Donald Trump is talking about Hillary Clinton’s health as are two doctors who have never evaluated Clinton. They have apparently diagnosed her with all kinds of ailments using the long disproven Fox-Drudge equation.

This attention on Clinton has renewed some interest in the letter Donald Trump released last year from his personal physician.

Screen shot 2016-08-16 at 5.08.11 PM

Many outlets have picked it apart, but I want to tell you as a doctor exactly how bad it is. I would never write anything this terrible for a Jury Duty excuse or a back to work note, never mind something that half the country (and possibly half the world) might see or could possibly end up one day in a Presidential Library!

There are so many issues with the letter I’m going to just start at the beginning:

  1. The header has a non working web address and doctors don’t include e-mail addresses in letters.

Screen shot 2016-08-16 at 3.43.49 PM

It is incredibly rare for doctors to include an e-mail address in this kind of correspondence because we don’t want the person receiving the letter (e.g. the entire press corps or the place of work or the disability insurance company) to e-mail back with questions about our patient’s health. This could lead to a HIPAA (privacy) violation. Also, gmail is not a secure method of communication, so most doctors don’t want to use it for medical information. We doctors also don’t put our e-mail address in letters because we don’t want patients using unsecured methods of contact. I’m happy to have my patients e-mail me, they just need to do it through our secure server. The e-mail address is really odd, but then again it could be a fancy concierge doctor thing.

Except a fancy concierge doctor would probably have a working website. Really, you’re writing a letter for someone who wants to be President and this is what we get at, a weird website with a name and links to other services?

Screen shot 2016-08-16 at 4.38.36 PM


2. Lenox Hill has a Division of Gastroenterology not a Section and Dr. Bornstein isn’t listed on the website as a member. 

Screen shot 2016-08-16 at 3.22.11 PM


Dr. Bornstein is affiliated with Lenox Hill, but he is not part of their Division of Gastroenterology. There also isn’t a Department of Medicine there is a Division of General Internal Medicine and Dr. Bornstein isn’t a member of that either. Having admitting privileges and being a division member are not the same thing. Many hospitals allow doctors to have admitting privileges and not be department or division members. And what’s with this made up Section?

It is also very odd for a doctor in a private practice to use their admitting privileges address under their signature if it is not the same as their practice address.

3. The letter starts with a  typo.

Screen shot 2016-08-16 at 4.10.05 PM

I’m the typo queen so I’m not really one to judge, but if a patient of mine were running for President and needed a letter I’d make damn sure it was typo free.

4. No doctor describes tests as “only positive results” or  “astonishingly excellent.” 

Screen shot 2016-08-16 at 4.12.41 PM“Only positive results” is gibberish. Some tests are good if they are positive and some are bad if they are positive. Some results are just not binary. For example a hemoglobin (blood count) is a number and not positive or negative.

What are “astonishingly excellent” laboratory test results? I’m a doctor and I don’t know. Is it astonishing that a 70 year old man has normal results? Are his results all exactly average which is good – but wait, I thought his tests are all positive?

And while we’re at it doctors just don’t say “laboratory test results” that sounds like something on a soap opera.

5. Doctors don’t say “test score” we just give the results 

Screen shot 2016-08-16 at 4.51.00 PM

The conventional way to reference PSA would be PSA 0.81 ng/ml (normal < 4 ng/ml). A test score is something that happens at the DMV.

6. How did Dr. Bornstein test Donald Trump’s strength and stamina? 

Did he have him bench press in the office? Do a treadmill test? Doctor’s just don’t typically write vague, quasi-medical things in letters. I’ve also never heard of a stamina test.

An internist might test muscle strength as part of a physical exam, but the results are graded 0-5 and 5 is not secret code for extraordinary it’s code for normal.

7. “The healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

Every news site has pointed out how ridiculous this is. Dr. Bornstein is not a medical historian who runs a Presidential health archives and obviously Washington and Lincoln never had their PSA checked for comparison. The first blood pressure cuff was invented in 1881, so yeah.

8. There is no useful health information.

Someone with Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s could have a normal blood pressure, normal PSA, take 81 mg aspirin and be on a “low dose” (we don’t know the exact dose or type) statin. So could someone with diabetes or someone who had a heart stent placed last year or who had a stroke four years ago.


Things I don’t find concerning

That Dr. Bornstein is a gastroenterologist. Often when internal medicine specialists start out they accept both general medicine and specialty patients. As the years go by they stop accepting general patients, but often hang on to a few favorites or high-profile patients. It’s done less now, but in the 70s and 80s it was more common. Bornstein may very well have been seeing Trump in that capacity. But yes, a healthy man would not need to see a gastroenterologist until the age of 50.

Newsweek pointed out the letter was made on Microsoft Word, but the header on my work letters is generated in the same type as the letter. Sadly, many doctors don’t use lovely heavy bond paper with nice letterhead anymore. But you know when I would? If I were writing a letter for someone who is running for President.

The signature. I hit return a lot for my huge signature and still sometimes scrawl all over the address. Hey, I’m a doctor.

It’s a terrible letter.

Did Dr. Bornstein write it? If so he should be embarrassed. It’s medically illiterate and if he doesn’t know his website doesn’t work or if that he’s not in the Division of Gastroenterology that’s an issue.

Did Trump write it? He’ll never tell. It certainly reads like a letter written by someone with close to no knowledge of Dr. Bornstein’s practice or medicine.

All I can say is typos and weird links and mentions of non existent sections of gastroenterology and nonsensical medical information aside the letter provides essentially no medical information.





