normal, PSA was 0.6, very good. An EKG was normal.

In short, his examination showed him to be in excellent health. Senator Barack Obama is in overall good physical and mental health needed to maintain the resiliency required in the Office of President.

David L. Scheiner, M.D.


Now, if only he'd challenge McCain to a pick-up game before his (Obama's) trip to Iraq. McCain's Iraq forays are a joke anyway because of the enormous amount of preparation to safeguard the area he'd be traveling in, the number of soldiers protecting him, and the flak jacket he wore. Much more a picture of courage is that of Obama standing up on a platform, out in the open, no protection, in Portland, surrounded by thousands. Quite a contrast.

Now, if only he'd challenge McCain to a pick-up game before his (Obama's) trip to Iraq. McCain's Iraq forays are a joke anyway because of the enormous amount of preparation to safeguard the area he'd be traveling in, the number of soldiers protecting him, and the flak jacket he wore. Much more a picture of courage is that of Obama standing up on a platform, out in the open, no protection, in Portland, surrounded by thousands. Quite a contrast.

good job OBAMA 08..just a page and compare this with McCain secret 1500 pages of medical info. McCain has squamous cell cacrcinoma not reported until recently.

you can say he's healthy all you want but he did and does smoke and I for one know what smoking can do to you I just had a brother died at the age of 44 with panceratic cancer which can be linked to smoking and he was consider health to get off McCain's age and Health..because OBama is at much risk of cancer then anyone plus he has a family history as well .

Family history is important in determining risk of heart disease. Senator McCain's father (John McCain Jr.) died at the age of 70 of heart disease and his grandfather (John McCain Sr.) died of a heart attack at the age of 61. Add to that the fact that Senator McCain was a two-pack a day smoker for many years and you have to hope he picks a highly qualified vice-presidential candidate.

must not have included his mental health..but needs a brain to exam!..seeing the "fallen" in an audience?? his uncle helped to liberate victims at Auschwitz?? ..he has visited most of our "57" states??..maybe ted kennedy will donate his tumor so at least Dumbo would have something between those mickey mouse ears of his...

How about running an IQ test to the old man and see how he does

I wish I had Sen. Obama's stats --- especially his blood pressure. His report is in plain, straightforward medical language. And this can be contrasted with Sen. McCain's med history which was presented in a very contrived and suspicious fashion. (1000+ pages of detail, the fact that the reporters were barred from making copies and the fact that it covered only the past 10 years.) But the most worrisome feature of Sen. McCain's history --- aside from the poor health of certain key family members --- was his repeated experience with melanoma skin cancer. It sadly reminds me of the late Sen Tsongas' history. And especially given their ages --- comparing medical probabilities for both men does not take an insurance actuary.

What about his father's alcoholism? He lost both legs in one drunk driving accident and later died in a second due to his addiction. Sounds like addiction runs in the family, be it nicotine or alcohol. I guess polygamy or womanizing isn't relevant in a medical history.

How many past Presidents smoked, drank, had family histories of all sorts of ailments? We've had elderly presidents before. Kennedy had Grave's Disease, a bad back, probably addicted to pain meds. Didn't Billy Jeff smoke cigars? He had a quadruple bypass. Reagan was shot. FDR was in a wheelchair with Guillain-Barré syndrome or Polio. These medical releases are of little interest to me, unless they can tell me a candidate is bulletproof. And these days, that would be a big plus.

Now, what I'd really like to see is Hillary Clinton's psych eval. I predict a visit to the "nervous hospital" in her near future. If I were doing all of this campaigning, I'd be her roommate!

John McCain looks like he is as old as the government itself. He walks with a hump and cannot lift his arms above a certain length and Obama is the one with health problems from smoking? Again this is a habbit Obama has been trying to quit. Obama may have said the 57 states mistake once but he has not on many occassions mixed up Shiite with Suni. He has not on several occassions called Bush's tax policy irresponsible only later to adopt one even more irresponsible. You got to love it, it is Bush Part 3 with a kick.

This is pitiful...

There are already Clinton bloggers out there trying to smear
Obama by saying he's gay/bi, and is suffering from AIDS/HIV.

I did not think this campaign could possibly go any lower.

I was wrong.

Somewhere, the Founding Fathers are weeping...

Good job Obama!!!!

Obama-ites wouldn't care if he had lung cancer right now, it wouldn't matter. There is Nothing that can be said against or about Barack Hussein Obama---Ever---that would change an Obama-ite's mind.

Well, no. A parent's behavior in sexual relationships wouldn't be relevant to a child's medical history unless they'd somehow transmitted an STD to that child. A parent's limb loss wouldn't be relevant unless that loss was due to a condition like diabetes and the child was a risk for the same condition, which certainly isn't the case here.

