100-year-old Jewish doctor is world’s oldest practicing physician

Retirement is not on the horizon anytime soon, the father of four and grandfather of 10 says.

By World Israel News Staff

A Jewish neurologist who recently celebrated his 100th birthday is officially the world’s oldest practicing physician.

Dr. Howard Tucker, a lifelong resident of Ohio, is a neurologist who teaches medical residents at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland and testifies as an expert medical witness during trials.

By the time he graduated high school in 1940, Tucker told the Cleveland Jewish News, he knew that he wanted to pursue the study of the human brain.

“In those days, neurology was a truly intellectual pursuit,” said Tucker. “There’s something mysterious about the brain. There’s a mystique. That’s why I went into neurology.”

Tucker’s wife Sara is an 88-year-old psychiatrist who is still seeing patients. The couple met while he was lecturing at the Neurological Institute of New York.

“At the time, I was teaching third-year medical students,” Tucker told CJN. “One day I said to myself, ‘That’s a cute-looking girl.’ Six months later, I saw her on the street and we started talking, and that’s how I got married. I’m very lucky.”

A lot has changed in the field of neurology over the course of Tucker’s 75-year-long career. With the advent of brain imaging technologies, research and diagnosis have become much easier.

“We used to have to really think through a problem because there weren’t any diagnostic tools of that magnitude,” Tucker said.

“We used to agonize over a problem. Is this a pattern of a tumor? Is this a pattern of abnormality with a stroke? In those days we had to work harder, but it was fun.”

Retirement is not on the horizon anytime soon, the father of four and grandfather of 10 said.

“I have to keep doing things because I can’t stand being at home,” he said. “As long as people accept me, I’m going to continue to practice. I enjoy myself.”