After this was posted someone mentioned that Dr. Jacob Bornstein died in 2010.

Was an old doctor’s letter used as a template with the person copying the letterhead not knowing or remembering that the elder Dr. Bornstein had passed away? Is this Dickensian six year old letterhead with the name of the deceased still at the top?

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  1. Well, well. You were correct. Dr. Bornstein just admitted that the whole letter was dictated by Trump.
    “He dictated that whole letter. I didn’t write that letter,” Dr. Harold Bornstein told CNN. “I just made it up as I went along.”

    Bornstein now says that Trump had dictated the language as the doctor and his wife drove across Central Park.

    “[Trump] dictated the letter and I would tell him what he couldn’t put in there,” he said.

  2. Dr Harold Borstein took over his father’s medical practice. His father treated Donald’s father. Discovering they lived in homes in close proximity, during Trump childhood it is not so surprising. Dr. Harold Borstein’s father died in 2010 and he is alive and well, practicing still today.

  3. I like the part about the “only positive” test results.

    I just went through some testing. In my case, fortunately, all my tests sans one came back either “normal” or “Negative.” The only positive test result I had was for Giardia. That sucks.

    And the doctor is boasting that Trump’s tests are “only positive results”? I’d rather have negative test results, myself, thank you.

  4. Hey I read this piece on HP, and wanted to add one comment, speaking as a lawyer. His father’s name may be on there because the name of the business is “Jacob Bornstein, MD and Harold Bornstein, MD, PC” (plus some initials and punctuation). A PC, or Professional Corporation, is a form of corporation available professionals — doctor and lawyers for sure, and probably a few others. This could easily be checked with the online database at the NY Secretary of State’s commercial recording division. If that is, in fact, the name of his PC, it would be inappropriate to write anything else. (Although in his situation I probably would have started to use a DBA by now.)

    Even if that is the name of his PC, I wonder if there are any rules about using the name of a decreased individual in the practice. Would be interesting to see what the AMA says. Is imagine it’s ok if the name was added before death, but you never know… Professional ethics can be murky!

  5. Why isn’t anyone turning him into the State Board for saying he is Board Certified when he isn’t and breaking HIPPA regulations by talking about Hillary Clintons health???? The man needs to be investigated!

  6. If people here could get over the partisan attacks the larger problem is obvious:
    It’s reasonable to worry about a candidate’s health. There’s an entire amendment to the Constitution that centers on whether a president is mentally or physically able to carry out the duties of the office. And this is an especially pressing question this year, when the two major-party candidates represent the oldest pair in presidential election history. But, even in more mainstream outlets, the reasoned speculation you might expect seems to have been replaced by untamed conjecture.
    One reason for this is that there’s a vacuum of information about our candidates. That problem is largely preventable, medical ethicists say. “If people care about health—and they don’t, they care about politics—if they did, they’d have an independent panel of doctors checking out the candidates,” says NYU bioethicist Art Caplan.

    1. I find it fascinating that some people think this is an issue (the age of the candidates), while everyone alive ignored the hell out of Saint Reagan’s advanced age when he was running.
      I guess it was his sainthood or something.

      1. Age is in fact an issue but that is fully disclosed unlike health issues. There is also a minimum age standard for the office, again unlike health where there are absolutely no standards. If Trump wins the election in November, he would be the oldest newly elected president in U.S. history, putting him ahead of Ronald Reagan, who was just shy of 70 on Inauguration Day 1981.

        If Hillary Clinton were elected, she wouldn’t be far behind. She will turn 69 in October. Come Inauguration Day 2017, that would put her not far behind Reagan when he was inaugurated, making her the second-oldest president.

  7. Not that those of us with an IQ above the level of stupid needed a Dr to tell us this was a bogus letter, I still thank you Dr. Gunter for spelling it out to those who needed the clarification.

  8. Ha, now my previous comment shows up, even though I checked on two devices before leaving a second comment.

    1. They’ve been repeatedly warned, *never* feed them after midnight.
      Now, there are gremlins in the works! 😉

    2. Because I curate content and have a job and kids and a life and do this for free. It can take a while to get around to approving.

      Thanks for coming back to check though. Appreciate the reading and participating!

  9. I don’t know why my other comment didn’t show up, but let me try again.

    I find it interesting that nobody seems to have noticed that this letter doesn’t appear to be signed at all; it only looks to include the letters “MD.”

    That it only seems to contain those letters would easily explain why the supposed signature is so far to the right. And that’s because the actual signature has been erased and only the MD after the name has been left. That way, there’s no actual forgery that has occurred and he can’t get in any legal trouble for this bogus letter.

    1. Good catch, Catherine! I think you’ve nailed it. This document is probably an old letter from Jacob Bornstein, that Trump found rummaging through his files. He probably had one of his flunkies (Melania) sitting there using White-Out, removing the actual text of the letter and signature, “look we’re so smart”, Trump is thinking. It’s clearly written by Trump, that is wildly obvious. Thank you to Dr. Gunter, a very wicked takedown of the letter, you’re a great sleuth!

    2. This is an extremely important issue and should be viewed as the “smoking gun” revealing the mental pathology of a candidate for President.

      It isn’t just another “funny Trump story.” This is clearly illegal in the context of releasing medical records for a presidential candidate.

      It should be fairly easy to tell if this is a concocted letter. We need to see the letterhead the doctor was actually using in 2015. We need to see his signature – does he sign his name M D? It should not be dropped. It is a seemingly small thing that could reveal the extent of Trump’s disturbance and corruption.

