A doctor in San Diego County has used his own personal experiences to learn and share the power of music to heal.
However, Steven G. Eisenberg, D.O. is taking it one step further by composing original songs for his patients, and they say his bedside minor brightens even their darkest days. Patient Debbie Hallmark, who the good doctor serenaded to celebrate the end of a grueling round of chemo, shared, “He doesn’t treat your illness – he treats you. And that’s the way medicine should be.”
Dr. Eisenberg aims to redefine patient-doctor communication, urging a strong relationship based on clear conversation by melding compassion and care with technology. He believes opening the doors of communication is the first step toward recovery.
When he meets a new patient, he starts by interviewing them, scribbling frantically, then lets it marinate for a day or so. Later, as he will be going about his normal routine, he’ll suddenly get an idea and break out his guitar. From that point, he says, the song practically writes itself.
As for his inspiration, Dr. Eisenberg looked internally and thought back to a time he himself had been struggling with his health. To take his mind off of it, he entered a story-writing contest in which the winner would receive the prize of having a song written about them. This gave the good doctor the epiphany to sing for his patients to lift their spirits when they were suffering and feeling lost.
In the sterile world of medicine where many doctors are criticized for focusing primarily on the disease, not the support patients need, says Hallmark, “It’s wonderful and refreshing because when you’re with him, you feel like you’re his only patient.”
Because of his technique and successes, Dr. Eisenberg has being recognized nationally, including on the NBC “Today Show.”
Dr. Eisenberg received his B.A. in general arts and sciences at Pennsylvania State University. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He was honored with the Dean Arthur M. and Belle B. Flack Memorial Award for the student most proficient in internal medicine.
After receiving his doctorate, he completed an internal medicine internship and residency at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Hospital Consortium and was named chief intern. He was the first recipient of the Emanuel Fliegelman, D. Humanitarian Award for the doctor exhibiting highly compassionate care during residency.
Dr. Eisenberg completed a fellowship at the Georgetown University Medical Center, Vincent T. Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Medical Oncology and Hematology, and spent a research year as a gastrointestinal oncology fellow. He served as an investigator in a variety of clinical trials focusing on novel therapies for GI malignancies. He has published articles on colon cancer and continues to lecture on a wide array of cancer-related topics. His special interests include breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and integrative oncology.
He is board-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology and hematology and has offices in Poway, Escondido and Vista. He has been nominated for Best Bedside Manner at Tri-City Hospital.
Dr. Eisenberg is married and has three children. He enjoys playing basketball, traveling with his family and writing songs for people living with cancer through the Lyrical Life Foundation.