Paul Fleiss, M.D.

Paul Fleiss

Dr. Paul M. Fleiss, beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, healer and mentor, passed away on the morning of Saturday July 19th, 2014.  He will be sadly missed.  A public memorial will be held in Los Feliz on Friday July 25th at 9 am.  The memorial will be located at Griffith Park opposite “The Trails Cafe” at 2333 Fern Dell Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068. Parking is available on the street and in the adjacent parking lot.

 Dr Fleiss’ family have requested donations in his memory to be made to the following organizations in lieu of flowers:

16 thoughts on “Paul Fleiss, M.D.

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  2. Paul was a truly wonderful man and doctor.

    He was against circumcision and for breastfeeding and genuinely cared for babies and their families.

    Missed enormously xx

  3. 8/18/14

    I called the office today. Yolie answers. When she realizes it’s me, she says, “We’re so sad. We’re so sad.” I immediately ask, “What’s going on?” She says, “You haven’t heard?” I interject, “Heard what?” Yolie continues, “Dr. Fleiss passed away!” OMG…I am in total shock! Yolie continues to tell me about the huge Memorial Service and how everyone in the office spoke. I can only imagine there wasn’t a dry eye at Fern Dell.

    While I was filming a pregnancy pilot in 2009, the Owner of One Hot Mama went on and on about some amazing Doctor named, “Dr. Fleiss.” I had no idea who he was at the time. In no time, he became my all-time favorite Doctor! “You’re an Excellent Mama,” he would tell me. Those words coming from the legend made me feel on top of the world! It’s the greatest compliment a mother could receive! I’ll never forget when he said, “If there’s anything you ever need, just ask. You can always call me.” So not your typical Doctor! There was nothing typical about this man.

    For all those, whose child has been a patient of Dr. Fleiss’, there is no other doctor or office in the planet like Dr. Fleiss and his fabulous crew! My son never wants to leave the office! What kid wants to hang around a Doctor’s office? ONLY a patient of Dr. Fleiss’!

    As difficult as it was hearing about Robin Williams’ death, (I worked with Robin way back when) this hit me so much harder…like a ton of bricks! Dr. Fleiss was my son’s first Pediatrician out of the hospital. He cared for my son, who is most valuable to me, and he calmed me down on several occasions.

    On our newborn’s first visit, the staff rushes me, my son, and Baby Daddy in to see him. No one is saying anything, until Dr. Fleiss speaks and tells us our child has lost a lot of weight, and if I don’t put my baby on formula, he’s going to have to be admitted to the hospital that same day. I can’t believe my ears! Dr. Fleiss has let the word ‘Formula’ roll off the tip of his tongue…Unheard of from the best breastfeeding advocate in the Wild West! As I am crying hard in his office, I speak, “I don’t want to kill my baby. I listened to you. You told me they would try to force formula on my baby in the hospital and not to let my baby take it.” (All along I’m thinking I am being a good patient, since I was following Doctor’s orders) He calms me down. Apparently, this was an exception to the rule! Of course, I did as he said with the formula and everything went beautifully. He also wanted us to come back later that same day to check on our baby. (I didn’t know it at the time, but later found out he had just returned back to work after losing his son) He stayed late for us and didn’t charge for the second visit. Such a gem! He has been beyond gracious when it has come to billing and with his time.

    One episode was Lucille Ball meets a Horror Show. One day as I was returning home from being out with my baby, I turned to open my front door. As I inserted the key, a strong gush of wind blew and flipped my sleeping son in his stroller over stairs. Needless to say, this woke my son up and he was hysterically crying with non-stop bleeding. I called Dr. Fleiss immediately. He got right on the phone with me and said, “You live close. Come here. I’ll be waiting for you.” Turned out my kid bit his tongue! As a first-time Mommy, the stroller stunt with blood gushing outta my baby’s mouth was horrifying! Whenever in a real bind, I liked knowing Dr. Fleiss was there and would guide me with his comfort, calmness, safety, and wisdom.

    Following 4th of July, my son’s eyelid got so swollen. He could barely open his eye! This happened a year ago to the date. All my friends asked, “Are you going to take him to Dr. Fleiss?” I knew if it didn’t get better, I would. I contemplated calling. Instead, I thought let me follow what he taught me to do the last time and see if it works…those good ‘ole Chamomile tea bags did the trick again! I feel him smiling and feeling good, knowing that I am applying what I’ve learned from him.

    I loved our last visit when Dr. Fleiss had my son bring him all the car and truck toys one by one. When it came time to hand over the toy Brink’s truck, he says to Al David, “Give it to Mommy. She can use the money.” Boy could I ever! I took the toy from my son with such gratitude. I am flowing with gratitude, as I type this. I am sooooooo grateful to have known Dr. Fleiss.