  10. I don’t know if anybody here has pointed it out yet, but it appears that this letter is not actually signed by anybody and only has the letters “MD.” And the location of those two letters so far off to the right further indicates that this is missing the actual signature of the doctor and is in the location likely where you would see “MD” written after the signed name.

    I can’t believe I haven’t read about anybody in the media noticing this.

  11. Given this letter, I’m not surprised that Dr. Bornstein isn’t practicing to current standards…but riddle me this: If Trump has no history of hypercholesterolemia, no coronary artery disease, and no CAD risk factors, why is he on an 81mg ASA and a “low-dose statin”? That doesn’t conform to any current USPSTF standard.

    1. Simple. He could have factor five or Leiden, or simple hypertension that is not severe. Lots of things. Patients don’t always fall.into your very basic general guidelines. And who is to say the letter reflects badly on the medical profession. Way that patients are mistreated, patient rights violated, chemical restraints my, restrained and fatalities, failure to dx and more; reflect very badly, and the doctors sit quiet in corruption and overkill and up code.

  12. I am also a physician and I think I can speak for the great majority of docs in the U.S. in thanking you for taking the time to write this. The idea that a physician in this country would write such a letter is a terrible reflection on the entire medical profession.

    1. That is what we get for having absolutely no medical standards or disclosure rules for the office of POTUS. Oh, but the medical profession is so ethical we can rely on their honesty and candor for both candidates and don’t need any rules for them to follow since they can’t be motivated by money and power. And I find Hillary’s letter equally absurd since there is no criteria for anyone to declare a medical basis for “fit to serve as President of the US” What exactly does it take to declare anyone is medically unfit to serve as POTUS?

      1. How fascinatingly odd! Both griping that medical professionals lack some standard to endorse a candidate’s health, then griping that such a requirement lacks any existence.
        Not only can’t you make up your mind, from what you griped, you entirely lack a mind and are programmed by your betters, who also lack a mind.
        Otherwise, they’d have given you a cogent argument, rather than leaving you to your own devices and you create an argument that defeats itself in a single sentence!

  13. “absolutely excellent” is Trump talk, not medical lingo. The odd selection of PSA as a marker shows a concern with one’s virility. Trump wrote this fake, and did it so ineptly that if called on it he can argue it was a joke, not a forgery.

  14. Paging Dr. Gunter: Somebody from the DNC and/or Hillary campaign really should check this out beginning by inquiring with Dr. Bornstein. Did this really go out under his signature?? It smells like a forgery and smacks of the type of language Trump himself would craft.

  15. One additional point: the signature includes F.A.C.G., which is also not current according to the College. Dr (H) Bornstein has been quoted as saying that Fellowship is a “bought-and-paid-for” credential of dubious value*, and hasn’t paid dues in years. The College indicates that they encourage former members not use the credential (but there’s no method to enforce).

    My favourite sentence in this:

    They have apparently diagnosed her with all kinds of ailments using the long disproven Fox-Drudge equation.

    . Kudos.

    *which does not apparently prevent him from continuing to use it

  16. Further catering to the uneducated, who could care less what the educated think or state.

    1. True enough, I remember back when the uneducated actually respected the knowledge and wisdom acquired by the educated and they actually sought the input of the educated.
      Now, the uneducated revel in their ignorance, totally free to wallow in their own filth.

  17. I’m a doctor myself, and you’re spot on. Something smells very off about this letter.

  18. I have been a professional editor and writer for over 40 years, and I couldn’t agree more with the excellent comments made by Dr. Gunter. The letter is illiterate, and no professional would think of using letterhead listing a deceased physician. The fact that this letter was written for a presidential candidate makes it all the more astonishing.

    In short, it’s a piece of trash . . . and I’m being kind.

  19. Never mind details about letterhead or corporate identity or fonts, and just talk about stylistic analysis. You know, the methods that scholars of literature use to identify characteristic word choices, sentence structures and recurring themes to determine the authorship of a disputed work. This letter has a very characteristic style that reminds me a lot of the speech patterns of a well-known public figure. One who has a history of assuming false identities, posing for example as his own PR agent. You don’t need three guesses.

  20. The letter does sound very odd, and no Dr. Would have typos or a dead Dr. Still listed on the letter head. I think the letter is fake, or someone was very sloppy at the Dr office.

  21. Dr. Gunter, I just really don’t get your blog. I’m not stupid, but I can’t figure out how to access anything else that you’ve written for your blog. Anything at all, except the “About me,” “What,” “Why” etc.. stuff up at the top of your page, as well as the Jacob Bornstein article that a Google search gave me (which is why I’m here on this page). I’ve tried to subscribe to your blog, thinking perhaps that was the key, but all I get is a page full of source code. Obviously all these people commenting on your blog are reading your blog–but how? I’m very interested in your thoughts on pain control–and I enjoyed the one article I could see (re: Bornstein), so I’m hoping you will enlighten me.

    1. Have you tried clicking on the big “Dr Jen Gunter” heading at the top of the page? That’ll take you to the front page where you can see other posts.

  22. Why has a formal medical standard and disclosure never been made part of running for and assuming the office of POTUS? In that regard both the Trump and Hillary letters are both nonsense since there is no “fit to be President of the United States” standard.

    1. @John Gury, why there is indeed a standard of fitness for POTUS.
      One must be a born US citizen, who has not committed high crimes or misdemeanors inconsistent with the office. Needless to say, a convicted felon need not attempt to run for the office.
      Alas, serial grifters are free to do so.

