cover image White House Doctor

White House Doctor

T. Burton Smith. Madison Books, $26.95 (178pp) ISBN 978-0-8191-8625-6

Doctor and friend to Ronald Reagan for 15 years before his election to the presidency and White House physician to the Reagans and Vice President and Barbara Bush from 1985 to 1987, Smith, writing with freelancer Henderson, here records his famous patients' illnesses and surgery, and notes advances made since George Washington's day in medicine, security and luxury--enjoyed by today's White House occupants. Smith prizes his encounters with political nabobs at White House functions and on foreign travels with the President. His diagnostic eye for detail extends to landscapes, furnishings and cuisine. Smith's critical role as a source of public information on the state of Reagan's health was often a delicate one, especially in relation to Nancy Reagan, and while he relished the perks of his position, he resented being relegated to a basement office and the lowly status of doctors on the White House totem pole. Photos not seen by PW. (Dec.)