Dr. Russell Goldman
Role at the Centre
Year started at the Centre
Year became a doctor
Shares a practice with
When you first meet Dr. Russell Goldman he seems almost modest, but it’s clear there’s a quiet intelligence at work behind the angular frames of his glasses.
Most would describe him as a good listener. He’s observant and, one suspects, astute. But beneath the calm, approachable manner, there’s a soft centre – a caring, thoughtful man.
As a young medical student, Dr. Goldman was disturbed by the standard of care he saw patients receiving, especially patients at the end of their lives.
“I was in a cynical phase in that last year of medical school. I was disillusioned over the care I saw some patients receiving.”
It was a critical period for the ethical debate over life and death in Canada. During 1992 and 1993 several high-profile euthanasia cases were being heard by the Supreme Court. For Dr. Goldman, the debate wasn’t academic: it played out in front of him every day.
“I told myself there must be a better way of handling patients at the end of life,” he said.
Family medicine would have been Dr. Goldman’s choice, but in 1994 he took an elective in palliative care, and met Frank Ferris, one of the founders of the Temmy Latner Centre – that relationship was a crucial one for Dr. Goldman. “He was my pied piper. He was inspiring.”
In 1995, Dr. Goldman returned to work part time at the Centre. It didn’t take long for him to become full time. In 1999, he became Assistant Director of the Centre and in 2011 he became the Director.
He’s never regretted his choice. “It’s nice to have an impact,” he says. “The work has real value.”
Working at the Centre, he says, means he doesn’t take things for granted in life. “It does make me appreciate life more,” he says. “My kids get a lot of hugs.”