You don't see McCain's marriages, divorces, and extramarital affairs detailed in his medical history, so I'm not sure why you'd expect to see Obama's biological father's sexual history detailed in Obama's medical records.

I think you're going to have to work harder to find something shocking in Obama's history. He's a smoker, and the stranger who fathered him did something things in some places at some times. No one is interested.

Someone give this dumb monkey a mental evaluation. He doesn't even know that he doesn't have an uncle.


Racsism won't get you anywhere. Education will. You NEED it badly.

A moron like you calling Obama the scholar monkey draws the contrast back to you, idiot.

I wish i had the medical stats that Obama has. I am 41 years of age and is no where as physical sound as this man. I wish my presumtive president best of luck. I am sure he will insure that his health reform program pass when he becomes our next president. Go Obama our 50 states support you whole heartly. He has the right vision and plan for this country.

Anyone who speaks about examining "President" Obama's brain, must be in the same category with the current President's brain.
Give me a break!
Obama has more sense in his little finger than the entire bush family.

Pls. get info to Obama or his doc David L. Scheiner that using the gum to quit cigarettes is 10 times less effective than the spray. Patch and gum under 13% success at one year, but spray almost 90%. Can get protocol from Dr. who did the FDA trials, Dr. David Sachs, Pulmonary Assoc., California Ave., Palo Alto, CA, 94306. It really is possible to quit without withdrawal. If Obama suceeds after so many relapses, maybe he will help ALL smokers by pushing for adding nicotine replacement therapy to the lists of drugs that insurers pay for. He would save the future generations!
Thanks and good luck!

Obama was JOKING about the 57 states he has visited. Did a bunch of you really not realize that? Wow.

McCain mixing up Shiite/Sunni wasn't a joke though. And neither is skin cancer, heart disease, or pretending to be George Bush.


Medical histories are largely irrelevant unless there is an immediate threat of death or incapacitation.

Did he give BO a neuron count?

If Mr. Obama finds his addiction to quit nicotine becoming a problem then I can suggest he goes to There he will find a smoking cessation program guaranteed to succeed.
Congrats to all Americans on their new President, from all us Kiwis.

releasing a summary of the medical records is not the same as releasing the medical records. His doctor has a vested interest to give a postive summary, he was paid handsomely, and more so if obama gets elected.

i would like to see the medical records released in their entirety. has he suffered from depression in the past, is their any history of persrciption drug abuse, what is the trend of his blood pressure, not just a single reading.

suffice it to say, i don't believe obama has been completely vetted, and this is just another example of that.

Imagine John McCain getting away with

1. Not releasing a valid birth certificate;

2. Not releasing university transcripts;

3. Not releasing university theses;

4. Not releasing medical records.

Our objective and impartial media would be enraged.

But since the above applies to a Democrat, that same media is suddenly not interested.

I can't believe that some people here are questioning McCains health because he can't lift his arms past a certain level. HE HAD THEM BROKEN WHILE HE WAS A PRISONER OF WAR. Any ailment caused by pure courage and love of country can and should be viewed as a mark that distinguishes character rather than a blemish. Also the first idiot who commented about Obama's bravery over McCain's is an idiot. Tell us about brave. He stood up in front of a group of his supporters. That's so brave. McCain refused release until his comrades were released to safety. Obama supporters are idiots.

The world is coming to an end! That is why God aloud Obama to bacome president...Does anyone see that??

Just think if everyone had an EMR. If everyone would have a flash drive around their neck or on their person likes an electronic dog tag. You would not need the Internet. All you would need to do is plug the flash drive into the USB port and a pre-set form would come up with all the pertinent info. All the info needed to treat a patient. Like medical history, allergies and medications. We would save so much money, because of the time saving element. No need to run so many tests. And of course a lot less medical mistakes because they would have a great base to work from with each patient.

If the President and other politicians are allowed to use military facilities for their annual medical checkups and considering the fact that the military’s budget is not getting reduced in 2011, Americans needing health care should seek medical help in the thousands of America military bases.

The use of a military facility by a Washington DC politician also exposes how the elected leaders in Washington DC ,who are supposed to be employees of the American citizen, have much greater benefits and access to government services than the average hard working American. For politicians who are supposed to protect and ensure the rights given to Americans in the U.S. Constitution are upheld and protected like the clause, all men are created equal, it appears that these politicians are more like the pigs in the classic George Orwell novel Animal Farm, where some pigs are just more equal than other pigs.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 29, 2008 10:54 AM.

A look back: Obama's first--and only--Iraq visit in 2006 was the previous entry in this blog.

Robert Gibbs talks about Obama possible Iraq trip on MSNBC is the next entry in this blog.

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