Monthly Archives: October 2007

Geoff Edelsten’s History

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Geoffrey Edelsten is a medical entrepreneur who has been widely credited[1,2] with revolutionising general practice in Australia and commencing corporate medical practice, extended-hours medical centres, and championing bulk-billing in Australia when its introduction was controversial and divisive.  Bulk-billing is the term used when a patient attends a general practitioner (referred to as ‘family physician’ in other jurisdictions).  Edelsten had in earlier years led significant changes in pathology delivery and medical deputising.   Edelsten has been recognised as one of the most influential GPs in Australia[3].

Edelsten was the first private owner of a major football team franchise, when in 1985 he purchased the Sydney Swans Football Club, saving it from extinction.

Childhood
Edelsten was born in Carlton, opposite the Carlton Football ground at Princes Park, an inner suburb of Melbourne, the elder son of Esther and Hymie Edelsten.  He attended Princes Hill Public School and his early childhood in Carlton was an important contribution to his love for Australian Football and Carlton Football Club.

Edelsten’s parents instilled in him a strong work ethic as they both worked intensively after Hymie Edelsten (now deceased) returned from World War 2 having served in the Australian Defence Forces from 1940-1945.  They moved residence from Carlton to Brighton, and Esther and Hymie commenced a lingerie retail chain "Linda Leigh" which they operated successfully until they sold it in the late 1970s and retired.

Geoffrey Edelsten changed schools to Mt. Scopus Memorial College, Australia’s first Jewish co-educational school, whose first and major campus was established in Burwood.  Edelsten excelled academically and was an outstanding sportsman, where he captained the school football and cricket teams, won the 100m sprint and was the first House Captain of Bialik House, which won the school competition in its first year.  Edelsten was a senior officer (C.U.O.) in the school cadet corps and a school prefect.

www.GeoffEdelsten.comAwards
Edelsten was awarded the Lovaran Cup as the most outstanding student athlete, and the M S Bromberger Prize as the student that others most wished to emulate.

Scholarship
Edelsten was awarded a Commonwealth scholarship to the Medical School of the University of Melbourne.

University
Geoff Edelsten had a distinguished undergraduate career where he obtained honours in many subjects, and was awarded the Exhibition (1st in class) in Anatomy, including Histology and Embryology, sharing this prize with Richard Larkins (now Vice-Chancellor of Monash University).  Edelsten’s name appears on an honour board in the School of Medicine as a prosector in Anatomy.  Honours in medicine in his final year ensured his appointment as a junior medical officer (intern) at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

 

[1] Australian Doctor, 8 July, 1985 pp 1, 64-65
[2] Australian Doctor, 2 Nov, 2007, pp 19-20
[3] Australian Doctor, July 2006

Geoff Edelsten’s Academic Accolades

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The Exhibition of Anatomy

University of Melbourne

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 4th April, 1963


 

Bacteriology – First Class Honours

University of Melbourne

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 2nd October, 1964


 

Foreign Medical Graduate

The Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 14th September, 1966


 

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery

The University of Melbourne

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 17th December, 1966


 

Certificate of Merit

International Who’s Who in Medicine – Cambridge, England

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten in April, 1986


 

Certificate of Merit – Service to the Community

Volume XX of the Dictionary of International Biography

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten in August, 1986


 

Australian Certificate of Civil Aviation – Medicine

Monash University

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 2nd July, 1993


 

Doctor of Philosophy – Health Care Administration

Pacific Western University

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 15th December, 1995


 

Master of Business Administration

Southern Cross University

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 9th February, 1996


 

Master of Science – Health Policy & Management

University of Wollongong

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 3rd October, 1996


 

Senior Fellow (SFCDA)

Corporate Directors’ Association of Australia Limited.

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 24th October, 1996


 

Graduate Diploma in Family Medicine

Monash University

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 4th December, 1996


 

Bachelor of Laws, Graduate

The University of New England

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 17th April, 1997


 

Master of Health Services Management

Charles Sturt University

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 7th May, 1997


 

Master of Laws

Monash University

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 19th October, 1999


 

Master of Family Medicine (Clinical)

Monash University

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 8th December, 1999


 

Master of Health Science (Occupational Medicine Health And Safety)

Edith Cowan University

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 26th October, 2004


 

Master of Medicine (Sports Medicine)

Edith Cowan University

Awarded to Geoffrey Edelsten on the 26th October, 2004

Geoff Edelsten’s Career

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Intern
During Edelsten’s intern year he showed his penchant for innovation and business by rostering his colleagues to provide relief (locum) work for surrounding private practices.  Edelsten also commenced the first home visiting service in Melbourne.  This was Melbourne’s first after-hours medical deputising service.