      1. Medical fitness standard, and there is none. Not even what I have to pass to maintain a private pilot license. Also, I’m not sure what the process is if the POTUS were to become seriously disabled, go berzerk, full dementia, and so on. Given the ridiculous importance we have assigned to one stupid elected position the lack of medical standard makes it even more ridiculous.

      2. Political participation is a right, flying is a privilege. Please don’t conflate rights with privileges, as privileges can be administratively revoked, rights cannot.

  23. Plus, if you’re only going to report one test result, PSA is probably the weirdest possible choice. It’s essentially meaningless on its own and something most people don’t even test nowadays. That is, unless he’s recovering from prostate cancer, but apparently “he’s suffered no form of cancer.”

    1. Another question is why is he on the meds listed if he’s in the most excellent health and has only had positive test results? Since he’s on a statin, apparently he has high cholesterol at least!

      1. Wendell, please excuse the tirade.
        I’ve been on many statins, eventually, once per week, then statins were abandoned for me.
        I’m one of the rare critters that can’t tolerate the damned things. :/
        Upside, currently, all cholesterol levels are normal(ish), not elevated, just variable, due to hyperthyroidism.
        Otherwise, my cholesterol levels were decidedly unhealthy in measurement.
        What I worry about is, once my thyroid actually is under control, how to control lipids.
        But then, that’s a “science project” for my primary and myself to figure out.
        For, to be blunt, rhabdo sucks. A *lot*.
        If I’m going to feel like someone beat me with baseball bats all over, I do want to have a fighting chance at defending myself. 😉

  24. Don’t forget the math saying 1980 was 39 years ago. It was 36. Actually 35 at the time of the letter. I was born in that year so I caught that right away!

    1. That’s not the way I read this. It’s pretty clear to me that means Harold treated Donald for 35 years, and Jacob treated Donald for the four years before that.

  25. Is this typo a Freudian Slip?

    “To Whom My Concern”. It leaves the reader wondering whether Dr. Harold Bornstein actually does have some type of concern.

  26. This Absolutely Incredible that a candidate for President of the United States would publish such a letter, regardless of where it came from.

    I feel that there is a deeper story here that has not yet been fully researched. Who is Harold Bornstein? Has any news media outlet attempted to contact him? Will he step forward and enlighten the American public as to how the letter was conceived and written? All of the fact brought up in this article are reason for concern.

    The only reason that this story is not receiving more press coverage and deeper background research is that there are so many other new and scary “Donald Trump” stories being discovered each day, the U.S. news media is having difficulty keeping up with the overwhelming tsunami of breaking stories.

    Internet, T.V. and Press sources don’t have the money, time and human resources to research and report on all of the breaking Donald Trump news stories and have found themselves in a position of having to perform a sort of “Donald Trump News Triage,” selecting only the most mind-mindbogglingly sad and disgusting stories for further research and letting other stories scoot under the radar. I hope that they pick up this story and run with it, I’m curious to know more!!

  27. Has anyone noticed that the doctor said he has been treating Mr. Trump for 39 years, since1980. If the letter was written in 2015, that would be 35 years, not 39.

  28. Something else interesting. The doctor claims to have been seeing Trump since 1980 and then talks about “over the past 39 years.” At best he could have seen him for 34-35 years…provided he was still alive in 2015.

  29. Where is the NY Medical Board in all this. Out of date stationary would be a very mild slap on the wrist Inaccurately listing the physician’s affiliations is slightly more serious. Making unsubstantiated claims like Trump being the most healthy President ever is getting into really serious. I could see a short term suspension of this guy’s license until he completes an ethics course. A New York resident should consider submitting a complaint to the medical board.

      1. The haroldbornsteinmd link goes to a site that offers to download “Adobe Flash”. It’s pretty clear what it offers is malware.

  30. Funny you mention secure servers for medical information and yet the Democratic nominee used a personal server in her basement for the most top secret information there is to our country.

    1. Now, you’ve proved that you have less than no clue whatinhell you’re talking about.
      First, our “most top secret” information is transmitted and stored on the JWICS network.
      Second, *some* (read; very few) e-mails had markings of (C) Confidential and one or two might have had (S) Secret. Neither is Top Secret, which is its own classification, just as SCI (Sensitive Compartmented Information) (A sub-classification). There’s a hell of a big difference between each level. SCI can compromise a major operation or information source (such as an informant). Top Secret information, if divulged, could cause major harm to our nation. Secret, less dire harm, Confidential, inconvenience.

      You see, I’ve had a security clearance for nearly four decades, so I can speak very intelligently on the subject of classified information, having generated quite a bit of it myself. I’ve generated many documents that began their classified existence as Secret, but when collated together, became Top Secret and I’ve even had documents that became reclassified beyond my level of access and I was the data owner of those documents!
      I’ve also ran e-mail servers, both “in my basement” and in US government server rooms and even in corporate environments.

      Here is a hint, when classified information is divulged, one ends up in a cell next to Private Manning. When it’s improperly handled, one may be disciplined or one may have nothing happen, it depends upon the level in government that one is and what information was mishandled and how.
      Now, when you handle a few thousand classified e-mails and other documents per week, come talk to me. Otherwise, you have no clue what you’re blathering and repeating the words of your betters about.

  31. Trump has a history of pretending to be a ‘Trump Spokesman’ named Baron when he presents glowing tributes of Trump to the press. It is interesting that the name of the doctor (Borenstein) is similar to the fictitious spokesman (Baron)

  32. One more thing to find ridiculous is there are absolutely no medical qualifications to be POTUS. In that regard the letter Hillary produced is medical nonsense as well. “She is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States.” Which is interesting as a medical opinion since there are no fitness or any other health criteria to evaluate for serving as POTUS.

