For My Dad, One of the Best Men I Know

For My Dad, One of the Best Men I Know

Today, after 41 years of service, my dad retired from his job.  Simply put, he is a pulmonary doctor.  But he has been so much more over the years.

When I think about Dad, I immediately imagine his big smile — the same big smile that my younger sister Jenny has – and his dark twinkling eyes.  How he bursts into a song but doesn’t ever know any words after the first verse, so he tosses in a few “dee dee dees.” My girls think his singing style is so amusing that they call him Papa Dee Dee Dee.  He was hoping for Grandpa Tampa, but nicknames have a tricky way of eluding the subject’s control.

Everyone loves my dad.  He is the easiest person to be around.  Affable, congenial, content to go out or stay in, whatever works.

I first had an idea that Dad was unusual when I was just a child.  I overheard my Uncle Sheldon talking to someone at a party. “Well, you know, Allan is one of the smartest people you will ever meet,” he was saying.  I felt a surge of pride.  My dad was so smart that even his younger brother was talking about it! I couldn’t conceive of such an idea.

As I grew older, I noticed how common it was for friends, neighbors, and family members to call my dad whenever they needed important medical advice.  “Your dad has a wonderful bedside manner,” my mom explained to me. “He’s very gentle with his patients, and he makes them laugh.”

When I still lived in Tampa, I used to go with my parents to see the Tampa Bay Lightning play hockey.  One night, when I was a teenager, my dad and I were arriving at a game. Suddenly there was a big commotion and people began yelling for a doctor.

There was a woman having a seizure in the stands.  My dad was so calm.  He examined her and discovered that she was choking.  He worked on her, and suddenly a piece of hot dog flew out of her throat.  It hit him in the face and he didn’t even notice; he just kept doing his thing. He stayed there until she was conscious, alert and talking. After the paramedics loaded the woman onto a stretcher, we found our seats and watched the game.

He just saved her life, I thought, and he’s sitting here like he did nothing.  It’s amazing. When I mentioned it to my mom later, she said, “That’s one of the best things about your dad.  He is so unassuming.  He never talks about himself or all his accomplishments.  It’s one of the reasons why people like him so much.”

I’ve always been proud to be a Goldman girl, one of the four daughters who are lucky enough to call Allan Goldman our father.  My parents always made us feel that we were important and loved.  My dad has heard about one thousand comments to the tune of “Oh, you poor guy! Four daughters and no sons,” but he and my mom NEVER once made us feel that they wished for a son.

When my third daughter was born, and I called my parents to tell them it was a girl, my dad told me, “Oh, good!  I didn’t say anything, but I was hoping it would be another girl.”  I’ll never forget that.

My wonderful dad has had a long, fantastic career, as evidenced by this lovely tribute to him that appeared in this University of South Florida article:

Across 41 years, Allan Goldman, MD, has treated patients, taught and advised students and residents, chaired the Department of Internal Medicine, directed Graduate Medical Education, connected with alumni, taught environmental and occupational health to public health students, and been a mentor and leader to teams of staff and colleagues across the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

Dr. Goldman joined USF in the summer of 1974. MCOM’s founding internal medicine chair Roy H. Behnke, MD, recruited him to direct the College’s first Division of Pulmonary Disease in the Department of Internal Medicine and as chief of the pulmonary section at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital. Dr. Goldman directed the division for 23 years.

Dr. Goldman also set up a pulmonary disease training program for residents. For years, most practicing pulmonologists in Tampa were graduates from the USF program, since USF had the only such training program in the region.

In 1994, following Dr. Behnke’s retirement, Dr. Goldman was named interim chair and later took the job full time. He holds a joint appointment as professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Public Health.

Dr. Goldman provided some of the earliest collaborations with Tampa General Hospital, helping lay the foundation for TGH becoming USF’s primary teaching hospital. He also was the founding director of the Thoracic Oncology and Lung Cancer Center at Moffitt Cancer Center.

In his four decades at USF, Dr. Goldman had a consistent and lasting impact on the growth of the Morsani College of Medicine and USF Health.

“Allan is a man of integrity, compassion and his word,” said Richard F. Lockey MD, FACP, professor and director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and holder of the Joy McCann Culverhouse Chair of Allergy and Immunology.

“He is a physician’s physician, a person with whom you would trust as a family member. Allan is a life-long friend, a person with the utmost integrity.  He has always promoted what is best for the patient and for USF.”

Among the events planned to honor Dr. Goldman, there was a thank-you video created and a reception at CAMLS July 22 was hosted and included many familiar faces: fellow chairs, division directors, MCOM alumni, colleagues, staff, friends and family.

Dearest Dad, we are all so proud of your accomplishments, both professional and personal.  You deserve every happiness.  You have worked so hard for your entire life!



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