    Although he may have been getting up there in age, I feel my son and I were robbed. I wanted more time! My son is only 4! I have so much more to learn! For those of you, who were so fortunate to have years and years with Dr. Fleiss, please share his wisdom, remedies, etc. with me at thenewyawka@gmail.com

    Dr. Fleiss is my Sage. Baby Daddy likes to call him, “My Guru.” It would make Baby Daddy mad how easily I listened to Dr. Fleiss and not to him. Dr. Fleiss made so much sense to me. I love the way he thinks…Unconventional to the hilt! I’m probably the only Jew besides his daughter to have an uncircumcised son! How fitting that my son’s photo ‘Splish Splash I was takin’ a bath’ is on the Dr. Fleiss’ Wall of Fame directly above “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision.” We saw eye-to-eye. I savored our time together!

    Each visit felt like a sweet homecoming! I greeted him with “Hello, Dr. Gorgeous.” He had a gorgeous soul! I found his brilliance and wisdom way sexy! I would walk outta his office saying, “I’m so in love with you.” He would laugh.

    Al David and I will miss his warm smile, big hugs, sweet kisses, his compliments, his jokes & stories, his vast wealth of knowledge, the laughter we shared, his exceptional care, and, of course, his unconventional way of thinking! What a gentle and compassionate soul! Truly one-of-a-kind, which is what made him so special to us and to so many others.

    Here’s an e-mail I received today from a friend in Milwaukee that pretty much sums it up…
    I AM SO VERY SORRY FOR YOU AND EVERYONE WHO KNEW THE DOC——YOU LOVED HIM SO MUCH——HE WILL BE SORELY MISSED——-THIS WAS QUITE A SHOCK TO YOU I IMAGINE——-YOU TALKED ABOUT HIM WITH SO MUCH LOVE IN YOUR HEART—-AGAIN, I AM SOOOOOO SORRY—-I AM SO SAD FOR YOU AND ALL HE MEANT TO YOU——HE WAS KIND OF A FATHER FIGURE——I CANT IMAGINE HOW SAD YOU ARE——-TAKE CARE

    I’m picturing now Dr. Fleiss celebrating up there with Jason!

    As Dr. Fleiss’ fabulous crew is forced to march on, it’s not the same! I know he wouldn’t want anyone to be sad over his loss. Yet, it’s so hard not to be when you’ve been touched by this giant, gentle soul! When I went into the Office today to extend my condolences in person and to pick up a copy of my son’s Immunization Record, I began to cry as I approached the pathway to the front porch. Damn it! That wasn’t supposed to happen! I sat down on the bench on the front porch to compose myself, I tell myself, “Be strong for the gals you’re about to go in and face. Dr. Fleiss wouldn’t want you crying over him.” I can’t help it! I miss him! Who’s going to answer my questions now? I don’t want to find another Pediatrician! We had the best one! I already know there is no one like him! I open the door and walk inside. As hard as I try, I can’t control my tears. They begin to roll down my face. I’m handed the envelope with my son’s Immunization Record. Yolie is as efficient as ever! I asked the gals, if they feel Dr. Fleiss is still around the Office. They answered, “Yes. All the time.” I got the goosebumps! I ask, “Which room was Dr. Fleiss in last?” I ask to go in there. I tell them, “I want to feel his energy and need his strength right now to get me through some things.” Angie (who’s lost a little of her perk & pep) leads the way! Turns out to be the room my son was last seen in and the room we were in for almost all of our visits with Dr. Fleiss. Of course, moments later, Rita pops her head in and speaks, “Are you OK?” It’s the office that continues to care! It’s all a testament to Dr. Fleiss, a caring man that attracted and surrounded himself with a caring staff a.k.a. his extended family! As I leave the office, I call my Mom in New York (She met Dr. Fleiss when Al David was a newborn) and I tell her I cried, even though I tried so hard not to. “I thought you would,” she answers, without missing a beat! She knows me so well and knows how fond I am of Dr. Fleiss!! I shed more tears. She asks, if Al David is with me. I tell her, “No, he’s with his Dad.” I am glad my son isn’t with me now and isn’t seeing me in the sad state I am in.

  4. I had the privilege to hear the blessing the Paul gave to new borns 5 times. Each time was as meaningful and beautiful as the other. With 6 kids, we had the privilege of hanging out at his office for many hours over 33 years. I had the privilege of spending some time with Paul out of the office. During some difficult times in my life, Paul gave me support and good advice. Paul, you will be missed by Thea, Frannie, Hana, Max, Noah, and Lily. David & Sarah.

