Dr. Leon Hammer, M.D.
by Brandt Stickley
I encountered Dr. Hammer's first book, Dragon Rises Red Bird Flies in my first semester of acupuncture school. It was not a casual read; I found there a blueprint for my future aspirations and a radically powerful model of medicine.
If that book is a deeply insightful testament to one's capability to understand his fellow man, it simply pales in comparison to Dr. Hammer himself. I have not known a more compassionate, humble genius in my life. He embodies one of the central tenets of humanistic psychology: respect for the individual. He makes this respect a vital pillar of diagnosis, creating connections and engendering awareness with the penetrating illumination that characterizes the most profound approach to Chinese medicine.
His synthesis and teaching of a sophisticated pulse system (CCPD), learned through 28 years of association with another luminary, Dr. John HF Shen, is one of the greatest accomplishments in Chinese medicine. But his contributions will not be limited to that herculean undertaking. At the college where he presides, he has turned to imparting his uniquely comprehensive vision of Chinese medicine to a generation of students. He is an inspiration, a mentor, a colleague, and a friend. His work calls and challenges us to understand how another experiences the world, and to make this the vehicle of their awakening through the medium of Chinese medicine.