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Picker Award for Excellence Honors Columbia’s Arnold Gold

Winners of the 2010 Picker Awards for Excellence in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care were honored Dec. 8 in Orlando, Fla. Honored among this year’s three winners was Arnold P. Gold, M.D., professor of clinical neurology and of clinical pediatrics at P&S.

The other 2010 recipients were Paul D. Cleary, dean of the School of Public Health at Yale University, and Atul Gawande, the longtime New Yorker staff writer and general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

The Picker Awards were established in 2003 as an educational component of the Picker Institute’s mission to advance the principles of patient-centered care through education, research, and the public recognition of best practices.

Arnold GoldDr. Gold was honored for “his lifelong dedication to the advancement of patient-centered care by preserving the tradition of the caring physician and emphasizing the crucial need for humanism in medicine.” Dr. Gold is chairman emeritus of the board of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, which he co-founded in 1988 with his wife, Sandra O. Gold. The mission of the foundation is to preserve the tradition of the caring doctor and advance humanism in medicine through physician education. Students at more than 94 percent of the schools of medicine and osteopathy in the United States participate in one or more of the foundation’s nearly two dozen programs.

The Picker Institute’s website has posted an interview with Dr. Gold in which he talks about the early years of the Gold Foundation and its ongoing work. “Today, our premise is simple: The house of medicine stands on two pillars: humanism and science. Each must be equally strong to keep the house secure. Effective and empathic communication and building trusting relationships with patients must be taught and assessed as a core competency of doctoring, and thus be perceived to be as relevant as the science and technology.”