Monday, August 13, 2007

The Truth Behind "Rapid Interpretation of EKGs" by Dale Dubin

Many students are puzzled about how to interpret EKGs. They are often directed to "Rapid Interpretation of EKG's" by Dale Dubin, a supposedly classic introductory text on how to read EKGs. The book's tone is conversational, and one quickly comes to realize that Dr. Dubin believes he is God's gift to reading EKGs, as evidenced by his:
  • thanking himself in his acknowledgements (ok, fine, maybe it was his father who had the same name, but there's no way to distinguish this in the text)
  • using his own quote as an introductory quote for the book, but referring to himself as "DD" to make it seem more mysterious
  • just his overall tone
  • offering a car to anyone who read the copyright notice in one of the editions and mailed in.
That last one sounds too good to be true, right? And all this makes you wonder, who exactly is Dale Dubin? Well, according to this article on
"But sometimes lore manages to intersect with real life when a legend
long extant is duplicated in actuality. (Folklorists term this
phenomenon "ostension.") In 2001, Jeffrey Seiden, a third-year medical
student at Yale University, was studying his electrocardiography
textbook when he happened upon the following message tucked away in the
book's copyright notice:

Congratulations for your perseverance. You may win the car on page 46 by
writing down your name and address and submitting it to the publisher.

Dr. Dale Dubin had inserted the note into his 50th printing of his
"Rapid Interpretation of EKGs," putting his classic Thunderbird up for
grabs. Of the 60,000 who last year bought the book containing the offer,
only five spotted the hidden message and contacted the publisher with
news of their find. The five names were placed in a hat, and Jeffrey
Seiden's was chosen at random. The 1965 Thunderbird convertible was
delivered to him on 4 December 2001 by Dubin's daughter, who drove it to
Seiden's school."
Nice story, right? But guess what:
Yale officials heard of the contest only at the last minute, but they
allowed the award to be made on campus and helped with some of the
publicity. Since then, however, Yale has done what it can to distance
itself from the affair. When questioned about the award, Karen Peart, a
university spokeswoman, told the /Hartford Courant/: "This is not a Yale

The school's reluctance to be associated with Dubin stems from
revelations about his past: Dubin is an ex-convict whose medical license
was revoked after a 1986 conviction in Florida on federal drug and child
pornography charges. He was sentenced to five years in a federal prison
and was released in 1989 after having served 3½ years.
Yep, that's right: to quote The Big Lebowski,

Dubin's a pederass.

But, what the heck, it's a good book. You should still buy it:

Updated 20200228


  1. Your'e the pederass. Dale Dubin is Jesus' real father. Plus he has a patented nipple surgery.

  2. his book is the best out there for interpreting EKGs. your blog, on the other hand, sucks.

  3. Hahahaha
    Best comment ever



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