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Thread: Former Jets Physician Ripped To Shreds

  1. #1

    Former Jets Physician Ripped To Shreds

    A long story, but an interesting read. Makes the Jets former concussion "specialist" Elliot Pellman look like a complete and utter scumbag. If anything, made me feel more sorry for Al Toon and Wayne Chrebet than I already did.

    In 1952 -- 1952! -- the New England Journal of Medicine recommended that football players leave the sport after suffering three concussions; 40 years later, Jets receiver Al Toon retired after suffering his ninth diagnosed concussion. (According to a 2011 New York Times report, Toon still suffers health effects, though he declined to discuss them publicly.) In 1997, the American Academy of Neurology recommended that concussed athletes knocked unconscious be withheld from play until asymptomatic for at least one week. The NFL rejected the recommendation. Seven years later, an international panel of sports concussion experts recommended that concussed athletes should not return to play the same day, even if they never lost consciousness. The NFL again rejected the recommendation, with [Elliot] Pellman subsequently writing in a paper that linking "concussion symptoms to arbitrary, rigid management decisions" was not "consistent with scientific data" and that team physicians should instead "treat their players on a case-to-case basis."

    Among those team physicians? Pellman himself, who managed concussion care and return-to-play decisions for the Jets. In 1995 quarterback Boomer Esiason was concussed and missed four games. He later wrote a letter to The New York Times praising Pellman's handling of his injury. Chrebet's experience was different. During a 2003 game, he was knocked out. Drawing on a New York Daily News report, Keating described what happened next:

    … "there's going to be some controversy about you going back to play." Pellman looks Chrebet in the eye in the fourth quarter of a tight game, Jets vs. Giants … a knee to the back of the head knocked Chrebet stone-cold unconscious a quarter earlier, and now the Jets' team doctor is putting the wideout through a series of mental tests. Pellman knows Chrebet has suffered a concussion, but the player is performing adequately on standard memory exercises.

    "This is very important for you," the portly physician tells the local hero. "This is very important for your career." Then he asks, "Are you OK?"

    When Chrebet replies, "I'm fine," Pellman sends him back in …

    Like Toon, Chrebet reportedly still suffers from post-concussive ailments.
    Last edited by BroadwayRay; 05-20-2013 at 05:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Is this Dr. Yes?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Chupa View Post
    Is this Dr. Yes?
    I had never heard that nickname, but judging by how he's described in the story, I would say Yes, this is Dr. Yes.

  4. #4
    There must be a lot of pressure on doctors to let players return to the game. (See RG3 last year). Not excusing them by any means but you've got to wonder how many times they can hold a player out before they're fired.

  5. #5
    Jets Insider VIP
    Join Date
    May 2009
    In Morris Co., N.J. at the right end of a Browning 12 gauge, with Nick to my left n Rex to my right.

  6. #6 Legend
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Jets Stadium Section 246
    The decision needs to be made by doctors and other medically certified individuals who have zero to do with the teams or the outcome of the game. There need to be completely independent, objective medical experts on the sidelines who have the final say about whether a player goes back into a game. No interactions with coaches or other team staff, a straightforward medical decision. That's how I would do it.

  7. #7

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Apache 51 View Post
    So true.

  9. #9

    Doctors knew in 1969 that Boxing caused dementia

    No one will convince me that guys like Pearlman didn't have some inkling that repeated, violent blows to the head could cause permanent damage to a player's brain.

    Last edited by TheBlairThomasFumble; 05-20-2013 at 08:34 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Vinny Testaverde's Niece View Post
    There must be a lot of pressure on doctors to let players return to the game. (See RG3 last year). Not excusing them by any means but you've got to wonder how many times they can hold a player out before they're fired.
    We take an oath, we should honor it no matter the circumstance. As a physicians it's not like jobs are super rare to come by. I appreciate your sympathy for the tough positions our trade can be put in, but don't give us that kind of slack. We should be held to a higher standard given that patients place their faith in us and their lives in our hands. JMHO

  11. #11
    Board Moderator
    Jets Insider VIP

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Ive never read anything critical on this specific play but he let Kevin Colley skate off the ice with a severe neck injury. The dude had significant surgery and never played again. I don't know nuthin about nuthin but as soon as the announcers told me that Elliot Pellman, the Islanders physician, was looking at him, I cringed and I still cringe to this day.

    The dude is a self-promoter and a businessman, not a competent physician. At least not in the capacity he served for these teams and the NFL.

    Bit used to refer to him as Tijuana Pellman....kind of appropo


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