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Robert Kellner, MD

Robert Kellner, MD

Psychiatry


Remembrances

Robert (Bob) Kellner, MD, was a remarkable man. He was the first on our faculty to produce substantial research and a strong advocate for clinical research in the Department. His interests were widespread, but centered especially on the anxiety and depressive disturbances seen ubiquitously in family practice. Many of his ideas are encapsulated in his book, Family Ill Health (Tavistock/Thomas, 1963). He was the first to discover that nightmares often could be dramatically relieved by a safe and simple single session treatment in which the patient was taught to construct a different and optimistic ending of the dream. This idea since has been taken up and elaborated, perhaps unnecessarily, by others.

Bob also was a teacher beloved by the residents, for whom he was always available. He used to drag about a huge, floppy bag stuffed with reprints - and a paper bag of edibles on which he munched frequently at odd times during the day. With this constantly refreshed armamentarium, he could almost at once answer any question that a resident might pose. Then came a day when he appeared very late for a scheduled class, an unheard of breach of his usual behavior. And he didn't seem to care! A few months later, the Department lost a wonderful researcher, clinician and teacher when Bob died due to a brain tumor.


— E.H. Uhlenhuth, MD, UNM Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus

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