    1. Heh, could you picture such a testimonial letter regarding Grover Cleveland’s health?

  33. As someone who has many decades of formal education and experience as a writer and is trained in deconstructing and analyzing texts, you’d have to be living in lala land not to conclude that this letter is 100% fraudulent and, based on trump’s rhetorical style and use of language, was probably written by trump himself.

    Dr Gunter thoroughly deconstructed the text in an objective way, which resulted glaring inconsistencies, bizarre narcissistic language & outright lies.

  34. Someone seems to have restyled this article. When it appeared in Huffington Post, “Lenox” is spelled “Lennox.” ….note to “typo queen.”

    The message is important… Wouldn’t want your credibility called into question.


  35. The plural noun “doctors” doesn’t have an apostrophe either before or after the “s” — and this article has both.

    Interesting medical information, but Typo Queen needs an editor.

      1. 🙂 My thoughts exactly.

        Had a question. Is propecia still absorbed through skin and if so can or does it affect female hormones if they come into contact with it?

  36. If Mr. Trump is taking a low dose statin, then by definition, his lab reading are not normal. He has high chlosterol. Either that or he’s taking a drug with potentially serious side effects for no reason.

    1. If he’s actually taking a statin, he’s quite fortunate. When my thyroid was operating normally, my cholesterol levels were quite elevated and I was prescribed various statins.
      I’m one of those rare individuals who am utterly incapable of taking a statin, even a low dose, once per week will trigger rhabdo symptoms.
      Once my thyroid is fully back to normal (or at least, the thyroid hormones are within the normal range for a reasonable period), I’ll have to get with doctor and find a different way of keeping my cholesterol numbers within a healthier range.

  37. back in 2000 GW Bush released his Dr statement comparing Bush’s heart rate to an Olympic athlete, true his heart rate was low, due to a bad heart not to being physically fit.

    1. That’s odd, as being physically unfit typically raises heart rate. Complete heart block would leave one at the ventricular rate of 30 – 40 BPM.
      That said, extremely fit individuals can have a resting pulse of around 50 BPM. I saw a lot of that in the military.

  38. I don’t believe it was dictated. I believe Bornstein signed a blank page considering where the signature is and someone (Trump) filled in the content… if indeed that is even Bornsteins signature! He should be reported to the NY State Health Dept. because clearly he didn’t write it. And if he did then he should be investigated for incompetance at the very least!!!

    1. Is this actually a letter put out by the Trump campaign? I cannot believe it is so… what’s the word… shoddy.

      Yes, what about those bone spurs?
      Is this the same outfit that signed off on the draft?

  39. I don’t trust Trump for President because we don’t know how good or bad this country will get…Just keep praying that God work everything out because either way we still going to need prayer.

  40. The letterhead is correct, it’s a business letterhead, and the business name is

    “PC” stands for “Professional Corporation”

    There can be many reasons why a business doesn’t change it’s legal name so quickly.

    You can look it up at

  41. First saw this on HuffPost today. Liked the analysis very much. But, you lose credibility when you misspell “Lenox.” It’s glaring because you talk about “Lennox” immediately following the correct spelling (from the supposed website). It also undermines your valid point that the typo in the letter matters. I am admittedly a grammar and spelling geek, for the record . . . so just sayin’. Still, liked the article.

  42. Oops. It’s Lenox Hill Hospital in real life, as in the letter, but you spelled it Lennox Hill. But I’m quibbling. Good piece!

  43. 1) Some doctors do include an email address, I would especially expect this of a concierge practice on park avenue. Their stock and trade isn’t especially good medicine (that can be found wherever an exceptionally good physician can) it’s in convenient delivery. Being able to reach him by e-mail (even if it is potentially a HIPPA violation) is convenient.


    Lenox hill definitely has a “Department of Medicine” though I cannot find any information on sections. Just because they aren’t on the website doesn’t mean that it’s part of how the hospital is organized internally.

    Bornstein is listed on their website however.

    3) You would also expect Trump or his staff to catch the typo too. Typos happen. You can say “[If I were writing for a potential president I’d up my game]” but that doesn’t make it fish that he didn’t. Typos happen.

    4) Agree, super fishy.

    5) That would be the conventional way to write a medical note, but this is not a medical note.

    6) He could have done an exercise stress test but he is probably relying on Donald’s own account. I ask patients if they exercise and how it goes for them, I expect he does too.

    7) I think we can agree that Trump dictated most of this to him. That’s why he is talking nonsense about something he knows almost nothing about.

    8) It contains little useful health information, there is a lot that it says nothing about.

    1. The very low PSA value suggests a low testosterone level. Surprised that something hasn’t been made of this.

      1. Yeah, mine was very low as well. So was my testosterone and lipid numbers.
        In my case, BP was rather elevated, in the 200/100 range, pulse 128, FT3 and FT4 well over ten times what it should ever read.
        Fully explaining all of the other odd numbers.
        Fortunately, I have an excellent endocrinologist. 🙂

  44. His stamina and physical strength are extraordinary? Well how about he back that up by running a marathon or participating in a Spartan race? And also please televise this event for interested viewers. Because I would watch the HELL out of that.

  45. No mention Trump has never had a psychiatric assessment. Never had delusions. Never known how to lie. Never been treated for maladaptive behavior. Never had a clue.

  46. In this case, could MD stand for a chest-stumping “Me, Doctor”? This trumped up medical affidavit reminds me of that possibility.

  47. “…doctors’ don’t include e-mail addresses in letters”

    Nor do doctors put an apostrophe after “doctors”. WTF?