  5. Dr. Fleiss was a part of the family. His loving and nurturing way put us all at ease during not-so-comfortable times. His Less-is-more approach and focus on healthy eating and well -being helped our 26 year old son, Cody, become a strong, thoughtful young man, who takes good care of himself. Dr. Fleiss gave so much of himself, I remember countless 3am phone calls when Cody had the croup, and payment plans when times were tight, and the marvelous statement, “if you are going to let him eat something sweet, let him eat it after he’s eaten a good meal”. It was doctor Fleiss who showed me how to breast feed when I was struggling with it just after Cody was born.

    Dr. Fleiss profoundly impacted our family. We send our love and prayers to his family and to the family “team” at the office. We are so very sad with his passing., and wish you all love and peace in this difficult time.

    Rest in peace Dr. Fleiss we send our love and gratitude for the blessing of your.life. Thank you for helping and supporting so many people! You are missed!
    Chantel, Jeff and Cody

  6. RIP Dr Paul, the last of a healing breed not just treating symptoms….nutrition was key, no load up on vaccines and antibiotics. Your contributions to the LA pediatric community as forever appreciated. Both my son and grandson are truly grateful for your expertise.

  7. “No chips. No Pop. No Pie” Those words will forever remind me of Dr. Fleiss. He was THE best doctor to a scared little girl who seemed to spend more time than she cared to in his office. But he always made it comfortable for me, and didn’t nag me too much for being the chubby kid – hence the chips, pop, and pie.

    When we finally saw each other decades later at Alegria the family restaurant (which he became a regular of) I reminded him of his words of wisdom and he laughed – that open mouth, big tooth chuckle he would do. I was still a chubby kid (well, adult now) but I finally got down to it and lost the weight. I remember one of the last times I saw him, I said to him “See Dr. Fleiss – no chips. No pop. No pie!!!” And there was that laugh again!

    The world has a slight chill to it now that his warmth and loving energy is gone. He will be forever missed.

    Abrazos,

    Denise

  8. He was a one of a kind. His enthusiasm, love and compassion is nowhere to be found in the average MD. I’m heartbroken. We are so fortunate to have connected to him at the beginning of our daughter’s life. The so fortunate to have been in his office 2 days before he passed away. We saw him behind the desk and he greeted us with his warm smile. You are a treasure Dr. Fleiss. May you continue your work and joy in your next adventure! Here’s a clip of our first visit with Dr. Fleiss almost 3 years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBNQMm_6w0k

    1. Thank you so much for posting this! Simply lovely, this is exactly how he was 26 years ago when our son was born! What an amazing man!

  9. Dr. Paul was truly an incredible human being and Physician. He healed my daughter when I brought her home from China and healed her with his love, medicine and sage wisdom. Photos of her and all the babies he cared for will be forever on his wall in his office in Los Feliz. They will forever be his legacy. He was our “Angel Doctor”. Heaven must’ve missed their Star Angel. <3 you Dr. Paul.

  10. “I’m your friend and Doctor, I like you and I will take care of you”. I will never forget those loving gentle words Dr. Fleiss said to my son 4 years ago.

    He was the BEST doctor for my little family, so gentle, knowledgeable and caring; he even called me on a weekend to see how my 3 week old baby’s diaper rash was doing.. he was like no other doctor I have ever known.

    I don’t know what we will all do without you! He will truly be missed.

    Our thoughts are with the Fleiss family and his loving staff.

  11. I called Scarlett over to tell her about her Dr. Fless. She sat down and we had a good cry then needed a hug. She said, “I liked him so much.”

    That he was a good doctor goes without saying. How much he cared needs to be underlined and talked about some more. I cringe when all the online articles immediately feel the need to tell us about his notorious daughter.

    Many times Dr. Paul Fleiss would meet us at his office at zero dark thirty of any holiday weekend and keep tabs on Scarlett’s tricky condition. She would develop scary asthma so fast and her oxymeter numbers would be so bad that conventional advice would have had you driving straight to the hospital.

    She was two and I was shooting Desperate Housewives and had to leave her at the hospital with Misti her sister, Elizabeth her nanny, and Evelyn, the Grandmother, to go to work. The hospital wouldn’t let Scarlett play with any of the toys because even though we all knew it was asthma it was technically an undiagnosed lung illness because she hadn’t had three separate incidents. Those were the hospital rules. Scarlett saw the room of toys and was pitching a fit to make them her own. And her rage made the asthma worse, and then they wanted an IV and that made things even more unbearably stressful. I hated the hospital.

