Centenarian Doctor: Fred Goldman

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Ohio’s oldest physician is still accepting new patients. Fred Goldman, M.D., turned 100 in December and sees 12 patients a day, three days a week in his Avondale office.

In my time there was much more personal involvement with the patient, and now they are Case Number 26 rather than a name.

There’s much more available today than when I started. We now have more means of understanding things, of testing. There’s much more advice and information.

My friends were all going to medical school. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I didn’t want to be a merchant. And at the last moment, they were about ready to close the doors, and I ran in and got taken. That was the best thing I ever did: run fast at the last moment.

I think smoking is definitely a big factor to long life. And drinking is another factor. It depends on what you drink and how much. If it’s a glass of wine a day, that’s wonderful. It’s good. I don’t drink at all or smoke at all. But those are hard things to get across to the public. When there’s a bar down the street, well, people do what they want.

Healthy exercises are very good. My exercise is moving around and walking  on the farm where I live. If you use the whole body for exercise, like swimming, that’s good stuff. And if you’re going to do this regularly, like walking a mile three times a week, that’s good behavior that pays off.

I don’t drive anymore. I’ve lost vision in one eye. I have a driver for the days in the office or to take me to the hospital if I have to go. In the days in between, he’ll do whatever I want him to do.

My relations with my patients are my favorite memories.

Love Story
Goldman’s wife of 60 years, Esther, died in 1998. They met at University Hospital, where she was a nurse and he was a resident. She was the first woman he dated.

Good Genes
Goldman believes genetics has something to do with his longevity. His father died at 58, but his mother and siblings lived into their 80s or 90s.

Skin Doctor
Goldman’s late brother Leon was the director of dermatology at the University of Cincinnati and is considered the father of laser surgery. He was the first researcher to successfully use a laser to treat a human skin disease.

Photograph by Jonathan Willis.
Originally published in the March 2012 issue.

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