Doctor Bob

by Lodewyk H. S. Van Mierop, M.D.


Book Details

From Prison Camp to World-Renowned Physician

This is the true story of “Doctor Bob,” who was born in Java from Dutch parents, and grew up fascinated by nature and science. As a teenager during the Pacific War, he and his family—and all Dutch nationals—were interned in concentration camps for over two years by the Japanese, suffering beatings, starvation, and other physical deprivations. He was not allowed to continue his education, except for a requirement to learn Japanese, which none of the internees had any interest in and thus sabotaged. After the war he was able to complete high school and medical school in Holland and spent the next seven years on a visitor’s visa in Albany, New York, having been accepted for a surgical residency. From there, Doctor Bob faced a bureaucratic nightmare. With a Dutch passport, blond hair, and green eyes—and no visa—he was considered Asian under US law, and the US had no immigration quotas for Asians. Despite a series of immigration hurdles, which included emigrating to Canada, he was finally able to settle in the United States, where he became a researcher in cardiovascular embryology and the pathology of congenital heart disease. As a board-certified pediatric cardiologist, Doctor Bob witnessed the birth and growth of cardiac surgery in children.


About the Author

Lodewyk H. S. Van Mierop, M.D.

about the author: After emigration to the US, Lodewyk H. S. Van Mierop, MD (“Doctor Bob”) acquired a national and international reputation in the fields of heart development and the pathology of congenital heart disease. He practiced pediatric cardiology until retirement, and now lives in Gainesville, Florida.