    So I left someone there at Cedars Sinai with her, sent someone else to Target to buy new things because that’s what you do, and a third someone to our house to collect favorite things then I went to work not knowing if she’d be released that day. All the while I was taking 16 phone calls from Kirk working in NY who was frantic for new information on his hospitalized baby.

    During the next few years I would call Dr. Fleiss and tell him her numbers and her color and whether or not the chords on her neck were straining for air…and then he’d say, “Meet me at the office, I’ll be there as soon as I get dressed.” And he’d come and give her care and me comfort and advice. We’d make conversation while the horrible sound of the nebulizer puffed out its’ magical modern medicinal thing.

    It just so horribly happened that a few weeks earlier Dr. Fleiss had lost his adult son in a drowning accident off the coast of Kona. The loss was fresh and painful and I noticed how he’d aged a decade since I’d last seen him. HIs shoulders carried a yoke of heartache. That sagging forever burden of having lost a child.

    “I’m so sorry.” I said. And I touched his shoulder. I asked if there was anything I could do? Errands or anything I could buy that could bring him a thimble full of joy. He quickly said, “Coffee..I like coffee.” Then he told me what kind. The particular brand. Which kind of bean. And then asked me to bring the whole bean because he liked to grind it himself.” Then he smiled. And I brought it, the coffee, the next day.

    So here I am today having my coffee and thinking of him with a lump in my throat that won’t go away.

    Here’s to you, Dr. Fleiss. And thanks for telling me I was a great Mom. And that you could tell Scarlett was enjoyed and that that makes all the difference when a child knows they’re enjoyed by their parents. II’ll never forget that part. That was extra nice. LIke you.

    At least now he can put his burdens down. All of them. And rest in peace.

  12. When my first son was delivered three and one half weeks early by midwife, she sent us home with an appointment to see a pediatrician within 24 hours. She referred us to a Doctor who thoroughly checked my son out, pronounced him in good health and sent my husband, baby and I off with a huge, but gentle smile and some sage advice. “Now, just take him home and love him.” This was indeed a special man.
    I am filled with great sadness today after learning of the passing of that great human being, Pediatrician Paul Fleiss, M.D. Not only was he my two boys’ Doctor, but would often treat me when I didn’t have a Primary Care Physician. We didn’t have insurance due to my pre-existing condition (asthma) and we paid for his services out-of-pocket, sometimes he would carry a tab for us. We always squared him up, and we were never made to feel less-than for the times we couldn’t pay at the appointment.
    More than anything, he was such a kind, gentle soul who always spent time with the whole family during a visit discussing everything from the reason for the visit to the events of the world. He was our friend with a medical degree. We will miss him greatly. The world needs more like Dr. Fleiss in it. Godspeed great human!
    Our hearts and thoughts are with his family and his office staff (also his family) during this sad time.

    Affectionately,
    Liz Fox, Louis, Raymond and Phoenix Metoyer

  13. We are so heartbroken over the passing of Dr. Fleiss. He was a kind, gentle, caring doctor and he will be dearly missed. He changed our minds about circumcising our boys and he always took my many, nervous , new mom phone calls even after hours. Sending love to his family and office staff and hoping their hearts will find comfort in knowing how much he was loved by so many families. Dear one, lovely, gentle, loving, good soul, healer, educator, friend, doctor like no other.

  14. The passing of my beloved friend Paul Fleiss leaves a vast hole in the fabric of my life, in the lives of thousands of others, and in our community. It is difficult to imagine this community without Paul Fleiss. He was such a constant source of strength and support to me and to his family, friends, colleagues and the thousands of families who relied on him to help them keep their children well and to navigate the uncertainties of health-related concerns. Paul, you are and will continue to be sorely missed.

    Thank you, my beautiful friend for the gift of your enduring kindness, friendship, love and steadfast support for nearly 40 years. You made my life and the lives of countless others immeasurably richer, healthier and vastly more secure.

    Thank you too for helping me get Harmony Project launched thirteen years ago as an early Board Member. Those early efforts continue to bear fruit, as Harmony Project now provides musical instruments and tuition-free music lessons and ensemble rehearsals 5 to 20 hours/week to nearly 2,000 disadvantaged LA children, has hundreds more kids on waiting lists — and has helped affiliated programs launch and grow in Miami, New Orleans, Tulsa, Kansas City and Ventura (CA) — with additional programs developing rapidly throughout the country.

    Paul, I don’t want to say goodbye to you. You will live on in my heart and will continue to inspire and guide me for as long as I live. I wish you every good thing on your next adventure.

    With all my love,

    Margaret Martin

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