Music
During Edelsten’s medical undergraduate years he developed a love for popular music, and after helping promote a number of artists, including the Francoise Hardy Number 1 "Only you can do it", formed his own label "Scope Records" and began managing bands.  An early discovery was John Farnham, who come for an interview and sang in the nurses room at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, before signing with EMI and a hugely successful career followed.  Geoffrey Edelsten managed the group The Last Straws and helped co-write their first hit record "I can’t stop loving you baby".

Geoffrey Edelsten produced two number one records – "Everlasting Love" by the Town Criers (this song has been recorded many times since by numerous artists including Doug Parkinson, U2, Gloria Estefan and others, and was in the Bridget Jones Diary film).  Edelsten’s second number one record was "Love Machine" by a studio group Pastoral Symphony.   Other groups with whom Edelsten was involved in the early days of Australian music included Cam-pact, and they had more than ten Top 10 records.

Flying
Following his term as an intern Geoffrey Edelsten became a country doctor at Birchip in Western Victoria, and then Wauchope in N.S.W. where he commenced learning to fly.  He completed his private pilot’s licence whilst at Aramac in Western Queensland.

Country Doctor
In Aramac, Edelsten was the only doctor for approximately 100km and he used his plane to service remote communities.  At the end of his contract period at Aramac he moved to Walgett in North Western N.S.W. where he bought his first practice.  Edelsten used his plane, a Piper Cherokee Arrow VH-PFB, to provide a medical service to surrounding towns of Lightning Ridge and Burren Junction, and would regularly visit Coonamble, Coonabarabran and Dubbo, using his plane to take ill patients from Walgett to the Dubbo Base Hospital.  Edelsten has been widely acclaimed for his life saving work.  Because of the absence of veterinary surgeons, Edelsten was called upon to assist with veterinary emergencies.  As a result of his love of flying, he pursued, and was granted, approval as a civil aviation medical examiner, providing medical examinations for pilots.  As the only doctor in the town he was a State and Commonwealth Government Medical Officer, and performed autopsies for the Coroner.  Edelstenf was also an Honorary Medical Officer for Walgett District Hospital.
In 1971 Edelsten moved to Sydney following his love, Ngaire, a flight attendant whom he met on a commercial airline flight.  Edelsten recruited another doctor to work at Walgett and would return using his plane at least once per week.  Edelsten purchased a practice in Coogee and an apartment near by. 

Group Practice
This was followed by practices in Hammondville, Moorebank, Chipping Norton, Georges Hall, Fairfield, Liverpool, Macquarie Fields, Campbelltown and Eastlakes.  This was the first time in Australia that a group practice had established multiple locations.  Key medical practitioners were recruited for many of the sites, but Dr. Geoffrey Edelsten visited all sites in a gruelling work schedule, which commenced at 5.00 a.m. operating 6 days per week, and then would consult until midnight virtually 7 days per week.  Edelsten was informed by Government authorities that he was the busiest doctor in Australia[4].

Obstetrics
Edelsten was appointed an Honorary Medical Officer at Liverpool District Hospital, Fairfield District Hospital, Bankstown District Hospital and Greenoaks Private Hospital.  It has been estimated that Edelsten has delivered approximately 20,000  babies[5] in his professional life.

Surgery
His work as a country doctor equipped him to undertake a wide range of surgical procedures which was increasingly rare for a GP.  Edelsten would regularly do Ts & As (Tonsils and Adenoids), Appendix, Laparoscopy, D & C (Dilatation & Curettage), Vasectomy, Circumcision and many others.
Pathology:
In the early 1970s Edelsten changed pathology practices in Australia with the first commercial pathology laboratory – Preventicare.  Until this time a GP would refer patients to a pathologist for pathology collection and testing.  This was performed at the pathologist’s rooms.

In the Preventicare model, GPs would collect the specimens from the patient, couriers would then collect the specimens and they were then processed at a central laboratory.  Results were provided to the referring GP via telecommunications using IBM’s "call 360" service.

Geoffrey Edelsten introduced the most modern pathology testing equipment for the first time in Australia, and this included a biochemistry analyser, which could process 12 different biochemical examinations in a very short time, at a fraction of the cost of existing equipment.  This resulted in pathologists being forced to duplicate the technology in order to compete.
This was the first time in Australia, and one of the first times in the world, that these changes to pathology were introduced.