    Anyway, a fine takedown.

      1. I’m so curious about something … is this illegal? Actually that’s vague … let me try to be more specific .

        If there was no actual doctor involved isnt forgery illegal? And if a doctor lent his credentials as well as the letterhead of Lennox Hill isn’t that illegal if the doctor is just stating whatever a patient wants him to say?

      2. Heh, my queen! I’m known to type around 45 WPM or 70 MPM (Mistakes per minute), all using all ten thumbs.
        Add in a healthy measure of dyslexia, which pops out to surprise one and all when I’m fatigued, yeah, things can get downright entertaining when I type something and am tired.
        Indeed, if I have no sleep for three days, I can sound as bad as Trump.

    1. Nice picking. She still sounds like a doctor. Bronstein sounds like a Trump U graduate. Sounds like Mr Trump likes his doctors like he likes his accountants.

  48. Hi Dr. Gunter, great piece. I’m an editor at the Huffington Post, and I think your piece could really resonate with our readers. Please let me know if you’re interested in re-posting this on our site under your byline. Hope to hear from you! hayley [dot] miller [at] huffingtonpost [dot] com.

  49. It does sound like something Trump would have written himself. “You know who’s got the best health? Me. I’ve got great health. I mean, just check out my test results. I’ve got the best test results ever. And these tests, look, I was tested for strength and stamina, I’ve got the best stamina.”

    1. Heh, I could reference my last stress test.
      I had come home for another elective procedure, didn’t like one ECG strip, had primary schedule a cardiac workup.
      One problem was, I only brought home my combat boots, I forgot to pack my sneakers. Running in combat boots on the treadmill was unique, nearly breaking the treadmill and not elevating my pulse, priceless. They had to go with a chemical stress test.
      The odd result was due to a heat stroke that I had experienced the previous week.

  50. Trump could easily (and more likely) have written this letter himself. And by the way, Doc. about “concerning”:

    >>> People commonly say of things that are a cause for concern that they are “concerning”: “My boyfriend’s affection for his pet rattlesnake is concerning.” This is not standard English. There are many better words that mean the same thing including “worrisome,” “troubling,” and “alarming.” <<<

      1. Good, standard prose is confined to, and defined by, its era, or course. And sure, this one a matter of diction. The doctor’s choice is not a mistake so much as it is a careless and reflexive adoption of a nonstandard, vogue usage. That is, it’s an affectation, one that betrays her weak abilities as a writer–no big deal, except that, as a doctor who writes, she could use the tip.

    1. You do sound like a picky Internet English teacher but Mr Trump’s doctor does not sound at all like a doctor and writes in Trumpisms full of pointless superlatives. Does the legendary Trump U have a meducator school?

  51. Written by his stunningly beautiful receptionist or a beauty pageant contestant. Probably the former, beauty pageant contestants want world peace.

  52. “His physical strength and stamina are extraordinary.”

    He lifted a bus once.

    Yeah… It was really more of a… a push, really, than a lift.

    Well, actually, the driver kinda had his foot on the accelerator… JUST in the beginning; just to get it going. Then it actually was him.

  53. Correct me if I’m wrong , but with his blood pressure being 110/65 , I would have thought that was on the low side . ( Normally *around* 135 ) .

    1. Ok, I will: the “perfect” blood pressure is 120/80. 110/65 is a little low, but not alarmingly so.

  54. As a non-doctor, what I find concerning with Trump’s letter is that you bothered to engage with it. It’s obviously meant to be understood as a fake.

    1. “Wielding the Lasso of Truth”

      “It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it”

      1. At least, that’s what his attorney insisted was the case.

        I’ll admit, I’m not very understanding when investors get screwed or with frivolous divorces. But then, we’ve been married for 35 years, this December.
        And I loathe when someone tries to scam me out of my hard earned money.
        When the latter is attempted, I’m always highly tempted to tie the confidence man’s shoelaces together and make a loud noise.*

        *The latter, a joking reference to what I’d do to a sleeping sentry, when opposing force in a military training environment. The rude noise being the removal of the blank firing adapter from my rifle and discharging a round while said boot laces were tied around a nearby tree.
        Said sleeping ugly would then spring to his feet and kiss the nearby tree, with his Kevlar helmet protecting his face from excessive harm.
        In short, a dirty trick designed to teach a life lesson.

    1. There is not anything legitimate about all of the fake posts and biased media reports about Trump for sure. I’m pretty sure most Americans know this though by now. Sigh…

      1. Actually, Trump’s undermined his own credibility via his own mouth and tweets for quite some time now.

      1. Assyness! That is perhaps the most accurate description of Trump’s personality(disorder) I’ve read to date. “His assyness is totally legit.” You have succeeded in distilling the essence of this moron into five beautifully rendered words. Bravo!

  55. You have not said this in so many words, but I am thinking that this letter was fabricated.

    I hope that I am incorrect, but given Trump’s history, I would no be surprised.

      1. Sure, but why would the dead elder doctor remain in the letterhead for the next half decade?

      2. That does not mean the letter is legitimate. It could have been cooked up by someone else and used an actual doctor’s name. For that matter, anyone can open a gmail account using any name.

        I have been thinking about the PSA. Assuming that the result is in ng/dl, it is awfully low, sort of unexpected in a 70 year old man. It’s the sort of result that you see in someone whose prostate has been ablated, such as after radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Perhaps someone picked a very low number out of thin air thinking low is good and not realizing the possible implications. On the other hand, it is not impossible for a healthy man to have a PSA that low. It is interesting, though.

