Tuesday, April 07, 2009

In memoriam: Doctor Harvey Goldman

It was somehow appropriate that Harvey Goldman died yesterday, in that it was to have been Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox. It felt even more appropriate that the game was postponed, though, for it would not have seemed right for it to have taken place without him.

Harvey was an avid fan who went to most games. He sat in the family section at Fenway Park, down the left field line in the outfield, where alcoholic beverages are prohibited. He told me that there he could have relative peace and quiet during the games and not have to worry about someone spilling beer over him. As I sat through the rescheduled game today, I often thought of him because the view from my seat looks directly across to where he used to sit. He would bring books and academic journals with him to the game, to read during the inning breaks, so as not to waste time.

My favorite memory of Harvey, though, was two or three days after I had a routine colonoscopy, when two or three polyps had been snipped off. We happened to meet on Longwood Avenue as we walked toward the hospital. "Good morning," I said, "How are you?" "Fine," he replied, "and so are you. I did the histology on your samples yesterday."

As noted by our Chief of Pathology, Jeffrey Saffitz, "Harvey was a giant in the field of gastrointestinal pathology and a true icon in our department and in the Harvard pathology community. His dedication to teaching and patient care was legendary. He touched the lives of literally thousands of medical students, residents, fellows and colleagues in so many wonderful ways. He will be greatly missed."


Anonymous said...

I will be doing Harvey's service tommorrow. Your reflections on our friend's life are quite helpful. Bravo for your good work!

Xuemei MSIV said...

Dr. Goldman was one of my favorite professors during medical school. He was an incredibly gifted teacher and so down to earth at the same time. When we were in the hospital, his was always a friendly face and he always extended a warm invite to stop by his lab. I will miss him.

D.Phatak said...

Dr. Goldman trained me during my pathology residency. What success I have is partly due to his efforts. He was a great man and our field has lost a giant.