In memoriam: Richard L. Goode, MD, AAO-HNS/F President 1990-1991

December 2019/January 2020 – Vol. 38, No. 11

Contributed by M. Eugene Tardy, Jr., MD, AAO-HNS/F President 1986-1987, and J. Regan Thomas, MD, AAO-HNS/F President, 2010-2011

The medical world lost a remarkable icon with the passing of Richard L. Goode, MD, on October 30, 2019,” said M. Eugene Tardy, Jr., MD, who awarded Dr. Goode a Presidential Citation in 1986. “He left us after an extraordinary career of academic medical teaching and research, which touched the lives of scores of physicians and patients. He complemented his intense love of medicine with an unmatched capacity for attracting loyal friends and followers worldwide.”

The following excerpts are taken from A Century of Excellence: A 100th Anniversary History of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Its Predecessor Organizations: Pioneers on a New Frontier:

“The practical leadership approach of Richard L. Goode, MD, enabled the Academy to respond directly and effectively to the barrage of changes in the regulation and reimbursement of medical services that occurred during 1991. Dr. Goode began his presidency with a clear vision of important and immediate goals for the Academy, saying, ‘It’s no secret that the yardstick for success in the 1990s is how well the Academy officers represent the members in dealing with important socioeconomic and government issues.”

During his term as President, the Academy responded to healthcare reimbursement issues and the need for effective outcomes research with a high level of activity that included appropriate internal restructuring and expansion, increased activity by the office of health policy and the Health Policy Commission, and new efforts to improve communication with other specialty societies.

At the close of his term, he emphasized to members the importance of the Academy’s future involvement in technology assessment to provide guidance to third-party payers and recommended continued strengthening of the Academy’s legislative network.”

Dr. Goode was Emeritus Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Department at Stanford University Medical Center. He was the quintessential diverse academic otolaryngologist, encompassing in his interests, which included otology, sleep medicine, head and neck cancer, and facial plastic surgery. One of Dr. Goode’s many memorable accomplishments was the “good-e drainage T tube,” which he invented as a young physician. He also served as Chair of the NIH NINCDS (now NIDCD) Review Committee as well as Chair of the FDA ENT Device committee.

“He had a tremendous influence on our medical specialty but also had great influence individually on all who had the privilege of sharing friendship with him. His lifetime contributions professionally as well as personally were enormous and his absence cannot be replaced. His influence and impact on those who knew him will always be remembered,” said J. Regan Thomas, MD, who awarded Dr. Goode the Presidential Citation in 2011.

Dr. Goode was awarded many and varied honors over his career. He was elected President of the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (1990-1991) as well as the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (1984-1985), transforming both organizations with his implementation of a diverse academic and teaching platform during the Annual Meetings. He was elected as a Governor of the American College of Surgeons, Vice President of the Pan-Pacific Surgical Association, Councilor of The Triological Society, Chair of the Otolaryngology Section California Medical Association, and numerous others. He served on the Editorial Board of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Laryngoscope, and numerous other scientific research journals.

In addition to Dr. Goode’s leadership, his many academic contributions to patient care and physician education were internationally recognized. “As a teacher of students, residents, and physicians, he was a stern but eminently fair educator. He demanded excellence from his pupils, and they respected and loved him for his intellect and concern for their professional welfare,” said Dr. Tardy.

Along with several close friends, he was part of the founding group of The Royal Wulff Society, an organization of his physician colleagues devoted to fellowship and fly-fishing in the Rocky Mountains who gathered for over 40 years.

“Truth be told, Dick never much liked fishing, but the companionship and dedication to the group drew him to the excursion every year, and he was the life of the party. Literally everyone has a favorite Dick Goode story. Dick has floated his last river, caught his last trout, given his last lecture, created his last original research and regaled us with his last outrageous story, but he will never be far away from our consciousness,” noted Dr. Tardy.