In Memoriam: Frank Miller, MD, Did Not Live Long Enough to See “Dune: Part Two”


Remembering the 1-year anniversary of Frank Miller, MD’s death.

Frank Miller, MD


Actually, I do not know if Frank even knew of—or saw—part 1 of “Dune” in 2021 or read the original book, which came out not long before we started medical school together at Yale in 1967. But for a psychiatrist of wide interests, I would not be surprised if he did. After all, he had a pet tarantula, which was not free range, when he lived with some classmates in a beach house. He would probably feel right at home with the giant sand worms and small desert mice of “Dune.”

This past weekend of the release of “Dune: Part Two” was also the first anniversary of his death, that being on March 3, 2023. Even in this internet age, it is not always easy to discover who died and when. His classmates and I were trying to contact Frank in putting together a piece on those who went into psychiatry about 50 years ago, but we could not locate him until 1 classmate googled Frank Miller and Cleveland. Startlingly, his obituary popped up.

He was from Cleveland and was a lover of the Cleveland sports teams. After working for a few years in Cleveland, he came to New York, worked at Payne Whitney and Cornell Medical School for 15 years, then set up a successful private practice of Fifth Avenue until he came ill with Multiple Myeloma. Among his personal interests were his family and fishing.

Among the memories written in his funeral’s Guest Book was:

“Dr Miller saved my life. I am eternally grateful to him and so miss our sessions.

“Frank was a ‘Renaissance Man.’ Brilliant, funny and a good friend for many years.”

“He had a brilliant mind, kind heart and immeasurable patience.”

Perhaps even more important was a patient comment on RateMDs on May 3, 2009, while Dr Miller was still alive:

“Dr Frank Miller saved my life. He is a bipolar specialist. . . By far the best pharmacologist I have ever come into contact with.”

Hopefully, Frank saw that comment. Those of us who knew him in medical school well enough would not be surprised with these accolades.

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry and is now in retirement and retirement as a private pro bono community psychiatrist. A prolific writer and speaker, he has done a weekday column titled “Psychiatric Views on the Daily News” and a weekly video, “Psychiatry & Society,” since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged. He was chosen to receive the 2024 Abraham Halpern Humanitarian Award from the American Association for Social Psychiatry. Previously, he received the Administrative Award in 2016 from the American Psychiatric Association, the one-time designation of being a Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Speaker of the Assembly of the APA in 2002, and the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 1991. He is an advocate and activist for mental health issues related to climate instability, physician burnout, and xenophobia. He is now editing the final book in a 4-volume series on religions and psychiatry for Springer: Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Christianity, and now The Eastern Religions, and Spirituality. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times.

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