Arnold P. Gold Memorial Lecture

Dr. Arnold P. Gold with a young patient

The Arnold P. Gold Memorial Lecture was established in 2018 in honor of the memory and accomplishments of Dr. Arnold Gold, who passed away on January 23, 2018, at the age of 92.

Arnold P. Gold treated patients and taught for more than 50 years at Columbia University Medical Center. He inspired multiple generations of physicians and other medical professionals with his compassionate, patient-centered, and humanistic approach to clinical care. 

Dr. Gold was born in Manhattan but at age 13 was sent to live with an aunt in Galveston, Texas, after his father died. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he finished college at the University of Texas, and then completed a master’s degree at the University of Florida and a medical degree from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. His internship was at the Charity Hospital in New Orleans, where he treated children in iron lungs because of polio. He was chief resident at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Albert Sabin who was developing the oral polio vaccine. In Cincinnati, he rode horseback for the Frontier Nursing Service to treat patients in rural Kentucky.

Dr. Gold came to Columbia as visiting chief resident and then returned to do a fellowship in child neurology. During his career at Columbia, he published more than 80 articles and contributed to numerous books.

 In 1988, Dr. Gold and his wife Sandra established the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, which has been at the forefront of humanistic healthcare throughout the world, focusing on improving caring and compassion in medicine. The Foundation initiated the White Coat Ceremony, which is now a traditional rite of passage in allopathic and osteopathic medical schools as well as nursing schools in the United States and in 19 other countries. It serves as a welcoming ceremony and an introduction to the importance of patient-centered, compassionate, collaborative, and scientifically excellent care. In addition, the Foundation recognizes and awards health care professionals and trainees for outstanding clinical, teaching, and interpersonal skills. The Foundation also sponsors lectures, educational programs for students and professionals, writing contests, and fellowships, with the goal of improving humanism in medicine.

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2023 Arnold P. Gold Memorial Lecture