      3. The obituary states that Jacob Bornsteins practice will continue under his name, and that he is survived by a son, Harold Bornstein, who is also indicated as a MD. The letter is consistent with the obituary. The letter is signed by Harold, who is not the one dead in 2010. Dr Gunter should be more careful with her writing.

        There are plenty of other reasons to question the validity of the letter. Don’t add careless, unresearched accusations, which can only detract from the validity of the original argument.

    1. Oh, it was totally fabricated. If you go to this page,, you’ll find the following information:

      Updated Date: 03-may-2016
      Creation Date: 07-apr-2016
      Expiration Date: 07-apr-2017

      What this means is that the doctor’s fine domain wasn’t even around in 2015. It was created in April of 2016, and the letter was probably produced after that. Also, if you read some of those words, you’ll notice it’s very Trumponian. He occasionally uses fancy words mixed in with his staccato of short, monosyllabic words and vague ideas.

      1. Domains can expire and be re-registered. If you check, you’ll see that the domain was first registered in 2009, expired some time after its fifth anniversary, and was then re-registered by a spammer on April 7th, 2016.

        You can also confirm that the domain was working fine (albeit, it had a hopelessly amateurish and minimally-informative website on it) as of just 18 days after the letter was dated, per

        The website is a red herring; there are any number of reasons the doctor could have chosen not to renew it, and he can hardly go back and remove it from letters sent before he canceled the domain. 😉

        There are plenty of other reasons for concern about the letter, though. The fact that this one was a non-story doesn’t change that.

      2. Rebecca, your report from Whois is correct, but your extrapolation the site didn’t previously exist is incorrect. (AKA the Wayback Machine) is an archive of snapshots of websites over the years. One can easily inspect what looked like on any given date a snapshot was taken. It appears the domain name was created sometime in 2011 and a real site went live in 2013. That site lasted until mid-2015 (near the end the CSS did not work properly), and then ceased to be active late 2015 as the domain name expired.

      3. Also, if you look at the site via the web archive, you can see that he claims to have The Joint Commission approval, yet the site of this commission does not know a Doctor Bornstein. May be useful for the author to look into.

      4. The page with the adverts on it is a fairly classic domain squatting page. Squatters grab the domain, but don’t actually put a site onto it. They park it and similar pages are presented when one tries to access that domain.
        That way, they get ad hits from their presented ads and hit fees from the advertisers.

      5. Dr. Bornstein claims to have been treating Mr. Trump for 39 years, since 1980. His math skills are as bad as his writing skills.

      6. Yeah, as others have pointed out, the website was functioning at the time of the letter and has since been taken over by a squatter. Dr. Gunter should probably just update her blog post to edit out the whole section on the website, because it just makes her look ignorant about how the web works. And that just calls into question her credibility on other issues raised.

      7. The original article requires a follow-up. Since the article was written, much additional information has become available. Important questions remain.

        Questions about the website seem to have been resolved. The website existed at the time of the letter and was then abandoned. The website seems to be now occupied by a squatter.

        Questions about the identity of the doctor seem to have been resolved. The doctor’s first name is Harold. His father’s first name was Jacob. The clinic seems to be continued as a business in the father’s name. Therefore th econfusion, which is now resolved.

        Harold Bornstein has been interviewed and he claims to have authored the letter in great haste, while a Trump limo was waiting at the front door. In other words, no examination was done at the time – perhaps not for a long time preceding the letter.

        Authenticity of the signature on the letter is still open to questions.

        The doctor claims qualifications, which are still open to questions.

        It is certainly unusual for a doctor to use a gmail email address.

        The letterhead raises questions. Did the limo driver bring a letter to the doctor’s office for his signature. Is this official letterhead.

        The verbiage in the letter is very “Trumpish” and causes all kinds of questions to be raised – questions that would not normally be raised over a doctor’s medical evaluation.

      8. I doubt the limo story.
        Again, a little digging should be able to determine the letterhead and the signature.

      9. Actually, the website sprang into existence shortly before the letter was penned. It was abandoned immediately thereafter, in under a month.
        The doctor claims in an interview to have “written the letter in 5 minutes”, I’ve gotten medical letters penned in a similar amount of time and none were ever so unprofessional or shoddy in appearance.

      1. Nicholas, I did referencing in parallel to you. There is a search engine online to find an FACG in one’s area. It is at is the American College of Gastroenterology site.

        There is no Bornstein listed in New York City. The only Bornstein listed in the US as an FACG is a Jeffry Bornstein in Orlando. Even if Harold Bornstein retired, wouldn’t he still be listed? [Not sure of answer to this.]

      2. Just as a note, you should black-out the name / email address (everything except the domain) of the person you contacted at the ACG, to prevent them from receiving hateful troll-mail. I wish this weren’t the case but this year it is certainly going to happen.

      1. Looks can be deceiving – weren’t you EVER told that as a child ? Probably 90%+ of American children were; I know that I certainly was ?!?

      2. I know, right. His hair looks real and Hilary’s just looks hilarious. Ban 🕋🏗Big wall

      3. That’s OK, I most certainly appear healthier than Trump. I guess that I should be POTUS, as at least, I know what our Constitution says, I don’t accept or solicit members of foreign governments for contributions and have a substantially greater grasp of both policy and the use of the English language.
        My overall health scores, when appropriately cherry picked, also would be superior to Trump’s. After all, I’m 20 years younger.
        My HDL and LDL cholesterol likely is superior to his ratio, toward the healthy side. My hyperthyroidism forced that to be true. 😉

      4. I’ve been practicing medicine for nearly two decades. Outward appearances mean nothing.

      5. I’m in my mid 50s, but most people who know me (but not my age) think I look like a healthy man in his 40s. The reality is that I have several health issues that are not obviously apparent, but put limits on a number of the things I can do. So, yes, looks can be very deceiving.

