In memoriam: Jerome C. Goldstein, MD

August 2019 – Vol. 38, No. 7

AAO-HNS/F Executive Vice President 1984-1994

A native of upstate New York, Jerome C. Goldstein, MD, led a distinguished career within the house of medicine as a surgical specialist focused on patient care, a trailblazer in the education of physicians, and an administrative leader, setting the course for the future of the otolaryngology-head and neck specialty.

“Jerry Goldstein epitomized a successful marriage between exceptional clinical and sensitive, fair-minded management,” said Charles W. Cummings, MD, AAO-HNS/F Past President. “His efforts were the glue that allowed a diminutive surgical specialty to become impactful in medicine as a whole. In addition, he was a great person.”

In defining the key leadership of the newly merged organization of the former American Academy of Otolaryngology and the American Council of Otolaryngology, Dr. Goldstein was selected to serve for one year as Executive Vice President-designate under Harry W. McCurdy, MD, then assumed the role as Executive Vice President (EVP) in 1984. He served the AAO-HNS/F in this position through 1994, leading the Academy through a period of organizational growth and monumental change in the medical practice environment. His efforts helped build the Academy into a society with a sphere of influence for quality patient care.

The physical growth of the Academy during Dr. Goldstein’s 11-year tenure as EVP resulted in the Academy moving into its own headquarters building, total assets more than quadrupling, and staff expanding from less than 20 to more than 50 employees. Programs and services experienced a commensurate growth, and by 1995, the Academy was providing services to more than 10,000 members.

“Although Jerry Goldstein’s name is indelibly linked with the AAO-HNS, his leadership had a much broader base. One example is the American Society for Head and Neck Surgery. During his term as Secretary, he provided the leadership to markedly expand the Society. This ran parallel with the evolution of the otolaryngologist as a head and neck surgeon,” said Eugene N. Myers, MD, AAO-HNS/F Past President.

Dr. Goldstein worked to increase specialty unity and to promote the Academy as the voice for otolaryngology. His participation in several major medical societies ensured the involvement of otolaryngologists in key activities. He was Secretary of the American Society for Head and Neck Surgery (ASHNS) for six years and President in 1983. In addition, he was President of the Centurions of the Deafness Research Foundation in 1988; Director of the American Board of Otolaryngology, now known as American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (ABOHNS); member of the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors; delegate in otolaryngology to the American Medical Association; the 1996 President of the Council of Medical Specialty Societies; and involved in the Triological Society.

“We are saddened to hear that our colleague Jerry Goldstein has passed away. Elected to membership in the Triological Society in 1982, Jerry exemplified the ideals and core values of our Society,” said Myles L. Pensak, MD, EVP, The Triological Society. “His warm and gracious personality welcomed residents and young colleagues. His responsiveness to professional challenges engendered a spirit of collegial interaction that fomented a collaborative and congenial environment. It is our hope that his memory will always serve as a guide for future actions within our specialty.”

In 1994, Dr. Goldstein received the Academy’s first Public Service Award, which was established by an anonymous donor. This award was subsequently renamed the AAO-HNSF Jerome C. Goldstein, MD Public Service Award in honor of his lifelong commitment to improve patient welfare. He was deeply touched by this acknowledgment of his achievements and expressed his gratitude in the October 1994 Bulletin saying, “This Academy has truly become the love of my life.”

Among countless contributions to the Academy, he was a lead author in the publication of A Century of Excellence, A 100th Anniversary History of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and its Predecessor Organizations.

Prior to assuming the EVP role of the Academy in 1984, Dr. Goldstein was Professor of Surgery and head of the Division of Otolaryngology at Albany Medical College (1974-83). He was in private practice with Stanley Edmunds, MD, in Glens Falls, NY, after three years fulfilling clinical duties and serving as Assistant Professor at Northwestern University School of Medicine. Dr. Goldstein completed his residency at the Upstate Medical Center, now SUNY Upstate Medical University, in Syracuse, NY. He attended medical school in Syracuse after earning a history major from the University of Rochester.

Dr. Goldstein was known not only for his hard work and commitment to his patients and his specialty but also for his boundless energy, razor sharp wit, and astute observations. His lifelong efforts are credited with building a strong foundation for the trusted reputation of the Academy, cultivating respect as the collective and collaborative voice for otolaryngology. He passed away on July 13, 2019.