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Walter David Dishell Edit Profile

Medical adviser , physician , writer

Walter David Dishell, American writer, medical adviser, physician. Diplomate American Board of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, diplomate American Board Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.


Dishell, Walter David was born on July 16, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, United States. Son of Robert Allen and Ida (Kaufman) Dishell.


Dishell, who is subspecialized in facial cosmetic surgery, first began using his medical background in entertainment when, soon after he completed his residency in plastic surgery at UCLA, CBS asked him to be a medical adviser for the show Medical Center in the 1960s.


(born Walter David Dishell on July 16, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan) is an Otolaryngologist - Head and Neck Surgeon (or ENT - ear, nose, and throat specialist) who served as a medical consultant on several long-running TV shows, including M*A*S*H, Medical Center, Trapper John, M.D., and Knots Landing. Like many other similar shows, Medical Center focused on physician-patient relationships instead of the actual medicine itself. Dishell said that "the disease itself didn't matter... would give me a dramatic story and then I would build the medicine around it.” One challenge Dishell faced as a medical consultant for M*A*S*H was always making sure that the medicine Alan Alda and his fellow actors and actresses practiced was not too advanced.

Dishell consulted medical textbooks from the 1950s and professional publications like the Journal of War Surgery to ensure the show’s historical accuracy. Dishell was also the medical reporter for NBC News from 1983–1985, and frequently appeared on ABC's A.M. Los Angeles as a medical consultant. In 1986, he established the Aesthetic Surgery Associates of Encino, California.


  • Diplomate American Board of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, diplomate American Board Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.


  • Other Work

    • Writer: Mash episode, Housecalls episodes, Emergency, television pilot. Medical adviser: Westside Medical, Rafferty, Lazurus Syndrome, Return of Ben Casey, Gunsmoke, Chicago Story, Maude, 9 to 5, Lou Grant, Knot's Landing, Charlie's Angels.


Served as major United States Air Force, 1969-1971. Member American Medical Association, American College of Surgeons, American Federation of television and Radio Artists, Writers Guild American West, California Medical Association, American Academy Facial Plastic Surgeons, Los Angeles County Medical Association.


Married Marilyn Persky. Children: Adam Steven, Shana Leigh, Melissa Beth.

Robert Allen Dishell

Ida (Kaufman) Dishell

Marilyn Persky

Adam Steven Dishell

Shana Leigh Dishell

Melissa Beth Dishell