The business expanded rapidly and was supported by leading medical practitioners such as Professor Fred Hollows.  The rapid expansion was funded by a merchant bank, Development Underwriting Limited (DUL), and a laboratory was commenced in Melbourne in addition to the Sydney laboratory.  Within months, hundreds of general practitioners and specialists had joined the network.

After a market crash, DUL were unable to continue its funding and the company was forced into administration.  After a short period under Administration, the company traded out of its difficulties and became most successful.

Geoffrey Edelsten predicted that because of new technologies, the rebates under the government’s medical benefits scheme would be reduced significantly.  Although this took several years, Edelsten decided to sell his interest to his junior co-shareholder, Dr. Thomas Wenkart for several million dollars.  Wenkart went on to develop one of the largest pathology companies in Australia – Macquarie Pathology, before selling to Mayne Health.

Centrefold Nightclub
In 1975 Geoffrey Edelsten established a nightclub which he called "Centrefold".  It was located in the heart of Sydney’s entertainment district.  The site had previously been a licensed club.  It was the largest club of its type in Sydney, and could accommodate more than 2,000 people.

It consisted of three floors, in addition to a ground floor reception.  On the first floor was a theatre restaurant and provided live Australian productions served with dinner.  On the second floor was the showroom where top international acts of the time starred, whilst an a-la-carte restaurant provided cuisine from leading chefs.

Hit makers, such as the Stylistics, Billy Jean Bodine, George McCrae and many others, starred.  It was the place to be – visitors and patrons included the Australian A-list, and a continuous stream of international stars including ABBA.

On the top floor was a penthouse private club where people clamoured to be invited.

Bewilderingly, the authorities opposed a liquor licence, despite it being previously licensed, on flimsy grounds of fire exits.   Edelsten was subject to extortion threats where substantial payments were demanded to provide warning of police raids.  The club continued trading whilst prosecuting appeals, but the logistics of supplying liquor bought from retail suppliers, and on-selling, were onerous and unduly expensive.  After one year it was closed.

Other New Business
Edelsten commenced an innovative service providing movies to hotels called Video Cinema Pty Ltd.  This was the first time in Australia that movies could be watched by patrons in hotels in Australia.

The fitness revolution had not begun but Edelsten forecast that weight control and fitness would become major elements in society.  He took over John Valentine Health Clubs and expanded them to new locations.  They were glamorous, upmarket centres with pools and gymnasiums.

He took over a group of weight loss centres in Sydney and Melbourne and became an expert in the Protein Sparing Modified Fast[6,7].

 

[4] Edelsten & Medical Practitioners Board of Victoria 1994
[5] Medical Tribunal of N.S.W.  2001
[6] Medical Journal of Australia, 17 Sept, 1977
[7] Medical Journal of Australia, 22 April, 1978

Geoff Edelsten’s Life

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Edelsten in the U.S.A.

In 1976, Edelsten went to the U.S.A. West Coast for the first time and fell in love with Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.

Edelsten returned shortly after his vacation determined to spend more of his time in the U.S.A.  Through Edelsten’s various business interests in Australia he had met Mr. Herb Margolis, who had produced and directed movies such as the ‘Wackiest Ship in the Army’ and was a lecturer at UCLA in the Performing Arts. Margolis also worked for Penthouse Magazine as its West Coast editor, and had provided actresses and models for the opening of the Centrefold Night Club in Australia.

Edelsten moved into a beautiful home off Coldwater Canyon, since which had been owned by the British movie star, Lawrence Harvey ("Room at the Top") before his death.  This magnificent home overlooked Beverly Hills.  Edelsten engaged a welsh couple, Lillian and Ray, who left Dean Martin’s employ to work for him.  Lillian was Housekeeper and Cook and Ray was the Chauffeur. 

Through househunting and Morgolis, he met celebrities such as Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, Linda Carter, Sylvester Stallone, Julie Andrews, Blake Edwards, Shirley McLean, John Travalto and many others.

Edelsten was a guest of the Academy Awards.  Australian newspapers carried stories of romantic involvement with Diana Ross and Linder Carter [8].

Edelsten commenced his medical business in Los Angeles purchasing three clinics – Vedugo Hills Medical Center in Greendale, Santa Monica Medical Center and East Los Angeles Medical Center, together with a pathology laboratory named Preventeine Inc. and would reside in Beverly Hills for 3 weeks each month and return to Australia for the remaining one week each month.

