The Doc­tors

Lila Nachti­gall, Lisa Nachti­gall, Mar­garet Nachti­gall

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In many fam­i­lies with daugh­ters, fe­male hor­mones are a run­ning joke. For the Drs. Nachti­gall, they’re se­ri­ous life’s work. Pi­o­neer­ing re­searcher and clin­i­cian Lila, 84, helped get Amer­ica talk­ing about menopause and the role of es­tro­gen in women’s health start­ing in the 1970s. She still teaches at New York Uni­ver­sity and shares a thriv­ing New York City prac­tice with fel­low re­pro­duc­tive en­docri­nol­o­gist and daugh­ter Mar­garet, 56. Lisa, 15 months younger, co-di­rects a neu­roen­docrine and pi­tu­itary-tu­mor cen­ter at Mass Gen­eral in Bos­ton. (An­other daugh­ter, Ellen, is a judge.)

“I re­mem­ber our par­ents read­ing the New Eng­land Jour­nal

of Medicine case of the week on the beach like it was a puz­zle to dis­cuss and fig­ure out,” says Lisa.

“We both ended up in medicine be­cause she was an

unbelievable role model, able to bal­ance an in­cred­i­ble ca­reer with fam­ily,” says Mar­garet.

“The rea­son I keep work­ing and have no de­sire to re­tire is be­cause it’s so great to prac­tice with my daugh­ter,” Lila says. Some­thing daugh­ters learned from mother: “That there’s a lot of art to medicine, it’s not all data-driven, and ev­ery pa­tient is dif­fer­ent; you have to treat that pa­tient,” Lisa says.

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