      6. My Grandad looks like a healthy 80 year old, he has terminal bowel cancer, looks can be extremely deceiving.

    2. I am a physician. I am Board Certified. I am on Faculty of a Medical school. I have 25 years experience. That letter is exactly the type of letter that is written to comment on someone’s health. It looks like Dr. Gunter is still young and still has a few things to learn about the practice of medicine. Best Wishes.

      1. I have 4 board certifications and too have 25 years experience as a physician. This letter is terrible.

        Medical letters state facts and this reads like a letter that starts a romance novel at best.

      2. You still cannot Capitalize things Correctly. Oh man.

        I literally LMAOed.

        Doctors don’t write letters to “comment on someone’s health”. I imagine they give their professional opinions.

      3. I have all the same credentials. And, if one of the residents I teach showed this to me, they’d be in a remediation plan.

      4. Hahaha, JonesMD, I’m pretty sure that your medical credentials are as much of a fabrication as this letter.
        (Doctor with 16 years experience, also medical school faculty and Royal College credentialed.)

      5. The letter claims Dr. Harold Bernstein has been Trump’s personal physician since 1980. That’s means he is at least in his mid-60s.

      6. I don’t believe a word you’re saying. Your letter is fictitious, too. Otherwise, why did you not list your name and affiliation? Reason: because you’re not a physician.

        Also, learn capitalization. None of the words you capitalized should be so, except for “Dr. Gunter.” A 10-year-old knows better.

      7. I’m guessing that you have difficulties with “American Board of Pain Medicine and by the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation” in the “About Me” page.
        I know, knowing how to click other links on the page is something that requires a great deal of programming skill and that is likely beyond your capabilities.
        Or something.

    3. I did a street view look at the address and could see no sign of a doctor’s office. Is there someone in NY who could check that too? My guess is that Trump’s PR man John Miller wrote it. 🙂

    4. We need to question trump about this letter. Period. We all know he has the capability of writing his own letter. Unfortunately, we hold a very low bar for him and it’s sad we can think of him as doing such a despicable thing. But hey it’s trump what else should we think?

    5. what I find comical is you stated that no Doctor would send a letter from a Gmail account for security reasons..then respond to how Hilary as Secretary of State had CLASSIFIED e-mails on a server LESS SECURE THAN G-MAIL..and this was said by the Director of the F.B.I. clearly you are a Hilary fan, for a Doctor you are not that smart!. she lies constantly, she pander’s to any and ALL groups, and her going after the women who accused her husband of sexual harassment truly shows she doesn’t give a crap about women’s rights! and lastly, have you seen the countless video’s of Hilary’s medical issues?..where she makes huge facial ticks, truly bizarre noises, falling down a lot, coughing point….SHE is not physically fit to run for President!. why won’t she get checked out by an impartial Doctor to prove she doesn’t have Dementia. answer that Doctor!

      1. Mrs. Clinton’s letter reveals much more about her health than Trump’s does about his. That is fact.

        If you want a discussion about national security and e-mail go elsewhere. I don’t cover that.

      2. When you get a security clearance, we can speak intelligently on what is and what is not classified, the privileges of the executive branch and the infamous inability of our Congress to actually keep classified information undivulged.
        Note how no charges were suggested as appropriate.

        A hint: Multiple unclassified items can, when collated together, become classified.
        Private mail servers can quite frequently be as secure or even more secure than Google’s mail services. I’ve run more than a few e-mail servers in my day, none were breached, although accounts have been breached due to lousy passwords used by end users.
        Erm, Hillary Clinton doesn’t pander to *all* groups, she has yet to pander to neo nazis, the KKK and other extremist groups, unlike Trump, who has.
        As for any “medical issues”, it isn’t a requirement to pass any physical, health qualifications aren’t part of the requirements for the office of POTUS and we’ve had many a very, very sick POTUS. Suddenly, one idiot, who is incapable of articulating a single policy, tries to pretend that there is such a requirement. That makes sense, as he can’t even get Constitutional law 101 right, to the point of inventing a section of the Constitution!

        That said, I fall down a lot, it goes with having a herniated disc. Does that make me unfit for my duties as an information security officer? Nope. That also wouldn’t make me unfit for POTUS.
        Remember President Ford?

    6. The author did very poor research on this. The doctor wrote this as a retrospective of his practice’s dealing with the patient. That is why he included his father’s name on the report. His father headed the practice before him. The doctor is listed on Lenox Hill’s website in the specialty that he claims. The doctor did have an active website for many years, that he let lapse sometime after he wrote this letter, you can see see the original on the way back machine fairly easily. It was bought up by some entrepreneur after this article was published and now hawks Teddy Bears. There is no standard on how doctors would write this letter, but knowing many doctors I could see many writing this or something like if for many patients.

      1. I’ve had more than a few doctors write notes to my supervisory personnel over the decades, some, military physicians writing medical clearance for me to return to duty after a significant injury.
        I’ve *never* saw such a vague, unprofessionally worded letter penned by a physician. Ever.
        The wording and prose look more like a political flunky forging this more than any physician writing an endorsement of a candidate.
        Frankly, if I had a physician write a letter like this, I’d instantly be finding a competent physician to take care of my medical needs, as I’d be unable to trust that individual professionally.

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