The Life and Work of John Drulle, M.D. 1944-2003
If one could imagine a physician stepping out of a Norman Rockwell painting to spend all the quality time needed with you, with his attention focused totally on your symptoms, questions and fears, that physician would likely be the late John Drulle, M.D. Decades ago, when scholarly physicians were diligently discovering the Lyme bacteria and naming the disease, he was among the first handful of doctors on the frontlines of actually treating the condition. In the early days of Lyme disease, testing procedures and results were unreliable at best. That’s why John used the most sophisticated of devices available to diagnose and treat the condition – his ears. He would take all the time needed to hear a patient out, as there was a close relationship between close listening and appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Because protocols were uncertain, he would never give a patient a medicine unless he tried it on himself first, because he himself was infected with Lyme as well as other tick-borne diseases. To say his practice was patient-centered is an understatement – he would go so far as to pick up prescriptions and deliver them to a patient’s house when they were too sick to do so themselves. Even when he himself was battling chronic fatigue and pain, he kept a positive outlook and sense of humor. John Drulle was truly a blessing to all who knew him until he succumbed to Lyme disease and an untimely death in 2003.
John Drulle, M.D., was a pioneer in the fight against Lyme disease and other tick borne illnesses. He helped to initiate the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Lyme Disease. John worked toward educating the public about the need for prevention, treatment and research on tick-borne infections. He also worked toward educating the public about the special concerns regarding the effects of Lyme disease on pregnant women and the unborn.
In 1967 he graduated from the New Jersey Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. John decided to pursue medicine and enrolled in Universidad del Noreste in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico. He graduated as a Doctor of Medicine and then attended the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ in the Fifth Pathway Program. In 1981 John began his internship and residency at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, NJ. Upon completion of his residency in 1984, he worked in the field of Urgent Care. In 1988 John opened a private practice in Jackson, NJ, with his wife, Emilia C. Eiras, M.D. She became President of The John Drulle, M.D. Memorial Lyme Fund in 2005. In December of 2003, a flag was flown over the Capital building in Washington, DC to honor Dr. John Drulle and his contributions to Lyme education and research.
Articles and Presentations:
Pregnancy and Lyme Disease
LDANJ Patient Information Guide. June 1998
Persisting Lyme disease: Chronic infection or immune phenomena?
Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation. Lecture 1992.
Antibiotics and Steroids Lyme Disease 1991: Patient/Physician Perspectives from the U.S. and Canada.
Lyme Disease: The Pitfalls of Laboratory Testing
Lyme Disease 1991: Patient/Physician Perspective from the U.S. and Canada.
“Borrellia Burgdorferi Specific Antibodies in Circulating Immune Complexes in Seronegative Lyme Disease.” Lancet. February 1990
Lyme Disease Drug Therapy “Lyme Disease: Late Season Update.” August 1989.
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