In Australia Edelsten would manage the 64 clinics in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.  He would also consult patients, and conduct the confinements of his pregnant patients.

Other trips from L.A. to Sydney or Melbourne were made to watch his beloved Carlton Football Club, particularly in finals.

After a year in his Beverly Hills residence, Edelsten moved to Perugia Way Bel-Air.  This magnificent home, with beautiful tennis court, pool and 7 bedrooms, became his home during his remaining stay in L.A. prior to moving back to Sydney to properly manage his burgeoning medical empire.  The Bel-Air home was sold to Barry Manilow.

 

[8] Melbourne Herald 1977

Geoff Edelsten’s Endorsements

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The name Prof. Geoffrey Edelsten is synonymous with success.  Through academic degrees and accolades, a lifetime of commitment and advancement in medicine, business entrepreneurial skill with unprecedented success, and the relationship with the best that life has to offer.

From humble beginnings; Geoffrey is a true Australian success story.  As one of the most well known public figures in Australia today, any Australian will tell you he is a legend of Australian Medicine, Business and Sport.

“Dr Edelsten is the focal point of a radical change to the face of Australian medicine” – Australian Dr, 1985

“It is not stretching the point to suggest that the very future of big-time Australian team sports hinges on Dr Edelsten and his Swans venture” – Your Sport, 1985

“GEOFFREY EDELSTEN is one of the most recognisable doctors in Australia”
“Edelsten’s life is his work”
– Sydney Morning Herald / Goodweekend, 1986

“The Amazing Dr Edelsten“
“He has become a legend in his own lifetime”
– Illawarra Mercury, 1987

“Edelsten: The Flying Doctor” – Personal Success, 1987

“Edelsten has been entrepreneurial since he was a student at the University of Melbourne in the ’60s” – The Bulletin, 1991

“The public face of corporate medicine”
“Understood the extent of unmet demand for easy-access, bulk bill medicine”
– Australian Dr, 2007

 

There is no doubt that an endorsement by Prof. Geoffrey Edelsten is an endorsement for success!

TV
– Advertising
– Infomercials
– Interviews

Print
– Advertising
– Testimonials
– Interviews

Radio
– Advertising
– Radio Spots
– Interviews

Internet Media
– Advertising
– Reciprocal Links
– Testimonials

 

The Geoffrey Edelsten image is one of immaculate accomplishment and altruistic Charity Works.  Please contact for more information regarding Endorsements.

Geoff Edelsten’s Guest Appearances

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As one of the most recognizable faces in Australia, Prof. Geoffrey Edelsten draws publicity, awareness, and interest in everything he does and everywhere he goes.

Appearances
– Launches
– Openings
– Corporate Functions

Speaking
– Endorsements
– Sports
– Motivational
– Keynote
– Business / Corporate
– Celebrity
– Ceremony

Promotions
– Products
– Company

An unbelievable life and career with unparalleled experience in life, love, education, business, medicine, sport, travel, and entertainment.  Edelsten is the man that has worked from the bottom to the top!  A true entrepreneur in every sense of the word.

Please contact for more information regarding Guest Appearances.

Geoff Edelsten’s Press

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Prof. Geoffrey Edelsten is one of the most popular reported news/media identities in Australia.  Edelsten has headlined in thousands of TV and news media articles and has appeared in many tens of thousands more.

Newspaper / Magazine
– Interviews
– Opinion

Personal Written Pieces / Articles
– Opinion
– Informative (Current Medical Industry, etc)
– Blog

There is no doubt that when Edelsten’s name is mentioned in news media the Australian public take interest.
Please contact for more information regarding Written Articles and Media Publications.

Geoff Edelsten’s Charitable Works

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Prof Dr Geoffrey Edelsten has been promoting several charities for many years.

As a result of his past history with Fred, and their doctor/patient relationship, Edelsten holds the Fred Hollows Foundation in the highest esteem and is proud to recommend it to all Australians.

The Fred Hollows Foundation International : http://www.hollows.org/

Edelsten has donated substantial sums to Music Rostrum to foster young music talent, the Australian Sports Foundation, The Autistic Children’s Society, his school, Mt. Scopus Memorial College, and many junior sports groups.  He has donated more than $500,000 to charities.

If you wish to contribute, work with, or make a positive difference in the world please contact for more information.

www.nhhealthyschoolenvironments.org www.familyresourceclinic.com www.medicalassistedrecoveryinc.com