Newswise — Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 8, November 2013 – Each year, The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) recognizes colleagues and organizations that are pursing excellence and creating value in better serving their communities and advancing the health of the nation. On November 2nd at the 2013 AAMC Awards Dinner, Arnold P. Gold, MD and Sandra O. Gold, Ed.D, founders of The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, received a Special Recognition Award for their exceptional leadership in promoting humanism in American medicine.
Twenty-five years ago, Dr. Arnold Gold recognized that the rapid ascendance of medical technology was moving physicians’ focus from the patient in the bed to the virtual patient on the screen. Concerned with the growing lack of communication skills and compassion that he was witnessing as a professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Arnold Gold, along with Dr. Sandra Gold, a dedicated group of Columbia colleagues, and community leaders, established The Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The idea was to nurture and preserve the tradition of the caring physician; to inculcate the “habit of humanism” and help physicians in training become doctors who combine the high tech skills of cutting edge medicine with the high touch skills of effective communication, empathy and compassion, thereby improving patient care and healthcare outcomes.
Today, students and faculty at 94% of American medical schools participate in at least one Gold Foundation program. During the past 20 years, The Foundation’s White Coat Ceremony, has become a rite of passage that is now a tradition in medical education. Designed to welcome new students into the medical profession and to set clear expectations regarding the primacy of patients by professing an oath, the White Coat Ceremony now takes place at almost every American school of medicine and osteopathy as well as in 17 other nations. The Foundation's logo, a heart-shaped stethoscope, featured on lapel pins provided by the Foundation to over 18,000 new medical students each year as part of the White Coat Ceremony, has become a familiar sight in the academic medical community.
In accepting the award, Dr. Arnold Gold commented, “Sandra and I credit this award to all those who helped the Foundation to pursue the cockamamie idea that we could foster humanism in medicine and influence the culture of healthcare. In the beginning, most of my colleagues were skeptical. But here at the AAMC you shared our mission…..As it is said, it takes a village….YOU are our village.” Dr. Sandra Gold added, “The future of humanism in medicine is indeed in your hands and mine. May each of us continue to weave science and the human side of healthcare into the fabric of medical education and beyond, into the practice of the entire healthcare team.”
Dr. Sandra Gold served as the Foundation’s President and CEO from its founding until August 2012 when Richard I. Levin, MD was installed as the first external President and CEO. The Foundation has continued to grow and take on new challenges as the nature of healthcare delivery has changed. Under Dr. Levin’s leadership, the mission of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation has grown beyond a focus on physicians in training to include other healthcare professionals in training as well as all healthcare professionals in practice.
About the Arnold P. Gold Foundation: The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, established in 1988, is a not-for- profit charity dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare by enhancing the healthcare professional-patient relationship. It encourages the development of physicians and other healthcare professionals who combine the high tech skills of cutting-edge medical science with the high touch skills of communication, empathy and compassion. Learn more at humanism-in-medicine.org.